Spotlight Profiles

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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Kathy Sheppard-Jones

HDI expertise is found throughout the counties of Kentucky. I am proud of our strong network, and of our ability to find common threads upon which to build even stronger coalitions. Kathy Sheppard-Jones - Executive Director How did you come to know HDI? I had just graduated from UK and was looking for a job. I got hired on as a STEPS employees on the Kentucky Employment Initiative. It was in the final month of ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Jeff White

HDI is a place where opportunity and possibility meet to make change possible; a place where collaborators of varying backgrounds and perspectives join to address challenges that none of us alone could conquer; a place where disappointment goes to perish. Jeff White - Project Director How did you come to know HDI? My first exposure to HDI was incidental to exploration of the Agribility Program with an eye toward replicating it in another state. How ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Lou-Ann Land

As long as there are barriers to a fully inclusive society, HDI will be around to knock them down! In an odd way, I look forward to the day HDI does not need to exist. Lou-Ann Land - Technical Assistance Specialist How did you come to know HDI? As a teacher, I participated in SPLASH training in the late 80s. This was my first introduction to Harold Kleinert and Jacqui Kearns. I was invited to ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Jaime Grove

Take as much in as you can. Utilize the wealth of knowledge and experience HDI has to offer. That is one of HDI’s greatest strengths – the variety of backgrounds, knowledge and experiences that each person brings to the table. Jaime Grove - Research & Development Associate How did you come to know HDI? I answered a call for a research assistant position. How long have you been at HDI and what is your role? ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Angela Cooper

The possibilities are endless with the collaborative efforts of the HDI team! Angela Cooper - Child Care Administrator How did you come to know HDI? I found out about HDI after becoming employed with Child Care Aware. How long have you been at HDI and what is your role? I have worked at HDI for 4 years as a Regional Child Care Administrator. During your time at HDI, of which accomplishments are you most proud? ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Bethany Davis

HDI is a community that deeply cares about the growth, development, and well-being of all people by ensuring they have resources and supports for high quality of life. Bethany Davis - Child Care Administrator How did you come to know HDI? I learned about HDI after being hired with Child Care Aware. How long have you been at HDI and what is your role? 4 years as a Child Care Administrator for The Lakes region ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Rongxiu Wu

HDI will embody higher and higher importance in the U.S., as well as in the world, in the future. Rongxiu Wu - Research Assistant How did you come to know HDI? Self-exploration How long have you been at HDI and what is your role? I have been working as a research assistant in HDI for more than three years. During your time at HDI, of which accomplishments are you most proud? I had the chance ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Becky Slone

HDI assists Kentuckians, but is also influential nationwide in their research and development of early childhood resources. The people who work with the various projects within HDI are experts in their field. Becky Slone - Quality TA Specialist How did you come to know HDI? I was hired by HDI in October 2005 when they were awarded the Quality Enhancement Initiative (QEI) Contract by the Division of Child Care (DCC). How long have you been ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Amanda Corbin

To me, HDI means helping people. When my nine-year-old was asked what his mom's job was, he said, "She helps people with disabilities." That's what HDI does, and I feel fortunate to be a part of the work happening here. Amanda Corbin - Data Support Specialist How did you come to know HDI? While working on my master's at UK, I came across a temporary position at HDI. How long have you been at HDI ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Alice Wang

Work hard, be happy, and be positive! Alice Wang - Administrative Support Associate How did you come to know HDI? I was on the UK job site, looking for my first job, after being a stay-at-home mom for 15 years. How long have you been at HDI and what is your role? I was hired November 2005 to be in charge of accounting responsibilities for the Early Childhood program. During your time at HDI, of ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Lori Norton

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 ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on David McKay

We've consistently improved the quality and quantity of the actionable data reports we provide to clients.  David McKay - Evaluator How did you come to know HDI? Chithra Adams called me to interview me for a temporary position. I was caught in her gravitational field and never managed to accelerate to escape velocity. How long have you been at HDI and what is your role? I'm coming up on 10 years as an evaluator. During ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Dana Manning

There are many different programs and talents under the HDI umbrella. Talk to people. Dana Manning - Research Coordinator How did you come to know HDI? I started as a STEPS employee. How long have you been at HDI and what is your role? 9 years as a Research Coordinator and 10 1/2 years as a Data Analyst During your time at HDI, of which accomplishments are you most proud? More accurate and efficient data ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Tammy Greene

