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Photo of State Senator Will Schroder, Ashley Meier Barlow, Parent Allison Ball, KY State Treasurer Amanda Stahl, Advocate

Spring Seminar: “ABLE Accounts and other Financial Planning Tools: The Importance of Developing a Financial Identity”

Published: February 21, 2017

Millions of persons with disabilities and their families are often relegated to a life of poverty as a result of not being allowed to build even the most modest levels of resources. Persons receiving supports through Social Security, Medicaid and other publicly-funded programs are often disqualified from those supports if they have more than $2,000 worth of countable resources or assets.  –Carolyn Wheeler

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Man with Down syndrome working.

2017 KentuckyWorks Transition Summit & Community Conversation

Published: February 17, 2017

KentuckyWorks will be hosting two Kentucky events for family members, youth, professionals, and employers to discuss strategies for successfully transitioning students from high school to employment. A community conversation will be held at the Morehead Conference Center in Morehead from 5:30-7:30pm on February 27. A statewide transition summit, featuring national transition expert Dr. Erik Carter of Vanderbilt, will be held at the Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort from 9am to 4pm on February 28. All who are interested in participating are welcome to attend.2017 KentuckyWorks Transition Summit & Community ConversationRead More…

Photo of Jessica Gregory in a ballerina pose. She has brown hair and glasses.

Research Assistant Spotlight: Jessica Gregory

Published: February 11, 2017

Article by: Bill Mazzoleni

Jessica Gregory is a PhD student at the University of Kentucky. She is in her second semester studying school Psychology. She is originally from Kansas City, Missouri; however, she has been living in San Antonio, Texas for the past 8 years. Jessica moved to Kentucky for the PhD program at UK.

Jessica is currently at HDI working on the Quality of Life survey with Laura Butler. She obtains data regarding individuals who transitioned from Personal Care Homes. Jessica is interested in working with individuals whom have developmental disabilities. She did not receive any training about the special needs population during her Master’s Degree. Working at HDI gives her the opportunity to further her education.

Jessica stated, “I am really excited to be able to advocate for individuals who may not be able to advocate for themselves.”  She also added,” the more she works, the more she sees that there’s an extreme need for it.”

Jessica’s favorite flavor of ice-cream is chocolate chip cookie dough. Her favorite book would have to be one of the many books from the Star Wars series.

Photo of Elaine Eisenbaum. She has brown hair and a friendly smile.

Dr. Elaine Eisenbaum Joins HDI as New Training Director

Published: February 7, 2017

HDI is pleased to welcome Dr. Elaine Eisenbaum as the training director at the Human Development Institute (HDI), Kentucky’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). As training director, Dr. Eisenbaum is responsible for overseeing the interdisciplinary graduate certificate program in Developmental Disabilities and is also working to roll out the undergraduate certificate program in Universal Design that will begin in fall of 2017.Dr. Elaine Eisenbaum Joins HDI as New Training DirectorRead More…

Photo of State Senator Will Schroder, Ashley Meier Barlow, Parent Allison Ball, KY State Treasurer Amanda Stahl, Advocate

Accessing the New Kentucky ABLE Accounts

Published: January 19, 2017

The STABLE Kentucky program has launched in Kentucky to make savings more accessible for everyone! This program allows qualified individuals with disabilities to save up to $14,000 a year in an ABLE account without jeopardizing their eligibility for federally-funded means tested benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. The funds in the account can be used for disability-related expenses that assist in increasing and/or maintaining health, independence or quality of life. For more information visit the New Kentucky ABLE AccountsRead More…

Spring Seminar: “Seeing STARS: Children with Special Needs in Early Care Settings”

Published: January 11, 2017

This seminar is designed to engage staff from early care settings across Kentucky in new ways to see the ‘STARS’ in our young children with special needs. The seminar will review appropriate ways to identify and include children with special needs in their early care settings. We will introduce practical resources for screening, assessment, and inclusion of children with disabilities, and offer strategies for implementation of each area.” – Dr. Caroline Gooden 

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AUCD 2016 Conference Report from HDI

Published: January 10, 2017

HDI staff recently attended the Association of University Centers on Disabilities 2016 Conference in December and also actively contributed to the conference through sessions, posters, and increased attendance by trainees.

Dr. Harold Kleinert contributed to a panel on inclusive education and participated in a poster about “Building Capacity and Vision Among Faith Communities, Seminaries, and Disability Organizations.” In addition, Dr. Kathy Sheppard-Jones, Dr. Allie Rhodes and Marylee Underwood shared a poster on “Using Statewide Needs Assessment AUCD 2016 Conference Report from HDIRead More…

Photo of Lisa Dunkley

Research Assistant Spotlight: Lisa Dunkley

Published: December 13, 2016

Article by Bill Mazzoleni. Photo by Kari Jones.

Lisa Dunkley was born in Kingston, Jamaica. She has a BSC in Psychology and a MA in Rehabilitation Counseling. She is pursuing the doctoral program in Rehabilitation Counseling in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation.

Her research interest is focusing on the offender population inclusive of juvenile offenders. She is currently working at HDI as a Research Assistant with Jill Griffiths on the College and Career Readiness Project. She is also pursuing the graduate certificate in Developmental Disabilities and the AUCD Trainee Liaison.

I’m interested in working at HDI because it offers me an excellent overview of intellectual and developmental disabilities across the lifespan. It has given me a great opportunity to learn more about working with the childhood and adolescent population as opposed to adults.

Ms. Dunkley’s long term goal is to become a Dean of an institute and employ what she has learned to create a more inclusive and accessible environment for individuals with disabilities in higher education.

Health Dyad Participants with Art

Research Brief Winter 2016

Published: December 1, 2016

Healthier Together! A Dyad Approach to Inclusive Health & Wellness Programming

For people with disabilities, maintaining health and wellness is essential to self-sufficiency, becoming or staying independent, actively participating in the community, and preventing the onset of secondary health conditions. This research brief highlights the pilot efforts of the Health Partners project that works to incorporate a dyad social structure with inclusive universal design for learning strategies for health and wellness programming geared towards individuals with intellectual disabilities and a partner of their choice.

by Lindsey Mullis, Megan Jaspersen, Tela Warren, Alice L. Rhodes, & Rachel Jacob

Download researchbrief_winter2016_digitalfinal

Fall Seminar: “Establishing Trust: Developing Community Engaged Networks that Reach Underserved Rural Populations”

Published: November 10, 2016

“Community based participatory research engages community members, including rural community members living with disability, throughout the research process. Central to community based participatory research is a focus on the community as well as developing collaborative networks. What is community based participatory research? How does this approach reach out to underserved rural communities? Please bring your questions and be ready to participate in the discussion.” — Patrick Kitzman

Join us in person or online for our Fall Seminar series on Friday, December 2, 2016 from 1:00 – 3:00p ET to learn more about “Establishing Trust: Developing Community Engaged Networks that Reach Underserved Rural Populations.” Learn more from experts Patrick Kitzman, PhD, MSPT,  and Beth Hunter, PhD, OTR/L. The seminar will be held at the Human Development Institute Training Room on the UK Coldstream Research Campus. 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

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