Shelby Knight is the Executive Director of The Center for Exceptional Families. Shelby is the parent of an adult son with autism. Since the diagnosis of her son, she has been active in all issues and projects involving children, youth and adults with disabilities. Shelby has more than 20 years of experience in the advocacy field, working as an advocate then co-director of the federally funded Arkansas Parent Training and Information Center then serving as State Training Coordinator for six years.
Shelby has an extensive background in non-profit development, having created three successful disability centered agencies, the Down Syndrome Association of Northeast Arkansas, bringing the state’s first Buddy Walk to Arkansas; the Autism Association of Northeast Arkansas, and The Center for Exceptional Families, Inc. all family centered organizations dedicated to education and awareness of specific disabilities. In addition, Shelby serves as Co-Chair of the Arkansas Special Education State Advisory Council, is an advisory board member of the Arkansas Academy for Educational Equity at University of Arkansas, advisory board member of Project Search of NEA, board member of the Partners Community Advisory Committee and is the board chair of the David E. Puryear Center in Jonesboro.
Shelby has presented at state level conferences, trained and inspired countless parents and professionals throughout the state of Arkansas. She has vast experience in networking with service providers and is widely known across the state as a dedicated advocate for the disabled. Shelby is committed to ensuring that the vision of The Center for Exceptional Families, Inc. be carried out effectively to the betterment of all Arkansans living with disabilities.
Shelby is married and has three children and three grandchildren. She and her family reside in Jonesboro.