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About HDI

The Human Development Institute is Kentucky’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service. We work on improving lifelong opportunities and services for individuals with disabilities, their families, and the community.

The Institute provides a strong foundation for more than 40 research, training, and service projects, addressing a wide range of topics and issues in areas such as early childhood, education, and alternate assessment, transition across the lifespan, employment, community living, and personnel preparation.

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 Commonwealth 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 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Administration on Community LivingU.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Since its inception, the Institute has worked to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. At HDI we develop strategies that promote independence, productivity, and inclusion throughout life for persons with disabilities, and we strive to be leaders within the University community, the state, and the nation as we work within our challenging and complex mission.