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Human Development Institute

University Center for
Excellence in Disabilities

School Age Projects



KentuckyWorks aims to enhance employment opportunities for youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout Kentucky. This project is collaborative effort between the Human Development Institute, the KY Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), KY Department of Education, KY Division of Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, KY Protection & Advocacy, KY Office for the Blind, Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities, KY Office of Autism, and the KY Autism Training Center.

Community Work Transition Program

The Community Work Transition Program is designed to provide a positive beginning in the world of work for students in special education during their last two years of high school. It is a cooperative effort between participating local school districts, the Kentucky Department of Education, the Kentucky Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Kentucky Department for the Blind, and HDI.

ILSSA-KAP Kentucky Alternate Assessment Project

The Alternate Portfolio Assessment is designed to include students with significant challenges in the statewide school accountability system as required by the Kentucky Education Reform Act and IDEA. The KY Alternate Portfolio Assessment measures student progress towards achievement. It also measures the degree to which schools and programs implement the researched-based, effective practice instructional strategies deemed important for students with disabilities.

Inclusive Large Scale Standards and Assessment (ILSSA)

The ILSSA staff assists states in reaching their goals for including all students in assessment and accountability systems. Activities include: working with stakeholders to ensure state standards apply to all students; developing alternate assessments and training personnel to be involved in the development of the assessment and scoring procedures; addressing professional development; and incorporating effective practices for educating students with disabilities so they may move toward their goals.

Kentucky Peer Buddies

This website is a tool for teachers and students across the state of Kentucky who recognize the power of students of all ability levels working together and who want to create, improve and maintain successful peer buddy programs within their schools. Currently, a number of high schools in Kentucky offer a peer buddy or peer tutoring course as a for-credit elective.

Kentucky Peer Support Network Project

The Kentucky Peer Support Network Project aims to foster friendships, learning, and inclusion for students with significant disabilities in Kentucky. The project provides in-depth training to schools on setting up peer support networks of three to six students who support a peer with significant disabilities in school, extracurricular, and social activities. The project currently has 10 pilot schools throughout Kentucky.

Low Incidence Communication Initiative

The Low Incidence Communication Initiative, sponsored by the Kentucky Department of Education, focuses on developing communicative competence among children with disabilities including those with significant cognitive disabilities. This initiative provides training and coaching support to school teams including the teacher(s), speech-language pathologist, other related services team members, and families.

MSD1Stop Kentucky Multiple and Severe Disabilities Portal

This project provides resources and information to those who work with and for individuals with moderate or severe disabilities, several programs operating in the University of Kentucky’s Human Development Institute(HDI) have come together to provide expertise and information in a single online site.

National Alternate Assessment Center

The National Alternate Assessment Center (NAAC) was a five year project funded under the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). The primary objectives of NAAC were to: (1) bring together and build on the current research base on high quality, technically sound alternate assessments; (2) provide technical assistance to states as they endeavor to design or redesign their alternate assessments; and (3) demonstrate through our partnerships with states high quality design and administration of alternate assessments. NAAC products are available as free-downloads.

National Center and State Collaborative

National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) is a multi-state collaborative hosted by the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) from the University of Minnesota to design an alternate assessment based on the new Common Core Standards. The NCSC builds on the work begun here at the University of Kentucky under the National Alternate Assessment Center (NAAC). The Alternate Assessment group at the Human Development Institute is charged with installing teacher professional development communities of practice in nineteen states including the District of Columbia and the Pacific entities.

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.

Kentucky Post School Outcome Study (KyPSO)

The goal of the KyPSO is to increase the capacity of local education agencies, teachers, parents, and adult service providers to provide exemplary transition planning and increase student post school success through the collection of data related to student post school plans and outcomes.

Kentucky Transition Signal

The Kentucky Transition Signal has been an interagency collaborative effort between 21 different state agencies. Fiscal support for the Collaborative came from the Kentucky Department of Education, Division of Learning Services. The mission of the Kentucky Transition Signal has been to assist students with disabilities and their families in making a successful transition from school to adult life.