Together we are more

Microsoft is proud to support the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games and celebrate what we all share in common—the desire to connect, overcome fears, break down boundaries, and achieve.

Over the last four years, Microsoft has been a proud technology partner of Special Olympics International. During this time, we’ve had the privilege to meet and be inspired by the remarkable individuals and athletes who make the games a success each year. Energized by this movement of inclusion, many of our employees have gone on to connect with and support their local Special Olympics teams. This year, more than 2,000 Microsoft employees volunteered to support the 4,000 athletes and coaches who took part in the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle from July 1-7.

Meet volunteers who connected with local Special Olympics teams—and whose lives have been changed in the process.

Volunteering unleashes the power of realizing how much we have in common. Once we’re teammates on a bocce court, once one person helps another figure out how to get to the starting line, having that experience together puts the disability aside.

- Eric Wilfrid, General Manager, Microsoft Teams

Accessible gaming goes global

Competing in the Special Olympics is about more than just sport. It’s about collaboration, teamwork, pursuing your passion, and building new friendships along the way. To that end, Microsoft was excited to announce a new e-sports category created to empower a diverse group of competitors who are eager to participate in the growing global sport of gaming. Xbox hosted a pilot video gaming tournament for eight Unified teams to compete in “Forza Motorsport 7.” The teams consisted of two competitors—one with and one without an intellectual disability—who vied head-to-head for the tournament title. Forza Motorsport 7 was selected for its accessibility, offering multiple driving supports, braking assists, and traction control. It features a virtual racing line, visible even to those who are color blind, that shows players the quickest path around a circuit. There’s also a new Friction Assist option that guides players who go off track from getting stuck in sand or grass.