illuminated conference table

Team-Based Design of Assistive Technology Devices

During the 2021 fall semester , the UK Human Development Institute collaborated with Dr. Justin HuberUK College of Medicine, and Dr. Babak Bazgari, from the UK College of Engineering working with 16 students in the Team-Based Design of Assistive Technology Devices. Each of four groups started with multiple project proposals identified from their summer shadowing experience at Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital. They presented their projects and analyzed each idea with the Real Win Worth It framework analysis. The selected project for each group then went to data collection and development.  Funds were made available through a National Institutes of Health grant and the HDI Student Scholarship Fund. Each group carried their selected project through prototyping and concept generation.  Group one worked on a device to reduce the probability of pressure ulcers by alternating pressure, temperature, and or reducing friction on the buttocks. Group two developed an assistive device to allow for self-catheterization of female wheelchair users.  Group three focused on creating a device, via electrical/mechanical or other stimulation, to remind post-stroke patients to maintain proper posture during activities. Similarly, group four developed a device to support posture correction in stroke patients with hemiparesis. All groups presented their prototypes to a group of professionals, users, and other stakeholders.

For more information about this project or HDI’s work as the University’s Center on Disability, contact Christina Bard at

Staff Photo of Kelley Salyers

Kelley Salyers receives the 2021 Jackie Shouse Service Award

Kelley Salyers, Administrative Support Associate II for the University of Kentucky (UK) Human Development Institute has been awarded the 2021 Jacki Shouse Service Award. Kelley has served the University for over 35 years, full time at UK since 1984 and at HDI since 2018. This award is given to an HDI staff member who demonstrates excellent job performance through their contributions to increase efficiency, provision of high-quality customer service, increased cost savings, or enhanced daily operations. The recipient must be responsive, respectful, and work collaboratively with others.

Kelley is dedicated, knowledgeable, and strives to improve operations. Kelley, like Jackie, is a good person, a trusted coworker, and provides excellent business office customer service.   

Kelley ‘s knowledge of the University’s business policies and procedures is extraordinary. She has taught me so much about business procedures and policy. I am not sure that our HDI staff realizes how lucky we are to have someone with her expertise. Her skills and ideas have impacted the department.  Her love of Excel has provided accurate account balances on cost centers and grants. She responds to inquiries quickly, is respectful, and gathers all involved so we are on the same page and informed.  

Jacki Shouse began working at UK in March of 1990. She accepted her first position with the Human Development Institute in February of 1998, where she spent the next 19 years until her retirement. Although we miss her greatly, giving this annual award gives us an opportunity to reflect on what she meant to HDI.

Congratulations, Kelley! 

Woman with blond hair and fair skin is petting a dark brown horse that is standing in front of a black fence and green grass.

Sheppard-Jones receives 2021 APSE Award

The University of Kentucky Human Development Institute – HDI congratulates Executive Director, Dr. Kathy Sheppard-Jones, recipient of the Kentucky APSE Willie Byrd Legislative Award 2021. This award is given to a person who has supported & promoted the employment of people with significant disabilities through legislation and/or legislative & policy efforts.

Dr. Kathy Sheppard-Jones, PhD, CRC, has worked in the field of rehabilitation for the past 25 years, with an emphasis on systems change and community building through participant and data drivers. She leads 275 staff working on projects around inclusion with an emphasis of people with disabilities, is the Lead Administrator for Employment First in Kentucky, and collaborates with state agencies, employers, and communities. Dr. Sheppard-Jones also serves on the University of Kentucky Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Team and teaches in the UK College of Education.

tablet next to a laptop over a desk covered with papers

HDI Collaborates with DAIL to host Training

The State Guardianship Training Project is a collaboration with the Department of Aging and Independent Living, Division of Guardianship, to host online training courses. This two-year grant provides funding for the development of approximately 40 training courses for Division of Guardianship staff. Supervisors will assign coursework to staff based on professional learning needs, and will monitor and evaluate staff progress using reports available through the HDI Online Learning Center.

Contact for more information.

Kentucky’s OVR Interpreters in Action at SERID Conference

Interpreters from the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, in conjunction with others across the country, provided American Sign Language interpreting services at the 2021 Southeast Regional Institute on Deafness (SERID).

Since 1971, SERID has hosted this annual conference for health professionals, employers, consumers, educators, and people who are interested in issues affecting individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, and/or late-deafened and to further knowledge concerning these issues through publications, studies, and educational programs.

200 attendees celebrated the 50th anniversary of SERID by participating in the 2021 hybrid conference in Knoxville, Tennessee. Participants had the opportunity to choose between a variety of tracks including Vocational Rehabilitation, STEM Education, Mental Health, Medical, Interpreting, and serving Deaf-Blind people.

HDI is proud of Lisa Amstutz, Tara Eversole, Sarah Grubb, Missy Miller, Chelsea Naugle, and Christina Vice and congratulates them on recognition by Rita Jo Scarcella, SERID Interpreter Coordinator, who said that “the Kentucky interpreters were fabulous! They were highly skilled, professional and flexible”.