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Human Development Institute

University Center for
Excellence in Disabilities

Don Lollar photo

50th Anniversary Spotlight on Don Lollar

Published: September 20, 2019

Only being a newcomer I see HDI as a wonderful partner on behalf of people with disabilities across Kentucky and across the life span

—Don Lollar, interim Director of Research

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HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Milton Tyree

Published: September 10, 2019

For me, HDI has been a place to explore, learn and grow – professionally and personally.

—Milton Tyree, HDI Supported Employment Training Project (SETP)

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4th Thursday ADA Talks: September

Published: September 5, 2019

HDI and HDI CATS host an ADA Training series held on the fourth Thursday of each month covering different topics surrounding the Americans with Disabilities Act featuring Jason Jones as the lead speaker.

In September, the talk will focus on “Religious Institutions and the ADA.” Join us on September 26 from 10-11am online or at HDI CATS on 2358 Nicholasville Rd. Suite 180, Lexington, KY.

September Registration: Thursday ADA Talks: SeptemberRead More…

Walt Bower looking at camera with blue shirt

HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Walt Bower

Published: September 3, 2019

I feel incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of HDI. It’s an honor to work in partnership with self-advocates, families, students and professionals to change the world for people with disabilities and their families. The work being done at HDI is amazing!

—Walt Bower, PhD, HDI Preservice Training Coordinator

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Darrell Mattingly photo

HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on F. Darrell Mattingly, Jr.

Published: August 28, 2019

HDI means “family.” We have common goals and values moving toward an ever changing but bright conclusion that we will never reach. Work goals, research, best practices flow like the tide; they come and go, but our values remain. As long as we stay true to our values and principles, HDI will remain a guiding star for the Commonwealth for many more years.

—F. Darrell Mattingly, Jr., HDI Web Developer

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Athletic man in a wheelchair lifting weights.

Wellness Edge Subawardees Announced for Year 2!

Published: August 26, 2019

In 2018, the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute (HDI) received a three-year grant totaling $600,000 from the Administration on Community Living. The project, Wellness Edge, is a Paralysis Resource Center State Pilot program grant. This grant builds connections within local communities to enhance and facilitate access to recreational programs to better serve people with paralysis and their support networks.

Each year, Wellness Edge provides grants of up to $10,000-$24,999 to community organizations that provide organized recreational activities that are intentionally designed to benefit individuals, groups or communities. Wellness Edge is led by a ten-person advisory committee made up of advocates who understand the importance of recreation in the overall quality of life for people with paralysis. Smaller review teams from that group grade the applications and decide on awards. Read more below about each of our subawardees for Year 2 and their proposed programs!Wellness Edge Subawardees Announced for Year 2!Read More…

Katie Wolf Whaley Photo

HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Katie Wolf Whaley

Published: August 21, 2019

HDI is a place where people are given the opportunity to learn new ideas, study new research and implement new ways of understanding and supporting people with disabilities to live their best life. It is a place for families, the University community and all Kentuckians to better understand the complex issues in society around people with disabilities that do not get near the attention they deserve. It is a place that makes connections and shows possibilities.

—Katie Wolf Whaley, Project Director of the Supported Employment Training Project

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Man with disabilities painting a sculpture.

Fall Seminar: Disability and the Arts in Health and Wellness

Published: August 19, 2019

“A celebratory resistance, highlighting the parts of us that society typically shuns, Rebirth Garments challenges mainstream beauty standards through centering queer and disabled people of all sizes, ethnicities and ages.” —Sky Cubacub

The first session of our Fall Seminar series will be held on Friday, September 20, 2019 from 1:00 – 3:00pm EST about “Disability and the Arts in Health and Wellness.”

We will learn more from artists: Sky Cubacub, Elizabeth Daniel, and Reggie Weaver, and moderator, Jason Akhtarekhavari, Arts in HealthCare Manager, UK HealthCare. 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.

Registration: Visit HDI Seminar Registration to register. For help registering, contact walt.bower@uky.eduFall Seminar: Disability and the Arts in Health and WellnessRead More…

Bev Harp

HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Bev Harp

Published: August 15, 2019

There are many things I value about HDI, but two stand out to me as most important. The first is the way students are supported, nurtured, and respected as partners in our work. Research Assistants work on grant proposals, travel to present at conferences, and enjoy opportunities to contribute to the literature in our field. Practicum students have developed learning and evaluation tools that continue to benefit us long after they have moved on. The ways students are valued and embraced by the institute says a lot about our cultural character. Another vitally important aspect is our interdisciplinary focus, which provides access to a wide array of viewpoints, theories, and methods to use in our work. Having multiple ways to think about problems allows us to develop solutions that are truly innovative, and to continue growing our own understandings of disability in society.

—Bev Harp, Principal Investigator on Innovative Supports for Autistic Workers

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Child reading a book with teacher.

Latest Fund for Excellence Awards: August 2019


The Human Development Institute (HDI) established the Fund for Excellence for the development of innovative programs, services or products to address the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, for which funding is not currently available. In the July, 2019 funding cycle, HDI awarded three Fund for Excellence projects:

  • Universally Designed Health Coaching Pilot with Danielle Augustin, Lindsey Mullis, and Morgan Turner
  • You Can Do So Many Things project with Caroline Gooden, Kathy Sheppard-Jones, and Brittany Granville
  • Disability in Public Health Training with Tony Lobianco and Donald Lollar

Latest Fund for Excellence Awards: August 2019Read More…