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Special Olympics Florida was founded in 1972 and is one of the largest volunteer-driven athletic organizations in the state. The mission of Special Olympics Florida is to provide year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for people with intellectual disabilities who wish to participate, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community. The ultimate objective of Special Olympics Florida is to help people with intellectual disabilities participate as productive and respected members of society at large.
Healthy Community is a premier, health care delivery approach that focuses on the whole person with an intellectual or developmental disability and provides integrated health care coordination.
Good health is necessary for persons with an intellectual or developmental disability to secure the freedom to work, learn, and engage in their families and communities. The United States Surgeon General stated, "Individuals with a developmental disability are more likely to receive inappropriate and inadequate treatment, or be denied health care altogether. Children, youth, and adults with developmental disabilities receive fewer routine health examinations, fewer immunizations, less mental health care, less prophylactic oral health care, and fewer opportunities for physical exercise and athletic achievement than do other Americans. Those with communication difficulties are especially at greater risk for poor nutrition, overmedication, injury, and abuse." Special Olympics International created Healthy Community in response to the U.S. Surgeon General call to action on the health care disparities for people with an intellectual or developmental disability.