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New video, “Customized Employment in Kentucky” Premiering at Lexington 25th Anniversary of the ADA Celebration

Published: July 29, 2015

Just in time for the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute announces the debut of their new video, “Customized Employment in Kentucky,” which will be premiered at Lexington’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of the ADA this Thursday, July 30.
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Updated HDI Disability Resource Manual

Published: July 20, 2015

HDI recently updated our popular Disability Resource Manual in both English and Spanish to make sure individuals with disabilities across Kentucky could find the most valuable resources available at different stages of life. The manual is currently accessed by more than 6,000 English-speaking and 1,500 Spanish-speaking families annually to help them navigate the sometimes complex array of services available to people with disabilities. The Disability Resource Manual is a handbook of program descriptions, eligibility criteria, and contact information of the local, state, and national resources across the lifespan, from before birth to retirement. Topics of particular interest found in the manual include prenatal/postnatal resources, education, finances, transition, healthcare resources, assistive technology, community living, employment resources, and advocacy information.Updated HDI Disability Resource ManualRead More…

Wellness Initiative Employs Self-Advocate Healthy Educators

Published: July 10, 2015

By Lindsey Mullis, MS, Health & Wellness Coordinator

The task of the health and wellness initiative at HDI is to raise awareness of health disparities and provide health education and motivation techniques for individuals to take charge of their health. This summer, HDI partnered with the Kentucky Division of Developmental Disabilities to offer training for the Healthy Lifestyles curriculum from University of Oregon. Twenty-nine individuals from 12 Kentucky organizations participated in the training with HDI to be certified instructors of the curriculum. Joining the ranks of new Healthy Lifestyle instructors are three young ladies with intellectual disabilities who will work with HDI’s wellness initiative as co-facilitators. They will assist in leading the Healthy Lifestyle workshops within the state in inclusive and integrated settings.

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Two boys at a desk working on a puzzle together

Kentucky Peer Support/Network Project Announces Fall 2015 Trainings

Published: July 9, 2015

By Patti Parsons, Project Coordinator

The Kentucky Peer Support/Network Project announces a revised training schedule at locations throughout the state in July through September, as listed below. School teams will learn about setting up Peer Support (in inclusive classrooms) and Peer Networks (outside the classroom) for students with significant disabilities. The intent of the project is to expand learning and participation in inclusive activities — across classroom and extracurricular settings — for students with significant disabilities, while laying the foundation for genuine friendships between students with and without disabilities.

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College and Career Ready Measures for Students Participating in the Alternate Assessment


By Jill Griffiths, SPDG-CCR Project Director

Within Kentucky’s Unbridled Learning Accountability Model, the College and Career Ready (CCR) measures for students with significant cognitive disabilities have been revised. The CCR measures now align more closely with those for students in the general assessment. The assessment instruments were expanded beyond the Transition Attainment Record (TAR), and Career Ready accountability was strengthened.

  • The TAR is retained as the measure for College Ready.
  • A new assessment, the Employability Skills Attainment Record, will assess Career Ready: Academic.
  • A Career Work Experience Certification process was developed for Career Ready: Technical.
  • The opportunity for a student participating in the alternate assessment to be both College and Career Ready is now included.

Students will be awarded Career Ready status by the Office of Career and Technical Education.

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Welcoming Kathy Sheppard-Jones as Interim HDI Executive Director

Published: July 1, 2015

We are pleased to share that on July 1, 2015 Dr. Kathy Sheppard-Jones will officially begin her work as the Interim HDI Director. She has been employed at the University of Kentucky’s Human Development Institute since August 1996. She has served as HDI Training Director since 2010, as well as Principal Investigator for a broad range of projects—including Belonging in the Community, the Kentucky Mentoring Project, the Driver Rehabilitation Center, and UK Home Modification Services. She directs HDI’s Graduate Certificate in Developmental Disabilities and is working to establish a highly innovative Undergraduate Certificate in Universal Design, with the support of 19 faculty across 12 UK Colleges. She is Adjunct faculty in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling. We are looking forward to her visionary leadership and ability to collaborate with diverse stakeholders across the lifespan for people with disabilities.Welcoming Kathy Sheppard-Jones as Interim HDI Executive DirectorRead More…