Graduate Certificate in Developmental Disabilities

Certificate Faculty

Kathy Sheppard-Jones , Ph.D. (Director)
Adjunct Professor
Special Education & Rehabilitation Counseling
College of Education
University of Kentucky

Dr. Kathy Sheppard-Jones is the training director at the Human Development Institute, Kentucky's University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Sheppard-Jones coordinates the Graduate Certificate in Developmental Disabilities, on campus and via distance learning. She also oversees several projects, including Belonging in the Community, Home Assessment and Modification Services, Driver Rehabilitation, and Technical Assistance to the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. Dr. Sheppard-Jones is also co-principal investigator of Kentucky's Supported Higher Education Project, a groundbreaking effort to enhance opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities to pursue postsecondary education. Her research interests include quality of life, consumer satisfaction, and agricultural applications of rehabilitation technology. Dr. Sheppard-Jones is also adjunct assistant professor in the rehabilitation counseling program.

Harold L. Kleinert, Ed.D.
Adjunct Associate Professor
Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling

University of Kentucky

Dr. Harold Kleinert is the executive director of the Human Development Institute-University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service at the University of Kentucky. He has directed a broad range of federally funded demonstration and research projects, including the KY Alternate Portfolio Study, the Paraprofessional Training Component for Kentucky's State Improvement Grant, the KY Systems Change Project for Students with Severe Disabilities, the Personal Futures Planning Project for Individuals with Deaf-Blindness, and the KY Peer Service Learning Project. Dr. Kleinert co-directed the development of KY's alternate assessment (resulting in the first fully inclusive educational assessment system in the nation), and is nationally recognized for his research on alternate educational assessments. He has published widely in the area of alternate assessment for students with significant disabilities under IDEA, including research on the impact of the inclusion of students with significant disabilities in large-scale assessment and accountability systems, and is the lead author of the text Alternate Assessment: Measuring Outcomes and Supports for Students with Disabilities.

Paul Glaser, MD, Ph.D.
Department of Psychiatry
University of Kentucky College of Medicine

Dr. Paul Glaser is a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the University of Kentucky's medical center. He is the Vice Chair for research, a researcher in the department of Psychiatry and Anatomy departments, and does outpatient work as an child and adolescent psychiatrist. His interests include pervasive developmental disorders, developmental pediatrics, and neuroscience research.

H. Thompson Prout, Ph.D.
Professor and Chairperson
Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology
University of Kentucky College of Education

Dr. Tom Prout, Professor, received his Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Indiana in 1976. He did his postdoc training in Counseling/Rehabilitation Psychology at the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center in Fisherville, Virginia. In 1983 he completed a Specialization Program in Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri. His research interests are: therapeutic interventions with children and adolescents, personality assessments with children, adolescents and special populations MR and Developmental Disabilities), Global Self-Concept, and test development. A licensed psychologist, Dr. Prout teaches courses in social-emotional assessment, therapeutic interventions and internship, and child and adolescent counseling. He is a full member of the Graduate Faculty.

Jane Kleinert, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences

Jane Kleinert is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Kentucky. She is a licensed Speech/Language Pathologist with over 30 years of experience specializing in services to children with severe/multiple disabilities, oral feeding disorders and early intervention. Dr. Kleinert is currently the primary investigator for the Kentucky Youth Advocacy Project, a three year grant funded by the KY Council on Developmental Disabilities. This project is designed to teach younger children with disabilities self-advocacy skills with a special focus on children with severe communication deficits. Dr. Kleinert is also involved in research on the communication characteristics of students who are included in Alternate Assessment. Her teaching areas include communication programming for phonological disorders, pediatric feeding and motor speech disorders and early intervention. Jane and her husband Harold are life-long Kentuckians and have three adult children.

Debra Harley, Ph.D., CRC, LPC
Chair and Professor
Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling
University of Kentucky College of Education

Debra A. Harley is Professor and Chair of the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Kentucky. Her primary interests are cultural and gender issues, substance abuse, and ethics. Dr. Harley has published extensively in top tier journals of rehabilitation counseling and is co-editor of the book, Contemporary Mental Health Issues Among African Americans. She received the Educator of the Year Award from the National Council on Rehabilitation Education in 2006. Dr. Harley is former Editor of the Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling and the Journal of Rehabilitation Administration. She is a board member of the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC), and a faculty associate with the University of Kentucky Center on Research on Violence Against Women.

