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Human Development Institute

University Center for
Excellence in Disabilities

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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Lori Norton

Published: December 3, 2019

There are gonna be tough days but never forget why you are here, what HDI stands for, and never give up when it comes to making a difference in people’s lives!

Lori Norton, Project Director/IPS SE Trainer

How did you come to know HDI?
Working and collaborating with staff (great people) at HDI.

How long have you been at HDI and what is your role?
I started with HDI in 2007 with the Community Work Transition Program.  Since 2010,  I have been an  an IPS Supported Employment Trainer, and then moved in the Project Director/IPS SE Trainer role.

During your time at HDI, of which accomplishments are you most proud?
Implementing a new project in KY, IPS Supported Employment, it really looks at how work is a part of a person’s recovery. Eligibility is based on client choice regardless of past work history, hospitalizations, justice involvement, any job readiness factors. When someone says they want to work, we move forward. I love that it is a strengths based approach, focuses on what people can do, and honors people’s preferences. What I am most proud of is that people are being referred to IPS and not excluded due to job readiness factors. I’ve seen many lives change from going to work!! Work is so much more than just a job! My motto is: A label does not define me or who I am meant to be!!!

What do you think the future holds for HDI?
HDI has a rich history of making real change for people and for systems. I believe HDI will be on the forefront of leading the way to continue to promote the inclusion, independence and contributions of people with disabilities!

What does HDI mean to you?
I believe in and love everything that HDI stands for to promote the inclusion, independence, and contributions of people with disabilities. This is not just a job to me, this is my purpose. I am thankful to be a part of such a great organization that gives me an opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives every day!!