Guiding all-star athletes to keep active

Gamifying the way athletes with special needs keep fit and have fun.


As the world's largest sports organisation for those with intellectual disabilities, the Special Olympics strives to change lives of those with special needs for the better.

With over five million athletes across 172 countries—nationally and regionally—the core value of the organisation is making a difference.


Many special needs athletes’ fitness regimens dip after they leave the school system. Faced with the challenge of keeping fit, they need a fresh way to stay active, beyond the spotlight of Special Olympics events.

PALO IT took the initiative in building an exceptionally engaging fitness platform with intellectual disability in mind. To cater to all types of learners, the platform’s flow of visual and audio elements was integral, especially in aiding non-literate users.


  • User testing sessions with caregivers, coaches and Special Olympics athletes. These sessions helped to  identify the pain and pleasure points in adapting digital platforms for special needs users.
  • Sprout – an interactive, reward-based fitness app that maps out daily fitness routines and incentivises users to keep fit. PALO IT designed the platform, and its audio and visual design features, with special needs athletes in mind.

“People with intellectual disabilities are often forced to conform to systems, infrastructure and procedures that have been set up for people without them. This project opened my eyes to how design and technology could be brought to bear in promoting a more inclusive society.”
Rodney WONG
APAC Marketing Lead, Special Olympics