The Human Development Institute is Kentucky’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service. We work on improving lifelong opportunities and services for individuals with disabilities, their families, and the community.
The Institute provides a strong foundation for more than 40 research, training, and service projects, addressing a wide range of topics and issues in areas such as early childhood, education, and alternate assessment, transition across the lifespan, employment, community living, and personnel preparation.
To promote the inclusion, independence, and contributions of people with disabilities and their families throughout the lifespan. We achieve our mission through education, research and evaluation, information sharing, leadership, and advocacy across Kentucky and the nation.
Our Core Values
The following principles guide all of our interactions:
- We strive for cultural and linguistic competence in all of our work and products;
- We demonstrate respect for all individuals;
- We promote self-determination through individual communication, learning, choices, and self-advocacy;
- We work for full access in education, work, health, housing, recreation, and relationships across our communities;
- We cultivate both individual and organization learning;
- We engage in open and responsive communication; and
- We foster creativity, flexibility, and collaboration.
We are working toward a time when all persons with disabilities have the necessary supports and services to live independent and contributing lives in the communities of their choice. Our vision for the future starts with persons with disabilities and their families.
- Neonatal care programs must effectively reduce long-term problems through prevention and education.
- Infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families must be identified early and receive high-quality, accessible intervention services.
- Children and youth must be provided inclusive education experiences that help them prepare for the world they will face in adulthood.
- Transitions between and among service providers must be highly interactive and seamless throughout the lives of those with disabilities.
- Families of those with disabilities must have assurance that, when necessary, long-term supports for their family members will continue through life.
- Adults and senior citizens with disabilities must have opportunities for employment; adequate, affordable housing; accessible transportation; continuing education; religious fellowship and worship; associational and civic memberships; and adequate health care.
- The rights of persons with disabilities and their families are honored, respected, and protected in all areas of their lives.
At HDI we see ourselves actively engaged in bringing these conditions to bear within Kentucky and within the states we serve by focusing on interdisciplinary education, research and development, information sharing, advocacy, and outreach.
- We will work actively within the University community to ensure that students who plan future work in disability-related services will have access to interdisciplinary, research-based training experiences involving direct interactions with persons with disabilities and their families.
- HDI will promote and conduct research, development, and model demonstration efforts to continually improve state-of-the-art best practices and services.
- We will act as an accessible information resource, actively sharing our knowledge of resources and best practices with those who administer services and supports and those they serve.
- HDI staff will provide outreach services and consultation to agency staff to identify and resolve the challenges involved in promoting and achieving independence, productivity, and inclusion of persons with disabilities and their families throughout life.
- We will continue to work in conjunction with families and consumers, advocating for needed resources and services at all levels.
The Institute will perform these activities within Kentucky and throughout the nation to help improve the lives of persons with disabilities and their families.
- HDI will remain proactive and progressive as we garner the resources that support our vision and expand the relationships that help us serve as a leader in critical areas of need.
- We will seek funding from a variety of sources within Kentucky and nationwide, capitalizing on our long history and strong reputation as a University Center for Excellence.
- HDI will maintain an on-campus presence in a fully accessible facility that is convenient and comfortable for agency personnel and consumers to utilize as a resource for training and information sharing.
- We will continue to recruit and employ a highly qualified and diverse staff dedicated to our vision and mission. That staff will be effectively trained to use technology to remain connected to those we serve within our state and nation.
In order to remain successful in these areas, HDI must continue to engage people with disabilities and families to help us more fully understand the breadth of their needs, and to develop and evaluate interventions that meet those needs. This must be done in conjunction with continuing collaboration with state and local agencies to enhance the impact of our efforts.
To achieve our vision, we must also look within. This involves linking our personal visions with those of our University, our collaborators, and our consumers. Internally, we must become an increasingly cohesive entity.
- HDI will be organized to allow us to work effectively and efficiently toward our goals. We will orient new staff in ways that ensure feelings of competence and belonging, and succeed in maintaining our positive working environment.
- We will provide ongoing opportunities for learning, and we will share experiences that create ongoing collaborative opportunities to develop new knowledge and new solutions.
- We will seek the best available technology to ensure the optimal use of our resources and opportunities to model our successful use of technology to others.