4 women standing behind a conference table under a tent

DeaFestival 2022 features the Julie Beth Hayden Job Fair

Interpreters from Kentucky’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) Branch, in partnership with the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH), hosted the inaugural Julie Beth Hayden Job Fair at DeaFestival 2022 on September 3 at the Norton Center for the Arts at Centre College in Danville, KY.

DeaFestival is a biennial, one-day event where Deaf people from all areas of Kentucky come together in a fully accessible environment to meet and enjoy artists, performers, and exhibitors who are Deaf. Tara Eversole, Lisa Amstutz, Sarah Grubb, and Tina Vice, HDI employees, were members of the interpreting team who provided services to allow hearing people to fully participate in the event.

Approximately 7,000 people attended DeaFestival and were given an opportunity to meet DHHS staff, learn about their services, receive assistance with job fair activities, and network with employers.  The job fair will be part of DeaFestival in years to come! In addition to meeting the needs of the community, the event will honor the memory of Julie Beth Hayden.

Julie Beth Hayden is remembered for serving the students at Kentucky School for the Deaf and the Deaf community at large.  She was an advocate, counselor and, role model to anyone who met her.

If you want to learn more about services available to people who are Hard of Hearing, Deaf, and Deaf/Blind, visit https://kcc.ky.gov/Vocational-Rehabilitation/programservices/Pages/Deaf-and-Hard-of-Hearing-Services.aspx or call 502-564-4440 or 800-372-7172 (V/TTY).

Bethaney Curry staff photo

Bethaney Curry receives 2022 Burberry Award

The University of Kentucky (UK) Human Development Institute (HDI) has awarded the prestigious Paul Kevin Burberry Award to Bethaney Curry. Bethaney is a Senior Return-to-work Specialist for the RETAIN project and is enrolled in the doctoral program at the University of Kentucky College of Social Work.

Dr. Kathy Sheppard-Jones, Executive Director of HDI explained that “We offer the Burberry Award to highlight the achievements of students at the University of Kentucky who exemplify the achievements and life of Paul Kevin Burberry, himself a UK student. As both a UK student and staff at the HDI, Bethaney carries on the strong tradition of awardees. We are proud of her accomplishments and cannot wait to see what the future has in store for her”.

The award was presented by Dr. Tony Lobianco at the HDI All-Staff Meeting who said that “Bethaney writes eloquently about how support systems vary from person to person, and how a change in perception can make all the difference in a young person’s life trajectory”.

Dr. Natalie Pope, Associate Professor and PhD Program Director was excited to hear about Bethaney receiving the 2022 Burberry Award. “As a social work PhD student, Bethaney exemplifies the interdisciplinary nature of the profession. She brings with her a background in occupational therapy, public administration, and therapeutic sciences. Bethaney is a student who truly seeks to advance social justice through an interdisciplinary lens”.

The annual Paul Kevin Burberry Award honor is given to a student who has demonstrated a strong commitment to people with disabilities, academic excellence, and the leadership qualities exemplified by Burberry’s own life. It is named in memory of the Berea native who was the first student with significant physical disabilities to graduate from Berea Community High School. He went to Berea College and UK, as a philosophy major. While a student at UK, Burberry worked with HDI to create training modules to train medical and allied health students on developmental disabilities. Though his life was cut short before graduation, he was posthumously awarded his UK degree with highest honors in 2004.

Congratulations, Bethaney Curry!

Woman getting a bandage after shot

Southeast SuperHub Champions working to increase vaccine confidence 

Led by the Human Development Institute in partnership with Georgia State University, a coalition of advocates and community partners have taken on the important task of promoting vaccine confidence in the Southeast US. The COVID-19 Vaccine Information and Dissemination SuperHub for the Southeast region was organized with the goal to Increase vaccine access and uptake among the disability population in southeast region. As new variants of COVID-19 emerge, continuing the vaccine conversation is more important than ever.  

Barriers to vaccine uptake include hesitancy and access. Organizers of the Southeast SuperHub determined that members of the disability community can be the catalyst to increase the rate of vaccination among disabled people. Local Trusted Champions are in their communities discussing vaccine resources with those in their immediate circles in person and online. They are assisting with vaccine outreach and the dissemination of plain language resources developed by the Human Development Institute and Georgia State University. By having one-on-one conversations, Champions are helping to quell fears of the vaccine and answer questions with a personal approach. They are leveraging their status as trusted members of their communities to tailor the messaging to a local context.  

Champions are also breaking down barriers in vaccine access. The plain language resources disseminated by Local Trusted Champions are available in multiple languages, which are important as many members of the disability do not speak English as their first language. Additionally, champions have identified ways in which vaccine sites may not be accessible to wheelchair users, those who are deaf and hard of hearing, or who have limited vision.  

Local Trusted Champions are compensated for their efforts by a stipend and are asked to complete a Local Champion 101 training, as well as a course on Motivational Interviewing. They are also expected to track their data and report back to the SuperHub during monthly meetings. Recruitment of Local Champions is ongoing, and though the project will conclude on September 30, Champions’ efforts will make a lasting impact. 

For more information, contact Natasha.Collier@uky.edu.

Students at University of Kentucky

Funding Opportunity to Establish a Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Program

The University of Kentucky Human Development Institute (HDI) is inviting applications from Kentucky institutions of higher education for 12-month planning funds to support them in developing a plan to establish and sustain a Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary (CTP) program for students with intellectual disabilities.

To support the establishment of new CTP programs in Kentucky, HDI intends to fund up to seven applications with a one-time award of $20,000.

HDI plans to fund up to four applications from colleges within the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and up to three applications from other Kentucky institutions of higher education. If fewer than the established number of applications in one of these categories are chosen for funding, HDI may fund additional applications in the other category. The application deadline is May 2, 2022.

Learn more, register for an informational webinar and apply at the Kentucky Supported Higher Education Partnership website.

Phil Rumrill staff photo

Dr. Phillip Rumrill to deliver Hanoch Livneh Lecture on Psychosocial Adaptation Research

The Council on Psychosocial Adaptation Research (PAR) has invited Dr. Phillip Rumrill, Director of Research and Training at the UK Human Development Institute, to deliver the prestigious Hanoch Livneh Lecture on PAR at the 2022 National Council on Rehabilitation Education Conference in San Diego, California. The title of the presentation is Strategies for Meeting the Psychosocial Needs of People with Emerging Disabilities across Phases of the Rehabilitation Counseling Process.

Chung-Yi Chiu, Ph.D., CRC, University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign and Brad McDaniels, Ph.D., CRC, University of North Texas serve as Co-Chairs for the Council on Psychosocial Adaptation Research for the National Council on Rehabilitation Education.

Dr. McDaniels says, “We could think of no one more passionate about nor instrumental to our current conceptualization of psychosocial adaptation. Your ability to identify novel concepts related to PAR, along with your prestigious record of research make you the ideal candidate”.

Congratulations, Dr. Rumrill!