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The Invisible Disabilities Association (IDA) encourages, educates and connects people and organizations touched by illness, pain and disability around the globe. Formerly known as The Invisible Disabilities Advocate, IDA was founded in 1997 and incorporated in 2004 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Read more about us below!
Founder and President, Wayne Connell, is joined by medical, scientific and business professionals on the Leadership Boards of IDA, along with other support organizations and volunteers who desire to spread IDA’s message of hope and understanding.
IDA reaches out to tens of thousands of people each month living with various conditions, as well as their loved ones, through our website, articles, literature, projects and seminars. IDA’s popular 50+ page booklet, But You LOOK Good! is an invaluable resource for people living with chronic conditions. The booklet provides friends, family and co-workers with useful tips on what to say, what not to say and how to help in order to be a source of compassion and support.
IDA also offers special projects such as our Cleaner Indoor Air Campaign, Programs4People and Service Animal Awareness as well as our online social network called, My Invisible Disabilities Community. In addition, IDA presents informative, educational seminars to foundations, businesses, hospitals and support groups.
Unlike organizations that pertain to just one condition, the term invisible disabilities covers hundreds. Therefore, IDA does not attempt to supply a vast amount of detailed information for every diagnosis. IDA’s website, publications, seminars and awareness address all debilitating conditions that are often misunderstood. IDA also offers many resources to information about various illnesses, help with costs of medications, disability benefits and more.
Connell’s inspiration for the organization is his wife, Sherri, who led a very active life of singing and dancing in musicals, acting in commercials, modeling in fashion shows, working to put herself through college and riding her horse. Sherri obtained two Bachelor Degrees and a Minor in Musical Theater. However, due to Multiple Sclerosis, Lyme Disease and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Sherri now struggles to take a shower, get a meal or go to a doctor’s appointment.
Because of people like Sherri and many others, Wayne and the IDA Board Members reach millions of people challenged by illness, pain and injury through the Invisible Disabilities Association. Thank you so much for joining us today! We hope you find the encouragement and support you need.