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Human Development Institute

University Center for
Excellence in Disabilities

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HDI Reaches Notable Milestone with 100 Online Courses!

Published: May 20, 2019

HDI has reached a notable milestone of 100 online courses, including 4 in development! HDI launched online learning initiative for early childhood in 2004 with the 6-hour ECOOL training for early childhood and education providers. HDI’s early education online courses began to grow rapidly in 2012 to include online courses about ways to provide safe and inclusive environments for all children. By 2014, online learning started to be utilized for health issues and for K12 education in 2015. Now, the courses cover an array of topics, including early childhood education (31), K12 Special Education (24), training for early care and education trainers (22), medical training (11), transition education (7), training for children’s libraries (3), health education initiatives (1), and departmental education (1). Check out all the courses in our Online Learning Center!

The HDI Learning Center has grown as our staff have seen the potential for reaching a wider audience. Our online courses use innovative and non-traditional assessment of learner knowledge, using active learning principles. In addition, we strive to provide the most accessible training, using universal design principles and ensuring content can be accessed across multiple devices and browsers. —Patti Singleton, Professional Learning CoordinatorHDI Reaches Notable Milestone with 100 Online Courses!Read More…



Smiling Woman with short gray hair and glasses

HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Beth Harrison

Published: May 18, 2019

HDI was my work family for 28 years. It means a lot to me. I am proud to tell people that I work/worked with HDI. HDI means innovation; cutting edge; an umbrella of excellence for all aspects of disability; a “think outside the box” group of people working for the greater common good. —Beth Harrison, Retired Principal Investigator for SHEP and other transition projects

How did you come to know HDI? 

I was lucky to get a proposal funded that the Kentucky Department of Education wanted to partner with HDI on.

How long were you with HDI and what was your role? 

A long time! From 1990 through 2019, I’ve held various roles at HDI with the main focus being on transition of youth from school to community.
HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Beth HarrisonRead More…



Teresa Belluscio, Nicholas Breiner, and Candy Rollins

Anderson County High School students awarded trips to HDI Summer Leadership Camp

Published: May 8, 2019

Two Anderson County High School students have been awarded trips to the HDI Summer Leadership Camp at the University of Kentucky. The Central Kentucky Educational Cooperative (CKEC) recently received an HDI grant for (RITT’s) Regional Transition Teams to develop trainings or avenues for students with disabilities to transition beyond high school. CKEC Transition Specialists Tara Wells and Candy Rollins (pictured on the right) set up a student contest which awarded students a summer camp to Sullican or the HDI Summer Leadership Camp. Seen here are Candy and Teresa Belluscio, Camp Director (pictured on the left) awarding the two students with the certificate of participation for the summer camp and a UK camp tee-shirt!Anderson County High School students awarded trips to HDI Summer Leadership CampRead More…



Laura Lamminen, smiling woman with mid-length brown hair

HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Laura Lamminen

Published: May 3, 2019

HDI is a very special place. I feel so fortunate to have worked in such a healthy environment of professionals. —Laura Lamminen, Former HDI Graduate Certificate Student and Research Assistant

How did you come to know HDI? 

As a student at UK, I learned about the center from Dr. Kleinert, who taught one of my classes in Special Education. 

How long were you with HDI and what was your role? 

I was with HDI for three years; first as a research assistant for the Mid-South Regional Resource Center, and in my last year, I served on the TNSIG grant working under Jocelyn Cooledge. HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Laura LamminenRead More…



Tony Lobianco pictured, white man with salt and pepper hair, short beard, and he uses a wheelchair

HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Tony Lobianco

Published: April 25, 2019

My advice for current and future staff and students at HDI is that there are many ways to address issues that we come across in our work, and the diverse ways of considering approaches that our staff have is one of HDI’s most valuable resources. — Tony Lobianco, Principal Investigator/Project Director of the Kentucky Post School Outcomes Center

How did you come to know HDI? 
I heard about HDI when Claudia Earnharth told me about a research assistant position.

How long were you with HDI and what was your role? 
I’ve been at HDI almost 17 years, first as an RA, then a STEPS employee, then full-time member of Evaluation Unit, and now Project Director with KyPSO.
HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Tony LobiancoRead More…



Elizabeth Biggs, with light brown hair and a dress, holding the Claw Award

Elizabeth Biggs receives the Maurice A. Clay Award as outstanding graduate senior in the College of Social Work.