Judith L. Page, Ph.D
Chair, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences
Associate Professor, Division of Communication Disorders
College of Allied Health Professions

Judith L. Page is an Associate Professor in the Division of Communication Sciences & Disorders within the    Department of Rehabilitation Sciences. She joined the faculty in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 1980 and currently serves as Director of the Division of Communication Sciences & Disorders and Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences. Dr. Page’s primary areas of interest are communication intervention strategies for persons with severe disabilities and augmentative and alternative communication systems. Other research interests include early intervention, factors influencing acquisition of manual signs and gestural systems by non-speaking children, and early literacy development.

Marlene B. Huff, Ph.D
Assistant Professor, University of Kentucky

Marlene B. Huff is a Licensed Psychotherapist focused on providing child, adolescent, and family counseling services. She specializes in childhood trauma, social development, forensic social work, custody evaluations, and family mediation.  Dr. Huff also serves as a consultant to mental health agencies on organizational management issues, coaching and motivating employees, enhancement and expansion of organizational services. Her interests include conducting research on a variety of adolescent issues including social group membership, adjustment to trauma, and narrative expression of life experiences.


Katherine McCormick, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Early Childhood
College of Education, Special Education, University of Kentucky

Dr. Katherine McCormick is an Associate Professor in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education and holds the James W. and Diane V. Stuckert Service-Learning Professorship. Dr. McCormick came to UK in 1998 from Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia. She attended Auburn University for her Ph.D. and the University of Alabama Birmingham for advanced degrees in School Psychology. While in Alabama Dr. McCormick worked as a classroom teacher of young children with developmental delays and also worked as a school psychologist. She also directed a rural migrant program, and taught at-risk adolescents and youth in an alternative school program. Dr. McCormick is a successful researcher in the fields of early intervention and early childhood special education.

Guest Lecturers

Marie Allison

SCL/Board Member

Graduated from University of Kentucky Law School in 1972. Worked for Protection and Advocacy for several years, supervising attorneys, drafting legislation, representing persons with disabilities. Practiced criminal law, focusing on issues related to disabilities. Member of various advocacy organizations, TASH, ChADD of the Bluegrass, Autism Society of the Bluegrass, The Arc of Kentucky, The Arc of Central Kentucky. In private practice represented individuals with disabilities in cases involving special education services. Represented individuals in guardianship matters. Worked on Inclusion Project for The Arc of Kentucky for over a year; was Outreach Worker under a Robert Wood Johnson Grant for two years educating individuals about the consumer directed option for receiving Medicaid Services, and currently work as State Coordinator for the Hart-Supported Living Program. Volunteer on the IHDI Advisory Board, Kentucky Autism Training Center Board, Regional Council for Hart-Supported Living Program and Center for Independent Living for several years. Mother of son with multiple challenges due to autism, severe mental retardation, seizure disorder, and mild cerebral palsy

Sara Boyd
Graduate Student
University of Kentucky Clinical Psychology

Sara E. Boyd, M.S., is a graduate student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Kentucky. She obtained her Master's in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kentucky and her Bachelor's of Science in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Sara was employed for a number of years as a direct service provider for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Illinois, Washington, and Kentucky. Her research interests include general personality functioning in adults with intellectual disabilities, as well as education/training for medical professionals to work with patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She resides in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband William and her two dogs, Djuna and Sweetpea.

MyraBeth Bundy, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Eastern Kentucky University Department of Psychology

Dr. MyraBeth Bundy is an associate professor of psychology and director of the Developmental Disabilities Specialty Clinic at EKU. Dr. Bundy, who joined the EKU staff in 2003, completed a pre-doctoral internship at the University of North Carolina's TEACCH program in 1995 and received a Ph.D. in Clinical-Community Psychology from The University of South Carolina that same year, joined the EKU faculty in 1996. She also completed a post-doctoral fellowship in developmental disabilities at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 1996.

