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Finland selected to host the International Abilympics 2027 competition

The International Abilympics competition for people with special needs will be held at Messukeskus, Helsinki in May 2027. The unique major event will be organised concurrently with the Taitaja2027 event.


Finland showered with medals at the 2023 Abilympics Metz competition winning one gold and four silver medals. Pictured: gold medallist Saga Naumanen. Photo: Skills Finland / Juha Nurminen.

The member organisations of the International Abilympic Federation (IAF) have confirmed the decision of the IAF Executive Committee that the right to organise the 2027 Abilympics competition be granted to Finland. The other applicant for hosting the event was India.

In the three-day Abilympics competition, professionals with special needs compete in tasks requiring skills in their respective professions. By organising the event, Skills Finland wants to showcase Finland's high-quality special needs education and its connection with the world of work. The concurrent organisation of the International Abilympics competition and the national skills competition Taitaja provides a great opportunity for collaboration between vocational special education institutions and other vocational institutions.

Organisation of the competition supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture

The Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture supports the organisation of vocational skills competitions and the International Abilympics Helsinki 2027 competition.

"The Ministry of Education and Culture welcomes Finland's opportunity to organise the International Abilympics 2027 competition for professionals with special needs," says Petri Lempinen, Director General of the Ministry of Education and Culture.

"Organising and participating in international vocational skills competitions have been an excellent way to increase the quality and attractiveness of vocational education and training. It provides us with an opportunity to compare Finnish vocational education and training to our international counterparts. The organisation in Finland of the WorldSkills Competition in 2005 significantly helped advance vocational education and training. I believe that the Abilympics competition will now promote vocational special needs education as well", says Lempinen.

Planning of the event will begin in 2024. The International Abilympics Helsinki 2027 competition will be organised in collaboration between Skills Finland and providers of vocational education and training, particularly the Ameo network of vocational special education institutions. The event will be held concurrently with the Taitaja2027 Helsinki competition, which will provide cost-benefits and help take sustainable development better into account in the organisation of both events.

About the International Abilympics competition

The Abilympics competition for professionals with special needs is held every four years. There is no age limit for the competition. Finland participated in the Abilympics competition for the first time in Japan in 2007.

Finland’s goal in the International Abilympics is the development of excellence in vocational special needs education skills and the strengthening of internationalisation. Skills Finland’s official representative in the IAF and its Executive Committee is Petteri Ora from the Kiipula Foundation.

The previous competition was held in Metz, France 24–25 March 2023. Approximately 400 competitors from 27 countries participated in the event. The competition had 44 skill categories, and Team Finland participated in nine of them. Finland wo five medals in the competition: one gold and four silver.

Learn more

Maria Ekroth
CEO, Skills Finland
+358 40 707 9114,

Petteri Ora
Member of the Executive Committee, International Abilympic Federation
+358 50 300 3764,