Our History

Established in 1969, HDI is a unit of the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research at the University of Kentucky and part of a nationwide network of University Centers for Excellence. The Centers were established by federal legislation to promote team-based approaches to provide services for individuals with disabilities and their families.

HDI and its sister agencies, the Kentucky Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Kentucky Division of Protection and Advocacy form the state’s Developmental Disability Network. This network is funded through the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000, and is administered through the U.S. Administration on Developmental Disabilities, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Since its inception, the Institute has worked to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. Promoting independence, productivity, and inclusion throughout life for persons with disabilities and their families requires leadership and the courage to be creative innovators.

At HDI we develop strategies that will further the state-of-the-art, and we strive to be leaders within the University community, the state, and the nation as we work within our challenging and complex mission.