Resources for Families

After our athletes, families are the most important group to the mission of Special Olympics Massachusetts. Family members serve as coaches, Unified partners and volunteers at our events. They raise money through participation in fundraisers like the Jolly Jaunt, Polar Plunge, and Over the Edge. They also support their athlete by attending events and cheering them on.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can family members coach?
Family members who are 16 years of age or older can volunteer as coaches. Special Olympics periodically provides training for coaches where they can learn techniques and skills for working with Special Olympics athletes. Remember, you won’t just be coaching your own athlete — you will be working with other athletes as well! For more information, see our Calendar.

How much does it cost to watch my athlete compete at local or state competitions?
All Special Olympics Massachusetts sports competitions are free! We welcome all spectators, so come and cheer for your athlete! See our Calendar for a competition near you.

My athlete has a non-disabled sibling. Can they participate?
Non-disabled siblings cannot participate as a Special Olympics athlete, however along with volunteering and fundraising, they can participate in Special Olympics as a Unified partner.

How can I find out what competitions are coming up in my area?
See our Calendar to find out about competitions near you.

What about financial support?
Athletes are never charged to participate in any of our Special Olympics programs. This is why financial support from people and companies in our communities is so important. You can always donate directly to Special Olympics, and we also have a host of fun fundraising events in which the whole family can participate.

More Resources for Families


Massachusetts Network of Information Providers for People with Disabilities
The network provides information on advocacy, financial assistance and planning, health, employment, housing, and a variety of other useful information. Visit for more information.

Exceptional Lives – How-to Guides to help exceptional family members thrive
Exceptional Lives provides free online Guides to parents of children with developmental disabilities. These Guides lead you step-by-step through complex processes, such as how to:


  1. Optimize your health insurance
  2. Create an effective IEP
  3. Access SSI
  4. Navigate guardianship and its alternatives


These individualized how-to Guides give you relevant and actionable information tailored to your child’s needs, so you can help your child thrive.

Click to see a copy of our most recent ENEWSLETTER.

Click to see a copy of our most recent Families eNewsletter.