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University Center for
Excellence in Disabilities

Five STEPS students sitting on a wall.

Supported Training Experiences Post-Secondary (STEPS) Helps Students with Disabilities Thrive in College

Published: January 10, 2019

by Amanda Corbin

The Supported Training Experiences Post-Secondary (STEPS) case study project provides leadership skill-building opportunities for college freshmen with disabilities who participated in the HDI Summer Leadership Experience (SLE) camp. HDI’s Teresa Belluscio leads the project. Teresa is a disability advocate with over twenty years’ experience serving underrepresented groups.

Five students participated in STEPS. After attending SLE camp as high school seniors, they graduated and began their first semester of college in August 2018. These five students met together regularly with Ms. Belluscio to discuss leadership and self-advocacy. They also became official peer mentors for high schoolers at the 2018 SLE camp where they worked with campers throughout the week.Supported Training Experiences Post-Secondary (STEPS) Helps Students with Disabilities Thrive in CollegeRead More…

Image of ADA flyer with same information as on web page.

The 4th Thursday ADA Talks: January


HDI and HDI CATS host an ADA Training series to be held on the fourth Thursday of each month covering different topics surrounding the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The next training will be led by Jason Jones and will cover “Accessible Technology & the Workforce: AT as a Reasonable Accommodation” on January 24, 2019 from 10-11am. You can register here or get more information by emailing 4th Thursday ADA Talks: JanuaryRead More…

Man in a wheelchair looking up stair that are not accessible.

Spring Seminar: Universal Design for Learning—Designing Classrooms for All Learners


“Universal Design for Learning (UDL) suggests that it’s not the students who need to adapt to fit the system, but rather that the system should be designed so that it can be made to fit each student’s learning needs. UDL presents an evidence-based framework that teachers can use to meet the needs of the variety of learners in their classroom.” – Jennifer Pusateri

Join us in person or online for our Spring Seminar series on Friday, February 22, 2019 from 1:00 – 3:00pm ET to learn more about “Universal Design for Learning: Designing Classrooms for All Learners.”

Learn more from experts Jennifer Pusateri, David Beach, Allison Posey, and Jennifer Levine. 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 Seminar: Universal Design for Learning—Designing Classrooms for All LearnersRead More…

People sitting around a table at the community conversation.

KentuckyWorks holds Community Conversation in Louisville

Published: January 8, 2019

by Amanda Kelley Corbin

Self-advocates, families, and professionals gathered for a community conversation to discuss employment opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities on Monday, December 4th at Down Syndrome of Louisville. The event was facilitated by KentuckyWorks and had three co-sponsors—Down Syndrome of Louisville, the Kentucky Autism Training Center, and the Center for Accessible Living—the most co-sponsorship of any community conversation thus far.KentuckyWorks holds Community Conversation in LouisvilleRead More…

874KRally Photo

“874K Coalition Advocacy Day Preparation” Lunch & Learn on January 15

Published: December 21, 2018

Join us for a Lunch & Learn titled, “874K Coalition Advocacy Day Preparation”

Date & Time: January 15 from 12:00 to 1:00pm EST

Place: UK Coldstream Research Campus in the Human Development Institute Training Room.

You may view online or attend in person. You can register here: Registration

Please feel free to share the flyer with anyone who might be interested.

Flyer image with diverse photos of students and same content as in article.

HDI Student Planning Still We Rise Banquet to Honor Resiliency of Fellow UK Students

Published: November 20, 2018

Last year, as part of their studies in the Human Development Institute’s (HDI) Universal Design Certificate Program, two undergraduate students, Lauren Brown and Kennedy Guess, wrote and received an Inclusive Excellence Student Program Grant for $9,975. The Inclusive Excellence funds were awarded to the HDI in September to host a Still We Rise banquet that will recognize the strengths and resilience of students who have overcome extreme circumstances. Along with the Human Development Institute, partners on the Still We Rise banquet include the UK Disability Resource Center, Student Support Services, and the Martin Luther King Center.

Nominations are now open for the Still We Rise 2019 award. To nominate a student, submit a brief personal statement from the student, student resume, and a letter of support from UK faculty/staff or from a fellow student. Deadline to nominate is December 15, 2018. All materials can be submitted electronically to Kennedy Guess: kkguess@mac.comHDI Student Planning Still We Rise Banquet to Honor Resiliency of Fellow UK StudentsRead More…

Jason Jones and Christina Espinosa Bard Presenting at the City Council Meeting

Lexington ADA Taskforce Leads the Way on State Residential Code Changes Toward Universal Design!

Published: November 1, 2018

Two residential building code changes written by a subcommittee of Lexington’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Task Force have now been adopted as part of the 2018 Kentucky Residential Code (KRC). With support from leaders in Lexington and the leadership of the ADA Task Force, these two KRC codes went into effect August 22, 2018 for the benefit of all Kentuckians!Lexington ADA Taskforce Leads the Way on State Residential Code Changes Toward Universal Design!Read More…

Darrell Mattingly at the dojo using a weapon.

Cerebral Palsy’s No Match for this Kenpo Karate Warrior

Published: October 15, 2018

Personal Life:

I was born and raised in rural Marion County, Kentucky. After high school, I attended the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY where I received two Bachelor’s Degrees in Computer Science and Mathematical Science with a minor in Statistics. I’m currently a web designer and developer for The Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky. I also  serve on many non-profit boards which assist the disabled community, including the Adaptive Martial Arts Association.

I was born with Cerebral Palsy and use a walker and motorized wheelchair to get around. After years of renting, I purchased a home in 2013 and enjoy personalizing it. I also enjoy pursuing my passion of martial arts and currently hold the rank of Nidan (2nd Degree Black Belt) in traditional Kenpo Karate.Cerebral Palsy’s No Match for this Kenpo Karate WarriorRead More…

Emma Keyser and Brooke Wray

HDI Speakers Featured at Post-Secondary Education Workshop in Louisville


On Thursday, October 11,  HDI’s Teresa Belluscio and her two STEPS students, Emma Keyser and Brooke Wray, co-presented at a “Build Your Future” workshop at the McDowell Center in Louisville. The McDowell Center holds the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) and Kentucky Office for the Blind (OFB) Offices. The workshop was sponsored by the Center for Independent Living.

The speakers shared tips on choosing a college, how the disability resource center on campus can help, and being successful in college. They also discussed options for students with intellectual disabilities, and Emma and Brooke participated on the panel of current college students.HDI Speakers Featured at Post-Secondary Education Workshop in LouisvilleRead More…

Young woman with a disability working at a computer.

KentuckyWorks Louisville Employment Community Conversation

Published: October 12, 2018

Come join us on Monday, December 3 from 6:30-8:30pm at Down Syndrome of Louisville’s Sublett Hall to engage in conversations about setting employment priorities for people with disabilities throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky! Organizing partners of the event include Down Syndrome of Louisville, Center for Accessible Living, and the University of Louisville Kentucky Autism Training Center.

This event is open to all youth with disabilities, their families, educators and employment professionals, and the location is Down Syndrome Louisville Sublett Hall at 5001 S. Hurstbourne Pkwy., Louisville, KY 40291. Registration is free, and DSL is generously providing refreshments.

To register and reserve a spot, click here. Download the flyer here.KentuckyWorks Louisville Employment Community ConversationRead More…