The Institute will continue to grow and affect positive change in the lives of individuals with disabilities and impact the quality of early childhood education for all children in Kentucky. Tammy Greene - Early Childhood Specialist How did you come to know HDI? I learned about HDI through becoming a credentialed trainer. How long have you been at HDI and what is your role? 10 1/2 years, Trainer's Credential, Trainer, Trainers Institute, Professional Development Liaison ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Maria E. Delgado

"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, ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Maria Kemplin

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 ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Adam Potter

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 ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Corlia Logsdon

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 ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on David Flechler

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 ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Kate Dean

The one piece of advice I would share is to take time to dig into the resources available through HDI to support your work. Regardless of the role you play or where you see your project fitting, there is more to learn. HDI is well connected within and outside of Kentucky and it's exciting to see where we are woven into the fabric of multiple initiatives. Kate Dean, Regional Child Care Administrator How did you ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Aaron Piercefield

You can bring more joy to yourself and those around you, by aligning what your passionate about with the needs of others. Aaron Piercefield, Lead Applications Developer How did you come to know HDI? I was made aware of HDI and the need for assistance in the Early Childhood Technology group through an acquaintance working in the UKY STEPS office. How long have you been at HDI and what is your role? 10 years as ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Caroline Gooden

HDI is an encouraging, supportive place to try new skills and to expand our mission of services to people with disabilities. I am most grateful for recent opportunities to teach college students and to promote inclusive education with tomorrow's leaders. -Caroline Gooden, Disability Program Administrator How did you come to know HDI? I learned about HDI through my work in early childhood as an early interventionist and program director. How long have you been at ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Joe Cowan

I would encourage everyone to work hard and do their best, as future accomplishments are unlimited for HDI. -Joe Cowan How did you come to know HDI? I learned of HDI while attending college. How long have you been at HDI and what is your role? I have been involved since 2003, as a member of the HDI Consumer Advisory Council. During your time at HDI, of which accomplishments are you most proud? I am ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Carolyn Wheeler

50th Anniversary Spotlight on Carolyn Wheeler

HDI will continue to play a key role in systems change efforts here in Kentucky as well as impact people with disabilities and their families on a personal level. -Carolyn Wheeler, Human Development Institute Project Director How did you come to know HDI? While I do not recall the occasion, I met Harold Kleinert and Jacqui Farmer Kearns in the late 80's when I worked for what was then Seven Counties Services (now Centerstone). We ...
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Tina Buster

50th Anniversary Spotlight on Tina Buster

"Results"...Since I've been here I see the results of the hard work provided by the individuals employed here. I've seen how we've grown from the state of Kentucky throughout the US helping individual become better educators for individuals with disabilities. This is a place of "results;" we see them daily in the faces of those we've helped. —Tina Buster, Human Development Institute Staff Associate ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Tina Lindon

HDI's a great place to work, and we have a great group of people to work with. Our job is never done, we will always evolve and strive for better. —Tina Lindon, Human Development Institute Staff Assistant ...
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50th Anniversary Spotlight on Don Lollar

Only being a newcomer I see HDI as a wonderful partner on behalf of people with disabilities across Kentucky and across the life span. —Don Lollar, EdD, Interim Director of Research ...
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HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Milton Tyree

HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Milton Tyree

For me, HDI has been a place to explore, learn and grow - professionally and personally. —Milton Tyree, HDI Supported Employment Training Project (SETP) ...
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HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Walt Bower

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 ...
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HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on F. Darrell Mattingly, Jr.

HDI means "family." We have common goals and values moving toward an ever changing but bright conclusion that we will never reach. Work goals, research, best practices flow like the tide; they come and go, but our values remain. As long as we stay true to our values and principles, HDI will remain a guiding star for the Commonwealth for many more years. —F. Darrell Mattingly, Jr., HDI Web Developer ...
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HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Katie Wolf Whaley

HDI is a place where people are given the opportunity to learn new ideas, study new research and implement new ways of understanding and supporting people with disabilities to live their best life. It is a place for families, the University community and all Kentuckians to better understand the complex issues in society around people with disabilities that do not get near the attention they deserve. It is a place that makes connections and shows ...
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Bev Harp

HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Bev Harp

There are many things I value about HDI, but two stand out to me as most important. The first is the way students are supported, nurtured, and respected as partners in our work. Research Assistants work on grant proposals, travel to present at conferences, and enjoy opportunities to contribute to the literature in our field. Practicum students have developed learning and evaluation tools that continue to benefit us long after they have moved on. The ...
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HDI Spotlight on Chithra Adams

My entire career has been with HDI. Career journeys involve growth and are filled with highs, lows, and doubts. The one thing constant in my career journey is what HDI stands for and its impact on our communities. It is an incredible privilege to be working with people who push boundaries, advocate, and work towards creating an inclusive community for all. It is a privilege and something that I don't take for granted. —Chithra Adams, ...
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HDI Spotlight on Malachy Bishop

HDI means very much to me. I am honored to have been a part of HDI. It is a place of opportunity, where very committed and hard-working people are supported in pursuing creative and effective approaches to fulfilling a challenging and very important mission. —Malachy Bishop, Ph.D., CRC, Norman L. and Barbara M. Berven Professor of Rehabilitation Psychology in the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education at UW Madison & Past HDI Director of ...
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Mary Howard, woman with curly brown hair smiling at the camera

50th Anniversary Spotlight on Mary Howard

I love that we have such strong early childhood services at HDI. HDI emphasizes the importance of supporting all young children to help them grow into healthy, happy adults that lead productive lives. To me the cradle to grave services at HDI exemplify the idea that people are more alike than different and that we all are working to be the best version of ourselves. —Mary Howard, Research and Development Associate; Director Child Care Aware ...
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HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Jacqui Kearns

HDI was an opportunity to build strengths, gifts, and abilities to accomplish some important goals - to share knowledge and expertise, and to learn from the best teachers. —Jacqui Kearns, HDI Project Director - Principal Investigator TAALC, TIES, SPEAC-IT ...
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HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Stephanie Meredith

What I love most about HDI is the culture cultivated by Dr. Harold Kleinert and nourished by so many other great leaders here—to be kind and nurture partnerships while also taking a stand and sometimes taking risks to make sure we are addressing the most pressing needs for people with disabilities and their families. I will forever be grateful to Harold and HDI for taking a risk and being willing to support our prenatal project ...
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HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Mark Leach

Being university-based, HDI has a credibility with policymakers and elected officials that is needed. So often, much of the work done on behalf of those with disabilities is by non-profits, which unfairly are not given the same amount of respect. HDI's gravitas helps ensure the significance of programs that include those with disabilities is understood and maintained with those in positions of influence. —Mark Leach, Bioethics Specialist, HDI National Center for Prenatal and Postnatal Resources ...
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HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Harold Kleinert

I was absolutely blessed to have had the opportunity to work at HDI.  I cannot imagine a better organizational mission than that of HDI for what I had hoped for my own career  – to work with leaders in the field at both the state and national levels; to partner with families, self-advocates, teachers, and other professionals on the front lines of quality services;  and to have had the chance to have taught a wonderful ...
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HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Christy Leaver

HDI provided stability to me through several rough life transitions as a single parent and student. Exposure to mentors, exposure to diversity, and the development of long-term friendships have had a significant impact on my life. —Christy Leaver, LCSW, Former HDI Research Assistant and Certificate Student How did you come to know HDI?  I was a research assistant at HDI throughout my graduate school experience at UK.  ...
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HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Christina Espinosa Bard

To me, HDI is my place, my dream job. I hope to stay with HDI for the duration of my career. I feel so blessed and lucky to be a part of HDI, and to get to do work that I love, that I continue to learn from, and that can make a difference individually and systemically. —Christina Espinosa Bard, MRC, CRC, HDI Community Education Director How did you come to know HDI?  Dr. Sheppard-Jones ...
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HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Beth Harrison

HDI was my work family for 28 years. It means a lot to me. I am proud to tell people that I work/worked with HDI. HDI means innovation; cutting edge; an umbrella of excellence for all aspects of disability; a "think outside the box" group of people working for the greater common good. —Beth Harrison, Retired Principal Investigator for SHEP and other transition projects How did you come to know HDI?  I was lucky to ...
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Laura Lamminen, smiling woman with mid-length brown hair

HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Laura Lamminen

HDI is a very special place. I feel so fortunate to have worked in such a healthy environment of professionals. —Laura Lamminen, Former HDI Graduate Certificate Student and Research Assistant How did you come to know HDI?  As a student at UK, I learned about the center from Dr. Kleinert, who taught one of my classes in Special Education.  How long were you with HDI and what was your role?  I was with HDI for ...
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HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Tony Lobianco

My advice for current and future staff and students at HDI is that there are many ways to address issues that we come across in our work, and the diverse ways of considering approaches that our staff have is one of HDI's most valuable resources. — Tony Lobianco, Principal Investigator/Project Director of the Kentucky Post School Outcomes Center How did you come to know HDI?  I heard about HDI when Claudia Earnharth told me about ...
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Kathy Sheppard-Jones, Clyde and Susan Burberry, and Katie Terrell

HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Clyde David and Susan Burberry 

To us, HDI means hope. When all is dark, HDI is a bright light leading, teaching, and training those who find that their purpose is to work with those who are unable to fit into the mainstream. Every year as we attend the annual meeting, we are greeted by familiar and new faces, all who are dedicated to a purpose much larger than themselves. —Clyde David and Susan Burberry ...
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HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Marlene B Huff 

HDI is only a few buildings from the outside. From the inside, it is filled with experts in the disability movement. It is envied by other states and sometimes taken for granted by Kentuckians. Each individual represents a unique compilation of people whose heartfelt work is as diverse as persons with disabilities themselves. Love the work! Here’s to the next 50 years! —Marlene B Huff, Former Associate Director of the KEI How did you come ...
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Norb Ryan, white older man wearing a knit vest, at a computer smiling at the camera

HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight on Norb Ryan

Being a part of HDI not only helped me grow professionally but allowed me to meet a remarkable group of people. Those people and the HDI projects will continue today and, in the future, to have a positive impact in the state as well as nationally. —Norb Ryan, HDI Staff and Advisory Council Member How did you come to know HDI?  I became aware of HDI while I was employed at Cardinal Hill in the ...
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HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight — Brent Garrett

HDI meant opportunity for me. One was the focus on increasing opportunities for individuals with disabilities in schools and in the community, the focus that brought up all together. But there was also the opportunity for personal growth. It's amazing how many HDI employees furthered their education while working more than full-time, supporting families, and trying to find time to have fun. So many HDI employees were also leaders in their field, volunteering time to ...
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HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight — Sonja Feist-Price

HDI is an indispensable resource for our state and the Commonwealth and serves as a very important reason why we are the University FOR Kentucky. —Sonja Feist-Price, UK Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Rehabilitation Counseling Faculty Member How long have you been involved with HDI and what is your role?  I've been a faculty member in the Graduate Program in Rehabilitation Counseling since 1992. It has been an honor and a privilege to work ...
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HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight — Debra Harley

To me, HDI means community - a community of consumers and professionals working for the common good. — Debra Harley, Developmental Disabilities Certificate Program Faculty How did you come to know HDI?  My relationship with HDI is a natural fit because of the study of and service to people with disabilities. What HDI does is provide an instantaneous application of best practices to improve the quality of life of individuals with disabilities.  ...
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Allie Rhodes standing by a KARRN poster

HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight — Allie Rhodes

I was blessed to be a part of an organization that works to make life better for ALL individuals through collaboration with organizations across many different fields. Having won the Paul Kevin Burberry award is one of my greatest accomplishments because of what it represents. As described when I was presented the award, it is given to those who have (to quote) “demonstrated a strong commitment to people with disabilities through university and community projects ...
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HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight — Ken Olsen

My advice to current and future staff and students at HDI is only to fully embrace the interdisciplinary approach and to learn as much as you can about the other disciplines. As clinic director, I initiated a series of training events to acquaint students with all the disciplines, PT, OT, Pediatrics, etc. In truth, the one who learned the most was me.  —Ken Olsen, Former Director of Mid South Regional Resource Center ...
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HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight — Karen Roof Boudreaux

As a part of HDI's 50th celebration, we are profiling individuals who have offered vital contributions over the years toward accomplishing HDI's mission of inclusion and independence for people with disabilities and their families. We are profiling the self-advocates who have educated, informed, and pushed us to going further. We are profiling family members who were willing to share their experiences and journey. We are profiling students who went through our training programs who enriched ...
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