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”.

Students at University of Kentucky

Funding Opportunity to Establish a Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Program

The Human Development Institute (HDI) is inviting applications from Kentucky Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) for a 12-month planning grant to support IHEs in developing a plan to establish and sustain a CTP program for students with intellectual disabilities (ID).

To support the establishment of new CTPs in Kentucky, HDI intends to fund five (5) applications with a one-time award of $20,000. HDI plans to fund up to 3 applications from colleges within the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, and up to 2 applications from other Kentucky IHEs. 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.

Learn more, register for an informational webinar, and apply at the KSHEP website. Contact with any questions.

Recharging Resiliency Together

Register now for Recharging Resiliency Together! HDI would like to thank the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Quality of Life Grants Program for providing funding which helps give greater independence to individuals living with paralysis. This grant will provide our community with services and education that will truly enhance all our lives.

This virtual retreat will help you recharge your resilience by building your coping skills and expanding your social network to gain the necessary connections and supports to navigate the COVID-19 environment. After each retreat, follow-up group calls will be held to help participants use the skills learned during the retreat and lean into their peers for support.

Who can participate? Anyone 18 or older who has paralysis and lives in Kentucky.

What do you need to participate? Be available from 10:00am – 3:00pm for five consecutive days; have access to the Internet; have a tablet or laptop. Participants should select one session only.

Session 1: March 22 – 26

Session 2: May 10 – 14

Session 3: July 12 – 16

Session 4: September 13 – 17

Learn more and register at Contact Jason Jones at with any questions.

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.

Woman with long brown hair wearing a blue shirt in front of a classroom of 7 students wearing a black sweatshirt, burgundy sweatshirt and hat, black sweatshirt with multi-colored lettering, tie dye blue and pink shirt, blue flannel shirt, navy sweatshirt. One student, wearing a white sweatshirt with black cartoons on it, has his hand raised.

Participate in the 2020 Virtual Summer Leadership Experience

The 2020 Virtual Summer Leadership Experience for Kentucky high school students with disabilities entering 11th or 12th grade will be held online from July 29 – 31 from 10:00am – 4:00pm daily. Register by July 12 at to reserve your spot. Campers with articulated plans to continue their education upon exiting high school are given priority acceptance.  Camp sessions include financial aid, access to resources to support student success, health and wellness, and leadership skill development.

This camp is sponsored by our partners at the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. Contact for more information.