Jacqui Kearns Staff Photo

Communication Initiative for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

A UK Human Development Institute (HDI) Fund for Excellence award has been given to Jacqui Kearns, PhD, to create a set of unique online modules for speech/language pathologists, case managers, direct support workers, and program administrators, on developing communicative competence for the adults that they serve. Though many gains have been made in communicative competence for people with significant cognitive disabilities, we have learned that students who do not have a symbolic mode of communication can develop symbolic levels of expressive communication (Holman, 2011).  The Teaching Age Appropriate Academic Learning via Communication (TAALC) Project* and Kentucky National Core Indicator Data suggest that the communication needs of many adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities are not being met. 

The Fund for Excellence award will support the development of a set of American Speech-Language-Hearing Association-certified professional learning modules to meet the communication needs of adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities who do not currently have or use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).   This will increase awareness and promote the availability of AAC and services for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Contact jacqueline.kearns@uky.edu to learn more.

*funded by the Kentucky Department of Education

b/w photo of infant with black hair

Hausman and Howard to lead Kentucky’s Act Early Network

The University of Kentucky Human Development Institute (HDI) has received a 2020 Act Early State and Territorial Team COVID-19 Response Initiative grant funded through an existing cooperative agreement between the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

Christine Hausman, Kentucky’s Act Early Ambassador, and Mary Howard, Director of Child Care Aware of Kentucky, will lead this effort to ensure there is continued and enhanced access to relevant developmental monitoring tools, materials, and program information that will improve resiliency of families with young children during the COVID-19 response. This opportunity is expected to help boost and evaluate the integration of parent-engaged developmental monitoring using “Learn the Signs. Act Early” (LTSAE) in statewide programs serving families with young children (birth to age 5).  

Dr. Kathy Sheppard-Jones, HDI’s Executive Director, says, “HDI has the team, the resources, and the broad partnerships necessary to carry out this critical initiative for Kentucky’s children and families.

Visit the LTSAE website to learn more.

Staff Photo of Darrell Mattingly

Governor Beshear appoints HDI Computer Specialist to Hart-Supported Living Council

Darrell Mattingly, Computer Specialist at UK Human Development Institute has been appointed by Governor Andy Beshear to serve a two-year term on the Hart-Supported Living Council. The Council is composed of 11 members and has statutory authority to make recommendations to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services regarding the delivery and quality of supported living services for people with disabilities.

The Hart-Supported Living Program began in 1992 and was amended in 2006. This law promotes opportunities to determine the kind and amount of natural supports desired by people with disabilities to live in a home of their choice and have access to participate in their local community. HDI has long been involved with Hart Supported Living, with staff having coordinating and Council membership roles. “Hart Supported Living promotes people with disabilities having control over their lives, and in determining what supports are needed to live in the community,” said Kathy Sheppard-Jones, Executive Director of HDI. “People with disabilities need to have the authority and responsibility to navigate their lives, as all people do. Darrell’s insights and genuinely caring approach makes him an asset to the Council and HDI”

Congratulations, Darrell!

Dr. Sheppard-Jones selected for UK Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Team

Dr. Kathy Sheppard-Jones, Executive Director of the UK Human Development Institute and adjunct assistant professor of the College of Education, has been selected as a member of the University of Kentucky Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Team.  This team supports the execution of a comprehensive, enterprise-wide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Implementation Plan that was recently announced by the University.

The entirety of research and scholarly activity of the Human Development Institute centers around inclusion and disability, within our mission and priority areas. Much of this work focuses on social justice issues such as enhanced employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, equitable access to child care, education, assistive technology and health disparities in under-represented populations.

You can follow the progress of the UK Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Team at www.uky.edu/president/diversity-equity-and-inclusion.

 

 

 

Caroline Gooden Staff Photo

HDI Program Administrator to serve as Co-Investigator for IMLS National Libraries Leadership Award

Dr. Caroline Gooden, Disability Program Administrator at the UK Human Development Institute, will serve as a Co-Investigator for the “Services for Children of All Abilities in Libraries: An Exploration (SCALE) project”. She will collect and analyze state-wide child data to measure child progress; consult with and coach local, state, and national staff that serve young children with disabilities, and conduct focus groups to guide technical assistance.

Dr. Maria Cahill, Associate Professor at UK’s School of Information Sciences in the College of Communication and Information and the Department of Educational Leadership Studies in the College of Education, will serve as Principal Investigator for the project which will research the value of libraries as community resources for young children with disabilities and developmental delays.

The research team will consist of six researchers representing the University of Kentucky, University of Missouri and Emporia State University. They will partner with state education and library agencies in their respective states to investigate the effectiveness of library services, practices, and behaviors for serving children with disabilities and/or developmental delays from infancy to five years old. The team will also develop webinars and instructional materials that address program management, engagement strategies, and tools that enable librarians to tailor programs and services that better meet the needs of this community.

Anticipated outcomes include increased public library programming; improved public library outreach to preschools serving children with disabilities and developmental delays; and increased awareness among families, caregivers, and service providers of educational and social opportunities available through public libraries.

Contact Caroline.Gooden@uky.edu for more information.