Our History

Established in 1969, the Human Development Institute (HDI) is a unit of the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research at the University of Kentucky. HDI is the state’s Center on Disability and is part of a nationwide network of University Centers for Excellence. The Centers were established by federal legislation to promote team-based approaches to provide services for people with disabilities and their families. 

HDI’s mission is to advance efforts that build inclusive communities, address inequities, and improve the lives of all people who experience disability across the lifespan. We achieve our mission through leadership and community partnerships across Kentucky and the Nation.

HDI and its sister agencies, the Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Kentucky Division of Protection and Advocacy form the state’s Developmental Disability Network. This network is funded through the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000, and is administered through the U.S. Administration on Developmental DisabilitiesU.S. Department of Health and Human Services.