Skip to content

Setting the Standard for Physical Activity for All.

We all know regular exercise is essential for the prevention of chronic disease and good health – both physical and emotional.

But leading an active lifestyle isn’t as easy as it should be for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

While fitness is a 96 billion dollar industry, the needs of people with intellectual disabilities are, at best, an afterthought; at worst, they are left out the conversation completely.

Time and motivation are big factors that affect everyone when it comes to fitness, but people with IDD have a longer list of additional barriers that keep them from being physically active, such as:

  • The cost of specialized equipment

  • The lack of transportation

  • The shortage of inclusive gyms, adaptive fitness programs

  • The scarcity of fitness trainers that work with people with IDD

  • The lack of role models and the absence of society’s expectation for people with IDD to incorporate fitness in daily life.

Our world has come a long way in including people with IDD, but there is still work to be done. It’s time to make physical activity obtainable for them so they can reap the benefits of regular exercise and lead longer, healthier lives.

The Chris Nikic Foundation aims to make physical fitness accessible and achievable for all people with IDD.


We provide financial grants to gyms, fitness programs, nonprofits and families for adaptive equipment that enables people with IDD to be physically active.


We train and mentor fitness staff, coaches and volunteers by providing specialized fitness instruction for people with IDD using the 1% Better model.


We work with gyms, health centers and online fitness platforms to develop inclusive practices and incorporate people with iDD in their business model.


Breaking down social barriers is an often overlooked element to achieving fitness goals. We match people with IDD with a workout partner and provide a community of support and resources.

Our mission: to incorporate physical fitness for people with IDD as standardized practice in society, schools and health and wellness facilities.

1% Better Chris Nikic Foundation operates as a project of Players Philanthropy Fund, a Maryland charitable trust recognized by IRS as a tax-exempt public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (Federal Tax ID: 27-6601178). Contributions to 1% Better Chris Nikic Foundation are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.