University of Wisconsin-Madison named a Special Olympics Unified Champion School

At the end of last year, Special Olympics recognized the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a Special Olympics College. This is a part of the Unified Champion Schools Program which highlights preschools, elementary schools, high schools, and colleges and universities that promote social inclusion through inclusive youth leadership, whole school engagement, and Unified Sports.
Schools meet components for inclusive youth leadership by planning events that align with the mission of Special Olympics. The UW-Madison student organization Badgers for Special Olympics brings individuals with and without intellectual disabilities together to meet regularly and put on events for campus that promote inclusion and support Special Olympics.
The second element for Unified Champion Schools, whole school engagement, is demonstrated by awareness campaigns that connect and engage students, faculty, and staff. At UW-Madison, this includes Spread the Word to End the Word and recruiting and participating in the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Wisconsin.

Finally, Unified Champion Schools offer Unified Sports programs, which promote social inclusion through sports. Inspired by a simple principle that training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding, Unified Sports join people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. This spring will be the fourth consecutive semester that the Division of Recreational Sports has offered Unified Sports on campus. This unified volleyball league is open to individuals with an intellectual disability and UW-Madison students. Registration is now open online and games begin Sunday, January 27.
With this distinction, UW-Madison joins the ranks of seven other colleges in Wisconsin: Marquette University, Mount Mary University, UW-Whitewater, UW-Stevens Point, Carthage College, and Lakeland University. To learn more about Unified Champion Schools, please visit Special Olympics Wisconsin.