Special Olympics and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) have been long-time partners, working to advance the health and fitness of Special Olympics athletes since Special Olympics was founded in 1968. The partnership became more formal with APTA becoming a core collaborator in Special Olympics's Healthy Athletes program, and a founding partner of FUNfitness screening in 1999. Since the launch of this program, physical therapists and physical therapy students have provided Special Olympics athletes with fitness screenings, education, and consultation about fitness improvement.
Special Olympics and APTA will work together on joint advocacy initiatives that advance the health status and access to qualified health professionals for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Special Olympics and APTA will also seek out opportunities for collaborative research.