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Human Development Institute

University Center for
Excellence in Disabilities

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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Maria E. Delgado

Published: November 20, 2019

“Don’t ever stop trying to make a difference.”

Maria E. Delgado – Accessibility Consultant and Consumer Advisory Council Member

How did you come to know HDI?
Several years ago, I was invited by Dr. Harold Kleinert to do a web accessibility presentation for HDI. After the presentation, I was approached to help review the HDI website for accessibility, as well as to translate many of the available materials into Spanish. Through my work with HDI, I have gained a wealth of knowledge and respect for its mission, so I was honored to receive an invitation to become part of the Consumer Advisory Council.

How long have you been at HDI and what is your role?
I have been involved with HDI since 2014 as an accessibility consultant, a Spanish translator, and a member of the CAC.

During your time at HDI, of which accomplishments are you most proud?
Assisting HDI in making materials and information available to underserved populations.

Looking back, can you please share with us a fun or fond moment you had at HDI?
Every interaction with HDI is meaningful. We share a common goal that truly matters to real people.

What do you think the future holds for HDI?
I believe HDI is paving the way to a more inclusive society, and I already see change compared to previous years. I see a lot of good work for us in the future.



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HDI participates in the 2019 AUCD Conference

Published: November 19, 2019

The UK Human Development Institute is well represented at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Conference 2019, “Leading Change Together”. This year’s theme reflects the work being done across the AUCD network on research, policy, practice, and advocacy that impacts the broad spectrum of disability. With more than 1,000 attendees from across the US and Territories, this event attracts a diverse national audience of leaders from multiple disciplines, researchers, scientists, advocates, and policy experts. The AUCD Conference serves as a place to exchange ideas and celebrate accomplishments.

Learn more about the AUCD Conference and future dates and themes at www.aucd.org/conference/.

HDI participates in the 2019 AUCD ConferenceRead More…



5 people standing in a training room

Human Development Institute expands capacity with StoryCorps Facilitation Training

Published: November 14, 2019

Staff representing the UK Human Development Institute (HDI) recently completed training to expand their capacity to capture and deliver digital stories. Staff from HDI along with partners at Utah State University participated in a six-hour D.I.Y. facilitator training with StoryCorps. Through this training, staff gained an understanding of the facilitation method, interview best practices, and an understanding of the archival process. The model will be replicated in the story collection efforts of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities National Training Center. This center is an HDI project and partnership between the University of Kentucky, Utah State University, and the University of Alaska – Anchorage.

HDI has a long history of sharing the lived experiences of people with disabilities. The information gained in the training will be used across HDI projects. Using the StoryCorps facilitation model, project staff formalize these efforts to collect, archive, and centralize stories for use by staff, partners, and the public. A unique angle of this the digital story collection efforts at HDI is the use of self-advocates to conduct interviews. Patti Singleton, Professional Learning Coordinator, explains that HDI is currently exploring and refining this process, which will allow for collaboration with partners, and other UK colleges and departments.

Human Development Institute expands capacity with StoryCorps Facilitation TrainingRead More…



Woman and young man standing in front of wall decorated with circles

50th Anniversary Spotlight on Maria Kemplin

Published: November 13, 2019

Individuals with disabilities are the experts. Constantly examining the way we do things and broadening our perspective is how we innovate, integrate, and improve our world.

Maria Kemplin, Project Director

How did you come to know HDI?
My son, who is an autistic self-advocate, spoke at an HDI conference several years ago and we got to know the people and the important work they do.

How long have you been at HDI and what is your role?
Two years ago, we began serving on HDI efforts as a volunteer. We participated in several autistic self-advocacy conferences that were life-changing. Looking to the future, my son and I began serving on the KentuckyWorks Postsecondary Committee. This year, I accepted a position at HDI as the project director of the Transportation Initiative, an effort funded though a grant from the Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities.

During your time at HDI, of which accomplishments are you most proud?
We are creating a Transportation Initiative web page to serve as a resource for individuals with disabilities to connect with transportation options across Kentucky. I am also very proud of everything that my son does as a advocate to ensure that autistic individuals are represented in decision making.

Looking back, can you please share with us a fun or fond moment you had at HDI?
Dancing with my son at the HDI 50th Anniversary Gala!

