Leadership and Community Support

Special Olympics Connecticut Research Project


Special Olympics Connecticut (SOCT) is working with the University of Connecticut Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) to analyze data on their Unified Fitness Clubs program, which is a fitness program being piloted in Connecticut for Special Olympics International. Two years of a data have been collected and analyzed to date. The purpose of the Unified Fitness Clubs program is to offer exercise opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities from the ages of eight through adulthood, particularly those who do not wish to exercise competitively. The proposed benefit of this project is to provide information to Special Olympics International on the viability of the Unified Fitness Clubs program to inform decisions about implementing the program in other states.


The goals of this project include:

  1. Analyze existing and incoming data on the effectiveness Unified Fitness Clubs to increase exercise participation by people with intellectual disabilities and Special Olympics partners
  2. Refine the data collection system through technical assistance to best tell the story of the Unified Fitness Clubs program
  3. Inform the funding sources on the usefulness of the Unified Fitness Clubs program.

The UCEDD is completing this work with SOCT as part of its federal grant goal to conduct applied research, evaluation, and public policy analyses in areas that will affect individuals with disabilities and their families. This project specifically addresses the objective of evaluating state and local service delivery programs for quality improvement and policy implications.