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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…



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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…



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Remote Staff Spotlight: Stephanie Meredith

Published: July 11, 2017

By Bill Mazzoleni

Stephanie Meredith is HDI’s Information Services Director. She has worked at HDI for five years. What brought her to HDI is her and Harold Kleinert’s work on resources about Down syndrome for new and expectant parents. They met in 2007 at a conference about setting the research agenda for Down syndrome at the CDC, and he started reviewing material that Meredith created about Down syndrome. He was also working on the Brighter Tomorrow’s website. In 2012, they decided to come together and put their projects as one National Center for Prenatal and Postnatal Resources at HDI. Stephanie also works on the KentuckyWorks Grant employment project. This focuses on youth with significant intellectual disabilities transitioning from high school to work or post-secondary education.Remote Staff Spotlight: Stephanie MeredithRead More…



Lisa Dunkley accepting the award from the Burberrys.

Lisa Dunkley Named Winner of the 2017 Paul Kevin Burberry Award

Published: June 28, 2017

On June 16, Lisa Dunkley was named by the University of Kentucky’s Human Development Institute (HDI) as the winner of the prestigious 2017 Paul Kevin Burberry Award.

Lisa recently completed the Graduate Certificate in Developmental Disabilities program at the Human Development Institute (HDI) and is a doctoral student in Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Kentucky. She currently has a Research Assistantship at HDI and has demonstrated a strong commitment to people with disabilities through an innovative HDI leadership project called Project Teach One Reach All (TORA), with the aim to promote disability awareness and inclusion of students living in residence halls on the UK campus.Lisa Dunkley Named Winner of the 2017 Paul Kevin Burberry AwardRead More…



Boys on bikes including boy with Down syndrome.

Updated “Understanding a Down Syndrome Diagnosis” book Available Now

Published: June 22, 2017

The nationally recommended book for new and expectant parents learning about Down syndrome, Understanding a Down Syndrome Diagnosis, from the Lettercase National Center for Prenatal and Postnatal Resources at the University of Kentucky’s Human Development Institute, has been recently updated with unprecedented collaboration from leading experts across the nation to improve the diagnosis experience for families. Updated “Understanding a Down Syndrome Diagnosis” book Available NowRead More…