Mike Burdge
Technical Assistance Specialist

Keystone Assessment

Mike is a technical assistance and alternate assessment specialist and product developer. He also serves as a technical assistance specialist with the National Alternate Assessment Center (NAAC). Mike began his 25-year teaching career at a school for students with moderate and severe disabilities and eventually initiated and facilitated inclusionary programs as a teacher in several public schools. He was awarded the Stella A. Edwards Teacher of the Year award in 1996 and was an Ashland Oil Teacher Achievement Award recipient in 1997. He has been an adjunct professor of special education at the University of Cincinnati and the College of Mt. St. Joseph. In his work for ILSSA and NAAC, states he has assisted twelve states, territories, and freely associated states with their alternate assessment, curriculum and teaching practice. Mike presents frequently at conferences conducted by CCSSO, CEC, NCEO, TASH, numerous statewide education agencies, and various OSEP funded Regional Resource Centers, serves on expert panels for several states, and has played key roles on a number of enhanced assessment grants. Mike has been a contributing author to Alternate Assessment: Measuring Outcomes and Supports for Students with Disabilities (Kleinert & Kearns, 2001), Mental Retardation and intellectual Disabilities: Teaching Students Using Innovative and Research-based Strategies (Wehmeyer & M. Agran, 2005), Teaching Language Arts, Math, & Science to Students with Significant Disabilities (Browder and Spooner, 2006), as well as numerous journal and periodical publications.

Gilson Capilouto, PhD., CCC-SLP, ATP
Associate Professor
Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders
University of Kentucky College of Allied Health Professions

Gilson Capilouto, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders at University of Kentucky. She came to Kentucky from the Medical University of South Carolina where she served as Project Director for the MUSC Assistive Technology Education Demonstration Center. She holds the ATP (Assistive Technology Professional) credential from RESNA and she has practiced and presented extensively in the areas of augmentative communication and assistive technology. Her research interests include AAC performance measures and narrative discourse performance across the lifespan.

Jean Clayton
Technical Specialist

Keystone Assessment

Jean is a technical assistance and alternate assessment specialist and product developer. She taught for 22 years, 20 years of those years teaching students with significant cognitive disabilities. While teaching she developed a statewide training module on building peer relationships & supports with middle schoolers, served on the state advisory board for Alternate Assessment and as a technology resource teacher. At ILSSA she has developed training modules on accessing the general curriculum, self-determination, data collection, and inclusion. She has presented nationally and internationally on topics of accessing the general curriculum, alternate assessment, and inclusion. Jean has served on advisory boards for state alternate assessments and provided consultation and technical assistance for multiple states, territories, and freely associated states on alternate assessment and accessing the general curriculum. She has contributed to current literature as an invited contributor to Alternate Assessment: Measuring outcomes and Supports for Students with Disabilities (Kleinert & Kearns, 2001) and Teaching Language Arts, Math, & Science to Students with Significant Disabilities (Browder & Spooner, 2006) and other articles including A Four-Step Process for Accessing the General Curriculum for Students With Significant Cognitive Disabilities.

Beth Harrison
Program Administrator II
Post-School Outcomes Study
Human Development Institute

Dr. Harrison has worked in the field of disability for over twenty-five years. She has extensive background in supports for persons with disabilities serving over the years as case manager, job trainer, vocational evaluator, and adult day program director. Since the mid 1980s’, Beth’s work has focused on the transition from school to community for students with educational disabilities including the importance of self-determination and self-advocacy skills for youth to ensure successful transitions. She has provided extensive training and technical assistance to individuals, LEAs, and other human service providers regarding the blending of transition and person centered planning; has facilitated several Personal Futures Planning teams; and has developed several products whose purposes are to provide awareness and informed choice making for students with disabilities. Beth’s current research interests are related to the post school outcomes of youth with disabilities and the malleable school factors which predict post school success. Beth holds a Ph.D. In Educational Psychology from the University of Kentucky

Jason Jones
Director of Communication/Media Relations
Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

Jason Jones is the Director of Community Relations for the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation in Frankfort. He was a four-sport athlete in high school before an accident involving the high-jump resulted in his becoming a quadriplegic. Jason has 10 years communications experience. He graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a degree in Mass Communications in 1998. He began his career as a journalist with assignments at the Lexington Herald Leader before becoming an editor of Somerset’s Commonwealth Journal in 2002. He served on the Statewide Council for Vocational Rehabilitation for four years and came to state government in 2001. He has served as communication director for OVR, the Kentucky Business Leadership Network and the Kentucky Assistive Technology Loan Corporation and was appointed by Governor Steve Beshear to his current post in June 08.

Norb Ryan
Kentucky ADA Coordinator

Education Cabinet

Norb is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, where he was Alumni of the Year from his college in 1993. At Cardinal Hill Hospital, he was employed has a Recreation Therapist and was Director of Therapeutic Recreation for four years. He then was employed as an administrator by the Child Development Centers of the Bluegrass. While there he served as Parent-Community Coordinator and Director of Extension Centers for the Danville and Richmond Centers.

In 1992 he accepted a position with the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky and served as an employment specialist and coordinated a number of Americans with Disabilities projects.