Published: April 18, 2019

Elizabeth Biggs, who works as an HDI practicum student under the supervision of Bev Harp, received the Maurice A. Clay Award which recognized her as the outstanding graduate senior of the College of Social Work.

Below is a description of the award:

“The University of Kentucky Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, established the Maurice A. Clay Awards over twenty-five years ago to recognize the outstanding graduating senior in each academic college at UK, as selected by the Dean or the Dean’s representative.  The basic criterion is exceptional leadership, and service to the student’s college while maintaining a strong academic record.

ODK recognizes superior scholarship, leadership and exemplary character.  The Clay Awards are one way in which our national Leadership Society can bestow on graduating seniors a ‘Mark of High Distinction’.”Elizabeth Biggs receives the Maurice A. Clay Award as outstanding graduate senior in the College of Social Work.Read More…



Little girl with Down syndrome and boy playing at preschool with text that read One Day for UK Human Development Institute.

One Day for UK

Published: April 15, 2019

One day. One gift. One enormous impact.

I’m overwhelmed by the generosity of our staff, students and community support. It’s just one more reason that HDI is such an amazing place. Thank you for your efforts to build inclusive communities every day. We are UK. —Kathy Sheppard-Jones, HDI Executive Director

On April 17, the University of Kentucky rallied its alumni, friends and fans to support One Day for UK, a 24- hour day of giving where donors supported the college, unit or cause of their choice. Thanks to your generous support, HDI crushed our original goal and raised $3,616 in one day to make sure people with disabilities have access to adaptive equipment at HDI CATS! We even won 3rd place on the small unit leaderboard to receive an extra $500! We absolutely could not have done it without you and appreciate you all so much and that you care about this important work.

One Day for UKRead More…



Kathy Sheppard-Jones, Clyde and Susan Burberry, and Katie Terrell

HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Clyde David and Susan Burberry 

Published: April 12, 2019

To us, HDI means hope. When all is dark, HDI is a bright light leading, teaching, and training those who find that their purpose is to work with those who are unable to fit into the mainstream. Every year as we attend the annual meeting, we are greeted by familiar and new faces, all who are dedicated to a purpose much larger than themselves. —Clyde David and Susan Burberry

HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Clyde David and Susan Burberry Read More…



Photo of Marlene Huff, a white woman with white hair and glasses smiling and wearing black and white

HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Marlene B Huff 

Published: April 10, 2019

HDI is only a few buildings from the outside. From the inside, it is filled with experts in the disability movement. It is envied by other states and sometimes taken for granted by Kentuckians. Each individual represents a unique compilation of people whose heartfelt work is as diverse as persons with disabilities themselves. Love the work! Here’s to the next 50 years! —Marlene B Huff, Former Associate Director of the KEI

How did you come to know HDI? 

In 1993, Dr. Brent Garrett and I discussed my joining a 3-year demonstration project titled The Kentucky Employment Initiative (KEI). In 1994, I began work at HDI as an Associate Director of the KEI. Such an exciting time. Dr. Garrett, Norb Ryan, and I traveled the state educating public and private entities about a ‘new’ law called The American with Disabilities Act. HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Marlene B Huff Read More…



Woman in a pool with a service dog on the edge

Spring Seminar: Service Animals and the Americans with Disabilities Act

Published: April 9, 2019

“Each day in the United States service dogs provide an invaluable service for their handlers.  Whether it is assisting someone who is blind to navigate busy streets, or alerting a handler with diabetes that their blood sugar has dipped dangerously low, service animals are essential partners in everyday life. There remains a great deal of confusion on the part of the public as to what is and is not a service animal as well as the rights and responsibilities handlers and business have under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws. This seminar will answer those questions.” – Barry Whaley

The last session of our Spring Seminar series was held on Friday, April 19, 2019 from 1:00 – 3:00pm EST about “Service Animals and the Americans with Disabilities Act .”

We learned more from experts Steve Kuusisto, Barry Whaley, and Jason Jones. The seminar was held at the UK Coldstream Research Campus Human Development Institute Training Room 1525 Bull Lea Road, Lexington KY. A link to the live video stream of the seminar was sent to registrants.

For more information, contact walt.bower@uky.edu.Spring Seminar: Service Animals and the Americans with Disabilities ActRead More…