Press Room

Reporting Guidelines

Although society has made great strides, there still are many myths and misconceptions about intellectual disabilities. As a media professional, you are in a unique position to shape public knowledge. We need your help! The guidelines presented here offer suggestions for appropriate descriptions and preferred terminology when reporting about Special Olympics.

Special Olympics is for people with intellectual disabilities. Some Special Olympics athletes also may have physical handicaps, but the criterion for participation is intellectual disabilities. We prefer “people first” language. Therefore, instead of saying “Special Olympics is for mentally and physically handicapped persons” we say “Special Olympics is for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.”

  • Emphasize the person and not the disability. Please say “persons with intellectual disabilities”, rather than “intellectually disabled people”.
  • Special Olympics athletes are children and adults. Please do not refer to Special Olympics athletes as “kids”. This perpetuates the myth that all persons with intellectual disabilities are child-like. Special Olympics is for children and adults. Special Olympics Montana athletes range from ages 8-86.
  • Special Olympics Montana is a year-round program, not an annual event. We offer local, area and State-level competitions each year. Please refer to a specific event as “the Special Olympics Montana State Winter Games”. When referring to the overall program, say “Special Olympics Montana”.
  • Special Olympics athletes, not “Special Olympians”. We prefer that you use the term “Special Olympics athletes.”
  • Special Olympics Montana Games are “real” sports competition. Special Olympics Montana adheres to National Governing Body Rules for all competitions. Athletes and teams train for a minimum of 8 weeks before participating in local, area or State-level competition.


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Photography release statement: No athlete may compete in any Special Olympics Montana (SOMT) event without having a signed release statement on file. The statement grants permission for SOMT and the media to use the athlete’s name, likeness, voice and words in television, radio, films, newspapers, magazines, and other media for the purpose of promoting and publicizing, educating the public, and raising funds.

News & Stories

  • GREAT FALLS, MT – On Wednesday, May 30, Dale Frost of Great Falls, MT will be awarded Special Olympics Montana’s 24th Annual MTN Chevy Raffle grand prize – a brand new 2018 Chevy Silverado Pickup (valued at $39,094.64).  The award ceremony will take place at......

  • On May 10, 2018 the Executive Committee of the Montana Law Enforcement Torch Run® (LETR) for Special Olympics Montana selected retired Undersheriff Kevin Evans with the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office as the eastern Assistant Director. Kevin comes with the leadership skills, experience and commitment to......

Media Contacts

Lanni M. Klasner
Vice President Marketing & Communications
Office: 406.315.4212
Mobile: 406.899.6329

Heather Wendell
Marketing & Design Specialist
Office: 406.315.4208