Wayne Connell founded IDA in 1996 out of the desire to educate friends and family about his wife, Sherri’s debilitating illness. His experience includes that of a professional, multitasking husband caregiver with an extensive background in management, media and technology. Wayne’s passion and drive quickly launched IDA into a world-wide outreach for millions living daily with invisible disabilities.
Founder, President & CEO
Wayne Connell, founded IDA in 1996 out of the desire to educate friends and family about his wife, Sherri’s debilitating illness. Soon afterwards, people around the globe began sending emails sharing how IDA had changed their relationships with their loved ones. He is co-author of the book, But You LOOK Good, How to Encourage and Understand People Living with Illness and Pain. Wayne’s background fueled his passion for helping people living with illness, pain and disability. His experience includes that of a professional, multitasking husband caregiver with an extensive background in management, media and technology. This man on a mission quickly launched IDA into a world-wide outreach for millions living daily with invisible disabilities.
Wayne spends his days as the Senior Manager of the telecom infrastructure team for Dish Network and Sling TV. He is also Founder and President of the DISH Disability Advocates Network, a DISH employee resource group. Wayne spends most of his evenings, weekends, vacations and holidays, volunteering for IDA as the President and CEO. He loves sharing and blogging about the great work of IDA and advocating on behalf of all people living daily with illness, pain and disability. Wayne has been given the opportunity to speak at many organizations and businesses over the years about invisible disabilities as well as share via local and national TV and radio interviews.
Wayne has conducted Disability Seminars for the following:
- Healings in Motion (Caregiver Symposium Keynote)
- Qwest Corporation
- Parker Adventist Hospital
- Poudre Valley Health System – Arthritis Symposium
- Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation
- Lupus Foundation of Colorado
- Denver Commission for People with Disabilities
- Marriott Denver South
- Twins Cities Disability Insurance Day
- Rotary Club of Denver South East
- Chiari & Syringomyelia Foundation – CSF Lecture Series
- Society Human Resources Management (SHRM) – Diversity & Inclusion Conference
- Accenture – National Disability ERG and Accenture’s Inclusion & Diversity program
- TIAA – Diverse Abilities Employee Resource Group National Event
- Vivos Therapeutics – Breathing Wellness Conference
- Glasko Smith Kline – Disability Confidence Network National Event
- Allsup LLC
- Bradley University
- Colorado Office of Employment First Conference
- ME Action Colorado
- Kahilla Virtual Summit
- Springboard Consulting – Disability Matters Conference
- DISH Network – DISH Disability Advocates Network
- and more
Wayne and Sherri have been married since 1994. They do not have any children, because of Sherri’s illness, but they do have two very loving and entertaining pets, Pumpkin and Java, who are Nigerian dwarf goats.