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Human Development Institute

University Center for
Excellence in Disabilities

Adult Projects

Community Quality

Community Quality collaborates with the Kentucky Division of Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities on activities that promote success for Kentuckians with disabilities. The National Core Indicators Project seeks to develop and improve upon performance indicators of services for individuals with developmental disabilities.


PROJECT E3 – Educate, Empower, Employ Targeted Communities

Project E3, the “Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Targeted Communities: Empower, Educate, Employ” — will work with state vocational rehabilitation agencies and their partners across the United States. The goal is to help people with disabilities from underserved communities achieve their independent living and employment goals.



In partnership with the Kentucky Division of Developmental Disabilities and the HealthMatters Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, HDI’s Health & Wellness Initiative has implemented a statewide scale-up of the HealthMatters: Exercise and Nutrition Health Education Curriculum.  The aim is to improve the health of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities resulting in increased opportunities and knowledge that positively impact health outcomes.  Successful programming efforts have been established across the state with resources on best practices and lessons learned for other organizations wanting to implement the health promotion curriculum.


Health Partners

The Health Partners Program emphasizes holistic health and self-determination utilizing the curriculum Healthy Lifestyles for People with Disabilities from the Institute on Disability and Development at Oregon Health & Science University. The program is a holistic wellness workshop intended to be completed by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities with a health partner. The curriculum was reviewed with an expert panel and self-advocates to be updated to incorporate this partnered approach and Universal Design for Learning principles. By expanding programming opportunities, both partners benefit from health information and resources and have the added support of holding each other accountable for reaching self-identified goals. The curriculum has also been piloted in an elementary school setting.  Continued programming within community settings is ongoing up to 90 miles outside of Lexington.  Click the link to learn more and find out when a Health Partners program is coming to a location near you!


Hope for Tomorrow

In collaboration with UK’s Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, HDI received a grant from the Retirement Research Foundation to assist older families of adults with developmental disabilities to assist them in actively planning for their adult child’s future. With the assistance of parent mentors who themselves had successfully initiated plans for their son or daughter, Hope for Tomorrow provided information to families on accessing services, estate planning issues, and planning for the future.  Hope for Tomorrow products are available as free downloads.


IPS Supported Employment Project

The purpose of the IPS Supported Employment Project is to implement evidence based Supported Employment for people with serious mental illness. The goal is to develop high-fidelity supported employment services and to increase access to these services for adults with serious mental illness throughout the commonwealth, and to improve the overall employment rate for individuals who want to work.


Kentucky Supported Employment Training Project

Kentucky’s Supported Employment Training Project provides support for professionals who in turn support people with disabilities with finding good jobs. Our work is sponsored by the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Kentucky Division of Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities.


KentuckyWorks aims to enhance employment opportunities for youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout Kentucky.

Supported Higher Education Project

The Supported Higher Education Project of Kentucky is based on the understanding that education for all students is a lifelong endeavor. For too long, students with intellectual disabilities have been overlooked as their peers have graduated from high school and moved on to postsecondary settings.