November 29, 2014

New Program Launched for Intellectually Disabled In Hillsborough County

Unique Program Created by Former Special Olympics Director and Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center to Open September 19

BRANDON, Fla. – (6-29-11) – The Brandon Sports and Aquatics Center (BSAC) has teamed with the former director of Special Olympics in Hillsborough County to create a new type of program that will serve adults and school-aged children with intellectual disabilities.

The program will be called TRIDENT, which is an acronym for “Training and Recreation for the Intellectually Disabled Enhancing Natural Talents”. Headed by former Hillsborough County Director of Special Olympics Tom Denham III, the program features a Day Program and an After-School Program. The Day Program serves adults who have graduated high-school, and the After-School Program serves school-aged children. Both programs are designed to create an active recreation environment for the participants. Plus, the Day Program will feature two to three hours per day of classroom time that focuses on training independent life-skills, which is not taught by any other local program.

BSAC will host an Open House and Introductory Presentation of the TRIDENT Program on Monday July 11th at 7pm for teachers, parents, guardians and care-givers of intellectually disabled individuals. Tours of the facility will be available. The program officially starts on Monday September 19th.

Denham Well Known to Special Needs Community
Denham has a long history serving the intellectually disabled community in Hillsborough County. In addition to serving as executive director of the Special Olympics Hillsborough County program for the past six years, he served in several different volunteer capacities within the organization since 1987. “I remember being a little kid in the late 70’s helping my mom at Special Olympics events with her students,” Denham said. His mother Sandy Denham has been a Special Education teacher in the Hillsborough County School System for more than 30 years.

“I grew up here in Brandon, and the people that will benefit from this program are more than just clients, they are my friends. I know a lot of their parents are frustrated by the lack of available options for their children. This is an underserved population with few options. Fortunately, BSAC was looking for a way to expand their mission of service to the community.”

BSAC Executive Director Chuck Burgess feels the addition of Denham to the BSAC team is a win for everyone. “With Tom’s passion for making a difference in every individual he works with and his experience in organizing superior special needs programming, he is a perfect fit for BSAC’s mission to positively impact all individuals in our community.”

Those interested in attending the open house on July 11th should contact Denham by calling 813-545-4368 or via e-mail at tdenham@mybsac.org.