Austin, Texas (March 5)— Special Olympics has unveiled an interactive exhibit called “Unlocking Inclusion,” designed by DC-based Moya Design Partners, to promote inclusion and diversity in schools at the South by Southwest® (SXSW®) EDU Conference.
The SXSW EDU Conference “cultivates and empowers a community of engaged stakeholders to advance teaching and learning” (SXSW). This year’s ninth annual conference includes four days of compelling workshops, panels, discussions, networking, and more.
“I am thrilled that the “Unlocking Inclusion” exhibit opens today, where educators from across the globe can experience and learn about the benefits of Special Olympics’ inclusive program,” said Paola Moya, CEO of Moya Design Partners. “It was an honor to work with Special Olympics and design an exhibit that conveys the many benefits of inclusion in schools.”
Special Olympics commissioned “Unlocking Inclusion” — a traveling exhibit to promote the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools® program at the 2019 Unified Champion Schools (UCS) conference in San Diego and at the prestigious 2019 SXSW EDU in Austin, Texas. The Special Olympics UCS program promotes sports and leadership opportunities for students with and without intellectual disabilities. The program stengthens participating schools, creating a socially inclusive environment that supports and engages all learners.
In designing the “Unlocking Inclusion” exhibit, Moya Design Partners’ visual design team sought to engage viewers to experience the transformative power of diversity in schools. The design includes interactive narratives, dynamic textures, colorful LED lights, and audiovisual media to attract conference attendees into the comprehensive UCS campaign narrative. At the exhibit, visitors can open a school locker to peek into the lives of real students with and without intellectual disabilities and learn how together they are creating a Unified Generation. Conference attendees can then listen to their stories, and experience how the Special Olympics UCS program strengthens schools and promotes inclusion with sports activities, as well as opportunities to develop skills and friendships, gain competency, demonstrate dignity and contribute to the community.


About Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools

Students today face many obstacles and challenges in order to reach their limitless potential. One of our most vulnerable populations — students with intellectual disabilities — are especially feeling emotionally unsafe due to the lack of opportunities to develop, to lead, to be included within their school environment. In a new report by the Center for Social Emotional Learning, almost half of high school students report feeling lonely and isolated during their time in school.
There is a solution: Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools. Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools have been offering powerful activities that promote climates of inclusion and acceptance since the 2007–2008 school year with support from the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education. Using sports as the catalyst, Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools provides students with tools and training to create sports clubs and whole-school activities promoting inclusion. These tools help to create an environment in which students believe they can learn, develop, lead, and be included well beyond their high school years.
Moya Design Partners is a multidisciplinary boutique studio producing creative work in the fields of architecture, interiors, brand strategy and visual design. The firm was founded by renowned business leader and respected designer Paola Moya. As a diverse studio of architects, designers and innovators, Moya Design Partners specializes in all-inclusive design services. Our portfolio is as diverse as our innovative team. We’ve served clients ranging from MGM Resorts to nonprofit organizations, business improvement districts, universities, entertainment, sports arenas, theaters, private developers, and charitable foundations.