What do you think the future holds for HDI?
Under Dr. Sheppard-Jones’s leadership, HDI is developing so many of our young people to lead empowered, self-directed lives. They are our future.



Young man standing in front of a tree with hands clasped

50th Anniversary Spotlight on Adam Potter

Published: November 10, 2019

HDI is less about the organization itself, and more about the people we serve. HDI means accessibility, inclusion, acceptance, understanding, ingenuity, communication, and technology – all combined in perfect unity. 

Adam Potter – Digital Media Specialist

How did you come to know HDI?
I learned about HDI while searching for a job after college. I applied and worked as a STEPS Digital Media Assistant to Patti Singleton and the Digital Learning and Media Team.

How long have you been at HDI and what is your role?
I’ve been here for three years as a Digital Media Specialist and Video Project Coordinator.

During your time at HDI, of which accomplishments are you most proud?
The Digital Learning and Media Initiatives team has accomplished a lot over the last three years. We’ve created videos, podcasts, online trainings, modules, websites, and so much more. In approximately 1,000 days, I have been able to impact a portion of many projects, and I’ve met so many incredible, hard-working people along the way.

Looking back, can you please share with us a fun or fond moment you had at HDI?
The 50th Anniversary Gala was awesome, and it reminded me of another fun moment we have about once a quarter. The office at Coldstream loves throwing cookouts, and Dave Flechler makes a mean brisket.

Do you have any advice you would like to share with current and future staff and students at HDI?
Never be afraid to ask others for help – everyone in our work community is so supportive, and it’s such a blessing to have a job in which every employee is appreciated for what they can contribute to the whole.

What do you think the future holds for HDI?
We are already considered a top program in our field. I believe that we will continue to strive for equality and inclusion for all, and our organization will continue to exponentially improve and expand. This is a “get back what you put in” situation, and the HDI community gives like no other.



Logo ISAW

Innovative Supports for Autistic Workers: Expanding Employment Opportunities

Published: November 7, 2019

Innovative Supports for Autistic Workers (ISAW) began as a project to educate and support Kentucky Career Centers’ Business Service Teams in their understanding of issues relevant to autism and employment. In 2017, ISAW made its services available to all human resource professionals in the state. Through consultation, face-to-face training sessions, web-based modules, and ongoing services and supports, employers will be able to increase their competence and confidence in hiring and supervising workers on the autism spectrum.

Innovative Supports for Autistic Workers trainings are provided at no cost and can be delivered at a convenient location or by webinar. Participants will increase their skills and knowledge about interview techniques, problem solving, accommodations, and many other topics.

These trainings were developed by Bev Harp, whose understanding of autism comes from personal experience, peer-reviewed literature, and experience working with other autistic adults. Bev explains,

Unemployment is a huge problem for autistic adults nationwide. In Kentucky, unemployment rates hover around 85%, higher than any other disability. With this project, we want to address the reservations that employers may have, as well as preconceived ideas about autism and what autistic workers are able to do. There is a level of discomfort, even for some diversity-minded employers, with unfamiliar body language, or unusual ways of communication. With ISAW, we talk about some of the reasons behind autistic differences and provide opportunities for employers to ask questions. For some employers we’ve worked with, this is the first time they have ever (knowingly) engaged with autistic adults in the workplace. This is such an important step, getting to know us, recognizing that our skills and interests are as diverse as those of any other group. Autistic workers can bring unique perspectives and talents that businesses need. ISAW is here to help make those connections.Innovative Supports for Autistic Workers: Expanding Employment OpportunitiesRead More…



Woman in front of tree

50th Anniversary Spotlight on Corlia Logsdon

Published: November 6, 2019

HDI has always represented possibilities, and removal of barriers, to enable all children and adults with disabilities, and their families, to achieve the greatest level of independence and self-determination possible.

Corlia Logsdon, Regional Child Care Administrator

How did you come to know HDI?
I was an HDI School Psychology Training Grant Recipient in graduate school.

How long have you been at HDI and what is your role?
I have been with Child Care Aware as a Regional Child Care Administrator since 2015.

During your time at HDI, of which accomplishments are you most proud?
There have been many accomplishments in my past and present work with HDI, but I am most proud of my work with developing courses aimed at reducing suspension and expulsion in early care and education settings among children demonstrating challenging behavior.

