2009 – The special Olympics Projects

Sixteen Graphic, Multimedia, and Interior Design students got together for four weeks to brainstorm how to use design to address problems of uninformed assumptions about Intellectual Disability whilst addressing the needs of their client, Special Olympics South Africa

Who was the community:
Special Olympics is an International nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering individuals with Intellectual Disabilities, in more than 180 countries worldwide, to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition. Special Olympics offers children and adults with Intellectual Disabilities year-round training and competition in 30 Olympic type Summer and Winter sports. Special Olympics South Africa is part of this organization.

What was the context?
Special Olympics South Africa encourages schools, colleges, organizations and the community at large to engage with Special Olympics athletes by volunteering their time, skills and expertise in activities and events, thereby promoting the acceptance and inclusion of individuals with intellectual disabilities into society. They also transforms South African communities by inspiring people to open their minds, accept and include the more than 1 700 000 South Africans living with intellectual disabilities and in turn celebrate the similarities common to all people.

What was the design problem:
Special Olympics South Africa is involved in many activities to promote acceptance and inclusion of Intellectually Disabled South Africans, but their initiatives go unnoticed by the majority of the population. The aims are therefore to get target audiences to:

  • Understand the difference between Physical and Mental disability
  • Distinguish Special Olympics events from the Paralympics
  • Be driven to the Special Olympics, South Africa, website, to gather more information
  • Be encouraged to sponsor or donate to the organisation
  • Distinguish the Special Olympics, South Africa visual identity from its affiliates around the world

What were the design solutions: