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KentuckyWorks Website and Learning Modules Empower Youth with Disabilities to Reach Their Potential!

Published: November 28, 2017

HDI has recently launched a new website and learning modules for teachers, people with disabilities, employers, families, and employment professionals at kentuckyworks.org. The purpose of this website is to help navigate the transition process and find the most valuable transition resources in Kentucky and nationwide to make sure youth with disabilities can get jobs and higher education after they finish school.KentuckyWorks Website and Learning Modules Empower Youth with Disabilities to Reach Their Potential!Read More…



Photo of Kentucky state capitol.

Fall Seminar: Medicaid Waivers 101

Published: November 3, 2017

“What are the Medicaid waiver programs available to assist persons with developmental disabilities in Kentucky? What services does the Medicaid waivers program offer in Kentucky? How do I apply for Kentucky’s Medicaid waivers program? Join us for the Medicaid Waivers 101 HDI seminar to receive answers to these questions!” – Lori Gresham

Fall Seminar: Medicaid Waivers 101Read More…



Film Description

HDI Free Documentary Film Screening of “Bottom Dollars”

Published: October 23, 2017

A free screening of the Bottom Dollars film, an original documentary by Rooted in Rights about the work exploitation of nearly 250,000 people with disabilities, will be held on October 25 from 6-8pm in the Lyric Theater Community Room in Lexington. This free public event is being presented by the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute, the Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities, and Kentucky Protection & Advocacy (P&A).

Following the screening, there will be a panel presentation featuring HDI’s employment expert, Milton Tyree, as well as the Bottom Dollars filmmaker who will be flying in from Washington State.HDI Free Documentary Film Screening of “Bottom Dollars”Read More…



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Fall Seminar: Path to Employment for Veterans With and Without Disabilities

Published: October 11, 2017

“Today’s military has almost all the occupations found in the business community. With businesses struggling to find qualified employees, veterans with and without disabilities can help fill the gap by bringing not only the skills but experience as well. The key is to match the right veteran with the right employer for the mutual benefit of both.” David Kuhn, Veterans Program Coordinator

Join us in person or online for our Fall Seminar series on Friday, October 20, 2017 from 1 – 3pm ET to learn more about the “Path to Employment for Veterans With and Without Disabilities.” Learn more from experts David Kuhn (Veterans Program Coordinator, Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, Frankfort, Kentucky) and Keith Hosey (Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist with the Louisville VA Medical Complex/Therapeutic and Supported Employment Services). The seminar will be 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 will be sent to registrants.

Click here to register for the seminar. For help registering, contact walt.bower@uky.edu.Fall Seminar: Path to Employment for Veterans With and Without DisabilitiesRead More…



HDI Seeking Rehabilitation Technologist Senior

Published: October 3, 2017

Human Development Institutes (HDI) Center for Assistive Technology Services (CATS) is seeking a Rehabilitation Technologist Senior to fulfill the needs of the Driver Rehabilitation Contract for the Central Kentucky Region, and to provide rehabilitation technology assessments, training, demonstration, fabrication, and refurbishment of technology for HDI CATS.HDI Seeking Rehabilitation Technologist SeniorRead More…



Two men with Down syndrome in a meeting.

Research Brief Fall 2017: A Statewide Community Conversation about Post-School Employment for Kentucky Youth with the Most Significant Disabilities

Published: September 19, 2017

by Chithra Adams, Harold Kleinert, Kathy Sheppard-Jones, Amanda Corbin & Malachy Bishop

Young adults with disabilities face multiple challenges in obtaining successful post-school employment outcomes. This situation has remained relatively unchanged despite nearly 25 years of federal attention to the issue, including mandated transition services and a series of additional significant legislative responses. Recent research by Carter, Austin, and Trainor (2012) highlighted the severity of the situation, showing that “just 26% of recent graduates with severe disabilities were working for pay in their community up to 2 years after leaving high school” and 43% of those who were employed “held jobs in which most other workers had disabilities” (Carter et al., 2016, p. 398).

KentuckyWorks is a five-year systems change grant project designed to directly impact post-school outcomes for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Kentucky. KentuckyWorks is a collaborative, multi-partner project that aims to impact youth outcomes within each of the state’s 174 school districts, and the target population is defined as all KY transition-age students with the most significant disabilities. The goal is to increase positive post-school outcomes (integrated employment, participation in post-secondary education, or both) for students with the most significant disabilities in the state by 20 percentage points over the five years of this grant.

Read the Research Brief.



Mother helping daughter with disabilities navigate iPad.

Fall Seminar: Disability Law and Policy: Emerging Trends and Future Practice

Published: September 12, 2017

“To imagine the world without disability law and policy is to envision continued segregation, where separation on the basis of human difference alone is accepted. The modern disability rights movement seeks to ensure that society is inclusive of all.” Peter Blanck, University Professor at Syracuse University

Join us in person or online for our Fall Seminar series on Friday, September 22, 2017 from 1 – 3pm ET to learn more about “Disability Law and Policy: Emerging Trends and Future Practice.” Learn more from expert Peter Blanck, Ph.D., J.D. The seminar will be held at the Gatton Business and Economics Building, Room 311 550 South Limestone, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY. A link to the live video stream of the seminar will be sent to registrants.

Click here to register for the seminar. For help registering, contact walt.bower@uky.edu.Fall Seminar: Disability Law and Policy: Emerging Trends and Future PracticeRead More…



Photo of Rongxiu

Research Assistant Spotlight: Rongxiu Wu

Published: September 11, 2017

by Bill Mazzoleni

Rongxiu Wu is from Anhui Province, China. Two years ago, she chose to study at UK as a doctoral student. She formerly studied at Shanghai University in China and her major was Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics. She currently studies Quantitative and Psychometric Methods in the College of Education at the University of Kentucky.

Working at HDI, Rongxiu assists Christina Espinosa with an online course as her teaching assistant. She does some revising, transcribing and captioning. She also helps Megan Jasperson with HDI’s Health and Wellness Program by doing some data analysis for it. She enjoys working in such an inclusive environment. She wants to apply what she learns from data analysis to the research of disability areas.

She enjoys doing yoga when she has the time. She also enjoys drinking Green Tea Frappuccino at Starbucks. She has traveled around the U.S. and the world. She has half of a year exchange experience at University College Cork in Ireland as a graduate student from China.  It was the first time she got to know other people with disabilities, and she saw a big difference in how people with disabilities are treated.



Student receiving certificate from camp.

HDI Hosts Summer Leadership Camp For High School Students with Disabilities

Published: July 26, 2017

Last week, HDI hosted a Summer Leadership Experience Camp for high school students with disabilities. The camp, designed to prepare students for a successful transition to college, included presentations and activities to promote self-advocacy, self-determination, and leadership skills needed to succeed in college.HDI Hosts Summer Leadership Camp For High School Students with DisabilitiesRead More…



Man with Down syndrome working.

Bottom Dollars, a Rooted in Rights original documentary, screening on July 27

Published: July 20, 2017

The UK Human Development Institute invites you to a FREE screening of the film Bottom Dollars, a Rooted in Rights original documentary. This FREE and open to the public event will occur at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset, Kentucky and is presented by the UK-Human Development Institute, the Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities, and Kentucky Protection & Advocacy (P&A).

This film exposes the exploitation of nearly 250,000 people with disabilities in the U.S. that are legally being paid less than the minimum wage. The documentary calls for the phase-out of the unfair practices of sub-minimum wages and sheltered workshops, and offers solutions for fair wages and inclusive employment.Bottom Dollars, a Rooted in Rights original documentary, screening on July 27Read More…