HEALTH EDUCATION + SCREENINGS
Special Olympics Delaware offers four core components of health education referred to as our Healthy Athletes Program. Healthy Athletes includes screenings, general health education, and personal/preventive practices to enhance sports training and, ultimately, the lives of our athletes.
HEALTHY HEARING (audiology)
The Healthy Hearing discipline of Healthy Athletes provides comprehensive hearing screenings and follow-up recommendations. The main goals of this program are to inform athletes, parents, coaches or caregivers about the detection of possible ear and hearing problems, recommend follow-up as needed, and to promote the necessity of regular ear and hearing screenings.
SPECIAL SMILES (dentistry)
The Special Smiles discipline of Healthy Athletes provides comprehensive oral health care information, including offering free dental screenings and instructions on correct brushing and flossing techniques to participating Special Olympics athletes. This resource page is equipped with manuals and forms, event resources and Special Smiles stories and additional information. Special Smiles has demonstrated remarkable success in creating awareness and improving access to dental care for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Opening Eyes (optometry)
Opening Eyes program is changing lives in communities across the globe by providing comprehensive eye assessments, prescription eyewear, sunglasses and sports goggles to Special Olympics athletes and people with intellectual disabilities in general through a partnership with the Lions Club International. After going through 12 testing stations, the exam information is reviewed and a decision is made if the athlete needs a new pair of prescription glasses or sport goggles. Through the generosity of our corporate sponsors Essilor (lenses) and Safilo (frames), athletes choose from a selection of eye wear. Athletes who do not need any corrective lenses receive plano sunglasses also provided by Safilo.
FIT FEET (podiatry)
Fit Feet helps Special Olympics athletes step lively on the playing field, and in everyday life. Many athletes suffer from foot and ankle pain, or deformities that impair their performance. This station offers screenings to evaluate ankles, feet, lower extremity biomechanics, and proper shoe and sock gear to participating athletes.
DID YOU KNOW…
Despite a mistaken belief that people with intellectual disabilities receive the same or better health care than others, they typically receive sub-standard care or virtually no health care at all. For every ten athletes on a Special Olympics team:
- 2 have never had an eye exam
- 4 need a new prescription for glasses
- 2 have potential hearing loss
- 4 have untreated tooth decay and 1–2 are in need of urgent dental care
- 2–3 have low bone density
- 6 are overweight or obese and at risk for chronic health conditions
- 5 have problems with strength and 6 have problems with flexibility, placing them at risk for injury
- 5 have at least one kind of skin or nail condition
Are you a Doctor or Nurse interested in participating in one of these Healthy Athlete programs?
Contact Cheryl Talmo to learn how you can get involved! firstname.lastname@example.org
Special Olympics Delaware
619 South College Ave.
Newark, Delaware 19716
302.831.4653 / email@example.com