Since 2001, he has served as Kentucky's State ADA Coordinator. The Office of the State Americans with Disabilities Act provides technical assistance, consultations and training to government agencies and programs regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act. The technical assistance and training is in the areas of employment, programs, services and facilities. The Office also responds to inquiries by local governments, businesses and individuals throughout the Commonwealth.

Mike Smith, Ph.D
Assistant Dean, Administration and Evaluation
Director, Council on Aging
Executive Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UK
University of Kentucky College of Public Health

Michael D. Smith is Assistant Dean for Evaluation and Planning in the College of Public Health at UK. He is Director of the Council on Aging, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology. He holds adjunct faculty appointments in the Department of Health Services Management, the Graduate Center for Gerontology, and the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration. He serves on UK Chandler Medical Center’s ethics committee and chairs the Kentucky Mental Health and Aging Coalition.

Mike has been Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association, Lexington/Bluegrass Chapter, a hospital administrator, a Board member and leader in a variety of community organizations. He has an M.H.A. (Master of Health Administration) from Indiana University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from Loyola University of Chicago.

Liz Towles-Reeves, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Towles-Reeves (Liz), PhD, received her BA from Georgetown College with a double major in Art and Psychology and received her MS in Education from the University of Kentucky. In December of 2007, she completed her Doctorate in Educational Psychology. Liz was the Director of Alternate Assessment Research at the Human Development Institute, which is a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. Most of her time is spent conducting research investigating the technical adequacy, design, and administration of alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standards. In addition, she has conducted the evaluations for two federally funded General Supervision Enhancement Grants aimed at researching alternate assessments based on modified achievement standards. In the past, Liz has worked on other federally funded projects examining the performance of students with deaf-blindness in large-scale assessments and investigating the consequential validity of alternate assessments. She has authored and co-authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and has presented at national and regional conferences and workshops related to alternate assessments and students with significant cognitive disabilities.

Milton Tyree
Project Director
Supported Employment Training
Human Development Institute

University of Kentucky

Milt has over 25 years of experience in the design, development and provision of supports and services that promote participation of people with disabilities within valued aspects of everyday life. He lives in Louisville with his wife, Vicky, and daughter, Kaylyn. Milt provides supported employment training and consultation through the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky in addition to consulting about congregational hospitality for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Carolyn Wheeler
Project Director
Kentucky Person-Centered Planning Network
Human Development Institute

University of Kentucky

Carolyn B. Wheeler has a Master’s degree in Special Education and thirty years experience working with families and persons with disabilities. She was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Hart Supported Living Grant Program in Kentucky which provides self-directed funding for persons with disabilities and their families. Since 1999, she has worked as a Project Director with the Human Development Institute (HDI) at the University of Kentucky where she has developed a number of projects which incorporate person-centered planning processes and has trained numerous individuals in the Personal Futures Planning Process. Carolyn directed a project called Hope for Tomorrow which provided training in estate planning issues for persons with disabilities and their families. Through a contract with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation to IHDI at the University of Kentucky, she was also involved in facilitating a number of Project ASSET Business Development Planning teams for persons with significant disabilities to start their own businesses.

As of May 1, 2007, Carolyn has started her own business, called ProActive Futures, LLC, where she assists people with disabilities and their families for plan for the future. She is also a Special Care Planner with The MassMutual Financial Group.

Debbie Sharon
Acting Executive Director
Director of Education
AT Specialist

Bluegrass Technology Center

Debbie Sharon is the Director of Education, AT Specialist & Acting Executive Director of bluegrass Technology Center: A Resource Center for People with Disabilities. After the birth of her children, Debbie left the business world to explore and develop skills in the are of Assistive Technology to meet her family's needs. After twenty-four years of living and working with AT every day, she remains passionate and committed to helping others in their quest to seek out new solutions to life's challenges. As an Adult Mentor to the Greater Lexington Chapter of Kentucky Self-Advocates for Freedom, Debbie is acutely aware of the need for more supportive services. Debbie has presented at numerous local, state, regional, national, and international conferences and is recognized for her expertise in the are of funding Assistive Technology devices and services. She has volunteered extensively on numerous local, regional and state-level boards and committees and served in leadership positions, including the Kentucky Developmental Disabilities Council, ARC of Kentucky, Bluegrass Region 5 Medicaid Managed Care Regional Board of Directors, Kentucky Assistive Technology Services Network, Shriners' Hospital Parent Group, and Lexington Urban County Government's Special Needs Assessment Work Group.