The following post was written by Hueng and Jun, two Special Olympics youth leaders from Korea. The pair make it their mission to strengthen inclusion in their community. Check out how they #innovateforinclusion!
Intellectual disabilities can be empowered and taught a out through sports, and inclusion through sport can be implemented. ‘Synergy-APA’ is a futsal club for young people with developmental disabilities who live in the region. Activities to help individuals with intellectual disabilities discover their abilities and independence are an essential part of the program for the participants.
As a member of the innovation grant program, I met and felt many things with my friends with developmental disabilities. First, I felt that it was important to identify the characteristics of people before providing inappropriate training. Even between people with similar abilities, there are unique characteristics to individuals that should be considered to create the proper environment for the program. We were able to grasp the characters of the athletes by forming authentic relationships. In addition, as a leader, I was able to improve my ability to observe and design customized methods for individual development. As time went on, we were able to watch the progress of the athletes.
The program also aims to develop social skills through interaction and communication between people with and without intellectual disabilities. Cooperation and care are essential, as well as recognizing and feeling out the emotions of another individual. Through work with my team members, I was able to experience the “change of cognition” that happens when you have consideration for another person.
Overall, I was able to work with people with and without intellectual disabilities to help me understand and reduce my prejudice. With much support, we were able to create mutual growth between leaders and participants.
The 2018 Special Olympics Youth Innovation Grant initiative is supported through partnerships with Hasbro, Inc., The Samuel Family Foundation, theOffice of Special Education Programs at the United States Department of Education, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and the Lions Clubs International Foundation. Learn more about these inspiring projects atSpecialOlympicsGlobalYouthProjects.org.