Health Promotion

Special Olympics CT Health Communities Project


From 2013-2016, the UCEDD provided technical assistance to Special Olympics Connecticut (SOCT) on its Healthy Communities project made possible by the Golisano Foundation in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. SOCT Healthy Communities, an extension of the Healthy Athletes® program, was to assure year-round inclusive health care and prevention programming in CT to individuals with intellectual disabilities. The SOCT Healthy Athletes® components to receive the greatest focus were Special Smiles (dental), Opening Eyes (optometric and ophthalmological), and Fit Feet (podiatric).


The goals of this project were to develop and disseminate information to CT health care providers, provide training to health care providers (including at the preservice level), and make accessible information available to SOCT athletes about where to get follow-up care.


  • Trained first year medical students at Quinnipiac University.
  • Trained dental hygienists and nurses at their annual conferences.
  • Developed and disseminated of practical materials to CT Community Health Centers.
  • Disseminated accessible materials at SOCT summer games.
  • Gave presentations to families at the annual SOCT State Conferences.
  • Adopted of a new system for issues identified by Healthy Athletes® providers at games through direct referral to primary care providers to improve follow-up treatment.
  • Developed SOCT website subsequently subsumed by of Special Olympics International (SOI).
  • Designation of SOCT as a Healthy Community by SOI in 2019.