Written by: Michael Ackley
Published by: Franklin Homepage
Published on: September 30, 2014
See original article

Waves Inc., a Franklin and Fairview based nonprofit which serves children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, has appointed Shannon Nehus as its new executive director.

Nehus, who will officially begin her new role on Oct. 6, brings over 20 years of experience to Waves.

“I’ll be bringing my experience in helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” she said. “I started in 1992 at Prospect Incorporated, a nonprofit similar to Waves based in Lebanon, Tenn. I’ll be bringing the associations I’ve made over the years working in the state and in this field. My passion is serving people with disabilities.”

Nehus said Waves gets an annual federal grant of around $2.5 million, but it relies on donations and fundraisers to keep operating its numerous programs.

“We serve around 60 adults each week, as well as 40 to 50 children,” Nehus said. “We offer residential care and vocational training. We serve babies from birth to three-years-old. Staff goes into the homes of new parents who have children with IDD in order to help them and educate them.”

Waves also operates eight homes and four apartments in Fairview and Franklin where adults are cared for around the clock, as well as trying to get adults with IDD placed in jobs.

“People with IDD are identified by having an IQ of 69 or below,” Nehus said. “Once we find an employment opportunity, we team up the adults with job coaches in order to train them. Companies have been really great about this. They understand that for a lot of our adults, the job might be the most important part of their week.”

Nehus said that typical jobs for adults with IDD might be dishwashing, janitorial, fast food or temporary work that a company might not want to pay skilled laborers to do.

As far as her new environs, Nehus said “I am very excited to be in Franklin. My husband and I are considering a relocation.”

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