Funded by Greater Cincinnati Foundation's Creating Inclusive Communities Grant.
In this time of uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Ken Anderson Alliance (KAA) has pivoted from in-person community outings to virtual online engagement activities for adults with developmental disabilities.
KAA, established in 2017, strives to promote LIVE, WORK and ENGAGE opportunities for adults with disabilities that enable them to develop and sustain lifelong relationships, independence and self-esteem.
The cornerstone of community engagement are outings facilitated by KAA leaders and volunteers that include dining out, sporting events, service programs at local food banks and more. Prior to the shelter-in-place requirements, KAA had 22 outings per month that were offered to 215 participants.
"We have worked very hard with our ENGAGE programs to get adults with developmental disabilities into the community,” said Ken Anderson, KAA President Emeritus. “With shelter-in-place orders in place, they are once again isolated. Our virtual engagements are designed to help them retain their social skills and build resilience so that they are ready to interact with the community once the restrictions are lifted.”
Funding from Greater Cincinnati Foundation as part of the Creating Inclusive Communities/COVID-19 Response grants to KAA provided the necessary resources to fund technology improvements for their website and social media platforms.
KAA is now offering eight or more virtual, interactive events each week though its social media platforms that include trivia competitions, crafts, fitness and live music.
Those events include Virtual Happy Hours. Throughout April, Ken Anderson hosted weekly Virtual Happy Hours with special guests and stories from his playing days. On Tuesday, May 5, long-time KAA supporter DJ David Kahle will host a virtual dance party to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. For more details, visit https://www.kenandersonalliance.org/virtual-happy-hours.
These virtual social engagements are intended for KAA’s adult participants with developmental disabilities but are being widely enjoyed by anyone who follows their social media offerings.
As one respondent noted: “Keep up the wonderful work you guys are doing with the foundation and thanks for giving us such an awesome opportunity to get our minds off of the coronavirus.”
Please Note: Photos were taken before the coronavirus pandemic and do not reflect the organization’s COVID-19 social distancing protocols.