An intellectual impairment is caused by the way the brain develops either before birth or in early childhood. It is a lifelong impairment and usually has a significant impact on a person’s life. Sometimes it is caused by a genetic or inherited condition, by complications during pregnancy or childbirth, or by a childhood illness. Often though, the cause is not known.

An intellectual impairment is not a mental illness, and should not be confused with conditions such as dyslexia or autism.

People with an intellectual impairment find it harder than others to learn, understand and communicate. Many will find it hard to find a sports club, to enjoy organised sport or to find a coach who understand their support needs. Too often, sports organisations are simply not accessible, and do not encourage people with an intellectual impairment to get involved.

We believe that, with the right support and coaching, athletes can achieve their potential. INAS challenges attitudes by providing an opportunity to perform and to be successful.

We create role models for other people follow and we support champions. For the very best, INAS provides an opportunity to compete at an international level, including the Paralympic Games.

For further information about eligibility and classification, please visit the about intellectual impairment and about other eligible groups pages.