September 6, 2016
One in seven people in the world has some type of disability. In the United States alone, 1 in every 5 adults lives with a reported disability. People with disabilities are statistically more likely to suffer from socio-economic hardships such as living in poverty, experiencing difficulty finding employment, and facing barriers to receiving higher education.
From September 7th to September 18th, the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games in Rio will host over 4,300 para-athletes from 160 countries. The Games allow para-athletes to showcase their outstanding capabilities while competing 528 medaled events in 22 sports, including cycling, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, and power lifting. Unlike the Special Olympics, which offers sports programming specifically for people with cognitive disabilities, Paralympic athletes have either physical, visual, or intellectual impairment.
The Paralympic Games shine a bright light on the courage, resilience, and capabilities of athletes with physical disabilities. If you want to help, then consider supporting one of the charities listed here. Click on the charity's name to go to its Charity Navigator rating page where you can review its financial health, accountability and transparency. From there, you can visit the charity's website where you can learn more specifically how it helps disabled athletes.
Of course, many athletes with physical disabilities will not make it as far as the Paralympics; much of the programming done for athletes with disabilities is at a local, grassroots level. So, another way to get involved and support this community is by finding a charity that provides adaptive sports programming via our advanced search tool. And, if that charity isn’t yet rated by Charity Navigator, then we encourage you to follow our tip sheet for conducting your own due diligence before you give.