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Human Development Institute

University Center for
Excellence in Disabilities

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

How did you come to know HDI?

In 2012, I came to know HDI through working as a program evaluator in HDI’s Evaluation Unit.

How long have you been at HDI and what is your role?

I came to know HDI about 7 years ago though working with the Evaluation Unit at HDI. After serving as the program coordinator for Project CARAT (Coordinating and Assisting the Reuse of Assistive Technology) in the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, I returned to HDI in 2014 and started working as HDI’s Preservice Training Coordinator. My role involves the development and coordination of the HDI fall and spring seminar series as well as working with students in HDI’s interdisciplinary training program.

During your time at HDI, of which accomplishments are you most proud?

I am most proud of helping students in HDI’s training program to find meaningful practica placements and expanding the number of students served in the family mentorship program so that students can learn first-hand from the family’s perspective.

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

One of my most fond memories with HDI involves getting to know HDI staff and students at the lunchtime potlucks. Tasting the homemade chilis at a Chili Cook Off at HDI a few years ago was fun and memorable as well.

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

My advice to share with current and future staff and students at HDI is to discover what drives you and to nurture that passion through learning as much as you can about the tremendous variety of projects that staff and students are involved with at HDI.

What do you think the future holds for HDI?

The future is bright for HDI as we continue to build inclusive communities to improve the lives of people with disabilities and their families across Kentucky and the nation!