Hi Friends! We have exciting news! IDA will be broadcasting the 2018 “Be the Voice” Awards Gala tonight, LIVE! Right here on Facebook, October 19th at 6:45 PT / 9:45 ET.
We understand that for most people living with invisible disabilities, travelling to this event is not possible. So, IDA is bringing the evening to you!
Since 2008, the IDA Team has provided videos of the Award Galas on YouTube so that people around the globe could watch and share in the evening’s awareness, awards, special guest speakers and entertainment! IDA has also provided partner tickets (as available) to many people living with invisible disabilities, who otherwise would not be able to attend!
However, for the first time this year, IDA is extremely excited to bring the evening LIVE to you, for all to enjoy!
Come as our guests! Compliments of IDA! Read more in the IDA post! See you there!
Be the Voice Part One: https://www.facebook.com/InvisibleDisabilities/videos/331493710731521/
For several years, I have been wanted to design some sort of ID Cards with a Lanyard and Card Holder. I wanted something that I and millions of others living with invisible disabilities could wear to doctor appointments, the grocery store or on the bus.
The card would say, “I Live With An Invisible Disability” on the front. And the cards that could be handed out would share, what is an invisible disability.”
This would give a visual to people living with debilitating conditions, in the hopes that we would be able to get better help in the stores and possibly a seat on the bus when all the seats are taken. It would give us a chance to bring awareness and education to the people we met, without having to expend the energy to explain to people what is an invisible disability.
The Invisible No More ID Wallets Were Born
Finally, I put a pencil to it and showed it to my hubby, Wayne, founder and president of the Invisible Disabilities Association (IDA). Wayne loved the idea, but he wanted to go a step further. He suggested instead of just having the badge on the end of the lanyard, to actually have a wallet for the cards.
I thought this was a perfect way to also allow people to carry their insurance card, credit card, cash and pens when they are going to a doctor’s office or grocery store! This way, when I have an appointment, I don’t have to carry my whole purse, I just put my essentials into the ID Wallet and I have my hands free to use my cane or crutches. Voila!
In September 2017, the ID Wallets were launched for the Invisible Disabilities Association’s Invisible Disabilities Week! It was a great addition to the IDA Store, along with Katie Maskey’s new IDA Lapel Pin!
Making a Difference for Others Living with Debilitating Conditions
Since I live with debilitating illness every day, I decided to volunteer for this week. I create all the activities for the week, with the MEME’s for people to share and participate (I was an art major before I switched to theater).
This year, I also created three Facebook Frames which were extremely popular. Over 6,500 people used the frames on their Facebook Profile Photos and many of them posted these photos on their other social media platforms! It was GREAT to see people so excited to be a part of the week!
I am so thankful to have had a wonderful IDW Team helping me get the word out and interact with the attendees this year! There is no way I could have done this alone. Thank you, Suzanne, Katie and Cassandra!
Invisible Disabilities Week Gets Worldwide Coverage
People from all over the world were sharing their stories, awareness endeavors, fur babies, service dogs, favorite people, places and more on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
There were several posts on the Invisible Disabilities Association’s Facebook Page that had hundreds of comments and on Instagram and Twitter, colleges, groups and businesses were participating in the week!
IDA’s Wayne Connell Brings Awareness to Invisible Disabilities
Wayne Connell, IDA founder and president had two television interviews during Invisible Disabilities Week, where he was able to share about millions living with illness, pain, injury and disability. It was an amazing opportunity to reach the hearts of the audience and bring awareness to friends, family, doctors, neighbors and society at large.
Wayne also was a guest speaker for two corporations, bringing education and awareness to their employees. Wayne’s invisible disabilities presentations at Accenture and TIAA were very well received and Wayne was honored and grateful for the invitation and opportunity!
Invisible Disabilities Week Concludes with “Laugh Out Loud” IDA Awards Gala
The 2017 IDA Awards Gala,”Laugh Out Loud” in Denver on October 21st was a spectacular evening!
We thoroughly enjoyed our hilarious Comedian, Sam Adams as our Headliner and the sensational, Karyn Buxman, RN, MSN, Neurohumorist and Hall of Fame Speaker as our Master of Ceremonies.
It was truly an evening full of inspiring stories, touching presentations and lighthearted fun, bringing awareness to millions of people living with invisible disabilities. We had the privilege of honoring several incredible individuals and organizations who are making a difference in the world for people living with disabilities. Doctors, nurses, friends and family were walking away saying, “Wow! I didn’t get it until tonight!”
As you may have noticed, we had a 70’s theme for those who dared to get groovy! … And they did! Attendees had a blast dressing in bell-bottoms, mini-skirts and disco shirts! The laughter and fun was contagious, as people mingled, danced and met new friends!
We would like to say thank you to all of our amazing sponsors and attendees who joined us for this wonderful night! We are grateful for your love and compassion for people living with invisible disabilities. And thank you to all of our special guests, chairpersons, gala committee and volunteers for working hard to make this an incredible night, none will soon forget!
All in all, it was a fantastic week of awareness, education, sharing and friendships! See you all next year! www.InvisibleDisabilitiesWeek.org
Behind The Mask with Cassandra Perkins 95.3 FM 1220 AM KLDC with Radio Host and IDA Ambassador, Cassandra Perkins.
Special Guests: Founder, President and CEO Wayne Connell with Invisible Disabilities Association and IDA Ambassador, Mandy Harvey. Mandy is an award winning singer, songwriter and motivational speaker who just happens to have an invisible disability. Mandy lost her residual hearing in 2006-2007 at age eighteen due to a neurological disorder.
