Connection Fuels Community

Leigh Anne Wenning, Superintendent at Shelby County Board of DD

Written by: Superintendent Leigh Anne Wenning

For many people with disabilities, relationships are based on family connections or people who are paid to work with them, like Direct Support Professionals or agency staff members. Their calendars reflect programming, appointments, and errands. This is often the case for people who do not have a lot of family connections.

At the Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities (SCBDD), our goal is to help change that by offering a wide selection of events and activities to the individuals with disabilities who we serve. Not only are we trying to reach people with disabilities, but we want to connect with the general public as well. Our Community Education and Outreach Department works diligently to create opportunities where people with and without disabilities can engage and hopefully develop connections that can continue even without our presence.

Special Olympics is typically the first thing that comes to mind when we start discussing activities for people with disabilities. We have a great Special Olympics program and are grateful for the support it receives. Recently at SCBDD, we have gone beyond Special Olympics and expanded into other hobbies and recreation. For example, we offer activities like arts and crafts, bingo, fitness groups, movie club, and even an anime club. We also support individuals we serve in running their own activities such as a book club, a social group, and a coffee club. One of our goals is to let the people we serve take the lead with these activities and stand back to watch them make natural connections. [See Resources Page for more info about our activities.]

Last October, we had an event on our beautiful campus with a band, a petting zoo, and other activities. Everyone had a great time, including members of the public who joined in on the fun.

Whether you have a disability or not, connecting with your community feels good.

For more information on activities going on at SCBDD, check out our website at and make sure to follow us on social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and X.