Changing the Mindset on Intellectual Disabilities

Aplogan was named one of the Innovators of the Week! Click here to learn more about his story and the impact he is making in his community.


Kpadonou and Aplogan are Special Olympics Youth Leaders in Benin and are excited to make a difference for inclusion in their country. Through their Youth Innovation Project, they hope to hold educational conferences to change their community’s current mindset on intellectual disability. Through these conferences, their goal is to teach their peers “on the inclusion of people living with intellectual disabilities within the college as well as the community at large.”


Along with their conferences, Kpadonou and Aplogan plan to use media to record everything they do during their project implementation in order to have a greater impact.


For Kpandonou, the hope is that “participants really understand how we [people with intellectual disabilities] feel when we are suffering discrimination” and that their project “will get people to change their view of us.” For Kpandonou, it “is especially the look of the school students and people in my neighborhood who motivated [him] to make this project,” noticing how people in his community view him differently because of his intellectual disability. He believes that being part of the Unified Generation allows him to express himself better, and he knows that through his project, he will be able to contribute to a changed perception of intellectual disability in Benin.