Looking back, can you please share with us a fun or fond moment you had at HDI?
My fondest memories working with HDI were as a School Psychology Training Grant recipient while working with other students to develop a curriculum document that would be used with future trainees. It was exciting to be on the cutting edge of defining best practices in multi-disciplinary assessment.

Do you have any advice you would like to share with current and future staff and students at HDI?
I would say to focus on scaffolding, and not ceilings, when planning for your clients, and for your own work. You never know where today’s projects may take you.

What do you think the future holds for HDI?
I see exciting partnerships being formed and expanding multidisciplinary teams across the university community to better serve our clients, improving life for them and their families.

 



Woman receiving award from another woman

Lindsey Mullis receives 2019 APHA Student Member Award

Published: November 5, 2019

The American Public Health Association (APHA) has selected Lindsey Mullis to receive the 2019 Disability Section Student Member Award presented at their Annual Meeting and Expo in Philadelphia, PA. The Disability Section Award recipients join a distinguished group of achievers who have made significant contributions to the disability field and to improvements in the lives of people with disabilities nationally and internationally.

Lindsey is the Program Director for the Health and Wellness Initiative of the UK Human Development Institute (HDI). The mission of the initiative is to ignite positive change to address the significant health disparities for individuals with disabilities across the lifespan. Kathy Sheppard-Jones, Executive Director of HDI says, “Lindsey’s passion and drive for the work are evident in all of her efforts. She has been instrumental in making health and wellness programming more inclusive by: 1) building key collaborations with state and local partners, 2) incorporating universal design strategies that makes data collection systems more inclusive, and 3) ensuring that people with disabilities lead and are in partnership with all health and wellness work. She is a guru at resource development. From creating comic books to exercise videos, Lindsey’s leadership has grown the Health and Wellness Initiative to be a real model of quality inclusive health promotion for the Kentucky.”

Lindsey is pursuing her doctorate in Health Education. Learn more about the Health and Wellness Initiative at https://www.wellness4ky.org/.



Man speaking at podium

UK Human Development Institute celebrates at 50th Anniversary Gala

Published: November 4, 2019

The University of Kentucky Human Development Institute (HDI) hosted its 50th anniversary Gala at the Gatton Student Center on Saturday, November 4, 2019. This momentous occasion brought together nearly 200 current and former staff, students, families, and community partners to celebrate the achievements of HDI’s mission to promote the inclusion, independence, and contributions of people with disabilities and their families throughout the lifespan.

On behalf of HDI, Dr. Kathy Sheppard-Jones welcomed special guest speakers that included UK Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Dr. David Blackwell, UK Vice-President for Research, Dr. Lisa Cassis, former Executive Director of HDI, Dr. Harold Kleinert, and Executive Director of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, Andy Imparato, JD. Imparato said, “HDI has been a force for change in Kentucky and across the country for the past 50 years. Under Kathy’s leadership, HDI is poised to change the world with and for people with disabilities moving into the future”. UK Human Development Institute celebrates at 50th Anniversary GalaRead More…



Man with glasses in front of tree

50th Anniversary Spotlight on David Flechler

Published: November 3, 2019

The passion and experience of the HDI Program staff will take us forward, as leaders, for another 50 years.

David Flechler, Technical Support

How did you come to know HDI?
I started as a STEPS temporary employee in the Summer of 1998.

How long have you been at HDI and what is your role?
I will celebrate 21 years with HDI on January 4, 2020.

During your time at HDI, of which accomplishments are you most proud?
I am proud of all the success of projects that I have supported over the years. I believe the most beneficial work for HDI would be the Coldstream Office expansion and new fiber optic network.

Looking back, can you please share with us a fun or fond moment you had at HDI?
One moment that caught me, was when I had my photo taken while riding bike with my 4 year old son in a tag-along trailer. We were checking campus buildings for accessibility for a project that was mapping the accessible paths of campus.  I believe this was the first time that this had been done. It was published in the HDI newsletter and the campus newspaper, The Kernel. The look on my son’s face when he saw the picture was priceless. He is now 24 years old.

Do you have any advice you would like to share with current and future staff and students at HDI?
Keep an open mind, teamwork is never an option, it’s necessary. Also, remember how you got where you are.

What does HDI mean to you?
HDI has something special that everyone should learn.