On July 1, 2015, Dr. Harold Kleinert will retire after decades of dedicated service as the Executive Director of the University of Kentucky’s Human Development Institute. In the past two weeks, we have celebrated his contributions with an HDI All Staff meeting that included a “hostile takeover” with a jeopardy trivia game, top ten list, and brown bag lunches (in honor of Harold’s traditionally frugal apple and cheese sandwich lunches). The university also held a retirement reception on Friday, May 26 that included staff and faculty from the University of Kentucky, our state agency partners, and especially families, their children, and the self-advocates who have worked with us so closely over these years. Thanks also for the planning committees for doing a beautiful job!
The mission of the Sibling Leadership Network (SLN) (www.siblingleadership.org) is to provide siblings of individuals with disabilities the information, support and tools to advocate with their brothers and sisters and promote issues important to them and their entire families. Membership is free. You can join by going to the above link, clicking on “Join Now” and providing your name and email address.
During 2014, the national sibling network grew to over 4000 siblings & supporters with 17 state chapters, became an official 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, led webinars, created an Advocacy Toolkit for siblings that includes Sibling Policy Videos and the 2014 Sibling Policy Brief highlighting legislation significant to siblings.
On June 19, both Dr. Harold Kleinert and Katie Hastings were named by the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute (HDI) as the winners of the prestigious 2015 Paul Kevin Burberry Award.
Dr. Kleinert has served people with intellectual disabilities for nearly 47 years, the last 27 of those as part of HDI and is retiring on June 30, 2015 from his position as the Executive Director of HDI. He also serves on the board of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities and the Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities. He has improved the world for people with developmental disabilities both nationally and in Kentucky by building meaningful training programs for educators and medical providers, and he has offered thoughtful, supportive, and kind mentorships to countless students over the years.
The Human Development Institute recently launched a new website to be more accessible for families and professionals looking for the many programs and resources HDI offers across the lifespan. On the front page, visitors can see the latest news from HDI with highlights of our top resources for the different stakeholders we serve. We also would very much appreciate anyone who is interested in staying up-to-date about our work to sign up for the newsletter and take our survey to let us know what you think about the website.