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Human Development Institute

University Center for
Excellence in Disabilities

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. 

How long have you been involved with HDI and in what role? 

Though I officially worked at HDI for three years, I have remained involved with HDI projects since 1993. 

During your involvement with HDI, of which accomplishments are you most proud?
I am most proud of traveling across the Commonwealth, educating colleges, universities, and businesses about the Americans with Disabilities Act.  

Looking back, can you please share with us a fun or fond moment you had with HDI? 

I have fond memories of traveling between Lexington and Bowling Green with Dr. Garrett and Mr. Ryan. The trips were times of idea generation and advocacy talks and much enjoyment talking about the best and worst of the disability movement! 

Do you have any advice you would like to share with current and future staff and students at HDI? 

My advice to current and future staff and students at HDI is to enjoy the time. Work hard, play often, and surround yourself with people and projects that matter. Find a project that you love so much, you would work on it for free. If you find you are able to be paid for what you love, then you have a career.  

What do you think the future holds for HDI? 

In the future I think HDI will be moving toward the next disability movement—full inclusion, full employment, and full participation without regard to disability.