What is Project Unify?
Project Unify grew out of Unified Sports to
create the atmosphere of acceptance and
inclusion throughout the school. It is now
more than sports, it is an umbrella for a
variety of activities that benefit ALL
students of ALL abilities.
2 / Special Olympics Vermont
Project UNIFY is acceptance.
Project UNIFY is unity. Project
UNIFY is youth driven. Project
UNIFY is friendship. Project
UNIFY is fun.
3 Main Components
Soccer, Snow-shoeing, Bowling, Basketball, Bocce and Track &
Whole School Engagement
Get Into It Curriculum (series of lessons on inclusion and equity) –
Spread the Word campaigns (stop using the R Word) – pledges,
Fans in the Stands (students cheering on Unified Sports teams)
Youth Rallies (assemblies, town meeting presentations)
5Special Olympics Vermont
‣ Partners Clubs,
Youth Activation Committees and Youth Summits
A sports program developed and supported
by Special Olympics which combines
typically developing students/adults
“partners” with Special Olympic eligible
“athletes”on teams for competitive sports
6 / Special Olympics Vermont
Get Into It
Online & printed resources that include
lessons, activities, videos, athlete stories and
At the core are age-appropriate lessons designed to
be taught in the context of class periods.
Activities with ties to service learning are completed
in a classroom or community setting, as part of a
club, an afterschool activity or a community based
8Special Olympics Vermont
The R-word is the word 'retard(ed)'. Why does it
hurt? The R-word hurts because it is exclusive.
It's offensive. It's derogatory.
Our campaign asks people to pledge to stop
saying the R-word as a starting point toward
creating more accepting attitudes and
communities for all people. Language affects
attitudes and attitudes affect actions. Pledge
today to use respectful, people-first language.
10Special Olympics Vermont
Youth Activation Committee
Groups of students with and without ID from a school or
community that work with SOVT to develop strategies
and organize events to build a school community
where all young people are agents of change.
They promote leadership in schools by advocating for
the acceptance of all students.
YACs exist at the national, state and school level.
11Special Olympics Vermont
A few statistics:
74% of students said PU was a positive turning point in their
lives and they became more patient and learned to compromise
Two thirds of students said they learned they have things in
common with their disabled peers
66% of educators/administers said PU helps raise awareness
and increases opportunities for students w/ and without
disabilities to WORK TOGETHER