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.

Photos

Available for download on SmugMug: CLICK HERE

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

  • With the School Season of the Bowling Blitz comes the opportunity to watch LIVE bowling! Over the course of the next month, there will be livestreams of participating teams bowling, hosted on the SOMT or local-area Facebook pages! To see the most up-to-date schedule of......

  • On Dec. 29th the 2020 Distinguished Service Awards winners were announced and recognized as a part of the Special Olympics Montana 2020 Countdown Show. Congratulations to the following winners: 2020 Athlete of the Year:Betsy Schaffer2020 Adult Volunteer of the Year:Kathy Wanner2020 Youth Volunteer of the......

Media Contacts

Heather Wendell
Marketing & Design Specialist
Office: 406.315.4208
Email: hwendell@somt.org