Have you subscribed to my blog yet? Are you following me on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest? What are you waiting for?
Sherri Connell’s Social Media:
The Adventures of Pumpkin and Cookie:
The hardest part about living with a debilitating condition, is the lack of understanding and belief among friends and family.
Do you know someone living with illness, pain or injury? #ResolveToBelieve them today! Your belief in them will give them strength to keep fighting!
Read my hubby’s blog, “I Resolve to Believe!”
During the 2015 Invisible Disabilities Week, we provided 7 days of activities people from anywhere in the world could participate. What an amazing week of spreading awareness, education and support around the globe on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more!
So many amazing people shared their personal journeys, courageous hearts and thankfulness for people, places and things in their lives that give them strength to keep fighting.
Thank you all for sharing your stories, struggles and triumphs! And thank you to the amazing ID Week Team, Katie, Ali, Mandy, Cassandra, Nikki and Joni!
ID Week is sponsored by the Invisible Disabilities Association (IDA). IDA also hosted that week, the Brain IDEAS Symposium which included 9 doctors, practitioners and experts on the brain. That evening was topped off by the 2015 IDA Awards Gala where IDA honored 9 incredible individuals and organizations making a difference.
The attendees also enjoyed Featured Entertainer, Singer, Composer and Author, Derek Amato. Derek is one of only 30 known “Acquired Savants” in the world after a head injury!
They were also delighted by Special Guest Speaker and IDA Ambassador, Katie Maskey, Mrs. Ohio United States, as well as 2015 IDA Inspiration Award recipient and IDA Ambassador, Mandy Harvey. Mandy lost her hearing in college, but with much perseverance continued her passion for singing and is now an accomplished singer, songwriter and speaker.
Although ID Week has passed, IDA continues their work throughout the year! Keep connected with IDA
Invisible Disabilities Association: www.InvisibleDisabilities.org
PLEASE SUPPORT IDA. Proceeds from sales, fundraisers and donations help us to continue our vital work of bringing awareness, education and support around the world to millions living with debilitating illness, pain and injury, as well as loved ones, caregivers, co-workers, doctors and businesses. IDA’s outreach extends through our websites, books, pamphlets, articles, annual award nights, radio and television interviews, videos, special events, Disability.Gov blogs, programs, campaigns, the Invisible Disabilities Week, IDAC online community, social media and so much more!
See you next year! www.InvisibleDisabilitiesWeek.org
The moment you all have been waiting for!! OK maybe not, but here it is! The video of me speaking at the 2013 Invisible Disabilities Association Awards Night. Special thanks to CBS4 Ed Greene for helping me out!
Snickers is not only my pet. She is my precious baby and she alerts me when I have anxiety, stress, blood pressure, heart rate and sugar changes. She paws me, nudges me, sits on me and licks me until I calm down. When I am on the ground and need help, she barks and goes to get my hubby. She also alerts me when there are gas leaks or other smells in the house. Most importantly (tee hee), she barks (relentlessly) when she is out of water or food. Good thing! Cuz I’m doing good to remember mine!
An Alert Dog is just one type of Service Dog, which is trained to assist a person with a disability, by performing tasks that mitigate their disability. There are many specific requirements and qualifications for being a Service Dog.
Alert Dogs help many with PTSD, TBI, Diabetes, Autism, anxiety disorders and more. Many can even remind people to take their medicines, wake them up from nightmares, retrieve items and even call 9-1-1.
Although Snickers can perform several tasks for me, I do not take her to restaurants and such. She does not at this time have the proper behavioral training required to stay focused on me. However, we did take her on our latest trip out of town, in which she was a huge help in keeping me calm and watching out for me in the car and where we stayed.
Therapy Animals and Emotional Support Pets are not the same as Service Dogs and are not granted entrance into public places. However, Therapy Dogs that have had specific training can receive permission to enter such places as hospitals, long-term care centers and schools for therapy purposes.
Read about Service Dog guidelines and requirements from the Invisible Disabilities Association.
NOTICE! I do my best to relay information, despite my severe cognitive dysfunctions. Yet, I may not always convey what I intended to say. Please remember that I am not a medical or legal professional! Seek legal or medical advice from an expert. Thanks!
In 2009, I created a poster just for fun to place on my Facebook Page. It occurred to me that in the scheme of things, it all boiled down to friends and family choosing the relationship over the perfume, laundry detergent, soap or deodorant. All my friends living with chemical sensitivities went nuts! Even my friends who do not have MCS thought the whole idea and slogan were very thought provoking and cleaver. They all loved it!
So, in 2011, the Cleaner Indoor Air Campaign decided to launch the Choose Friendships Over Fragrances project, with this poster and several variations. The posters are available to print at no cost and I do not receive any pay for these. However, it is priceless knowing many people are able to express their desire to preserve relationships that are often broken due to the fragrances that are prevalent in so many personal care products. In the end, I hope that people are not offended, but instead come to realize that their friend or family member’s health and inclusion in holidays, get-togethers and simple visits is much more important than a few fragranced products.
Read More About My Environmental Illness
For more information on the Choose Friendships Over Fragrances Project, go to the Cleaner Indoor Air Campaign.
The Cleaner Indoor Air Campaign was launched by the 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the Invisible Disabilities Association. Due to the extent and severity of Sherri’s illness, she is not an employee nor board member of IDA. Sherri does not receive any royalties or compensation from IDA nor any other party.