Health News

HDI Staff Spotlight on Adam Potter

Young man with fair skin and dark hair wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and tennis shoes
For much of his college career, Adam Potter struggled to find the right path. Despite being an avid musician, he didn’t feel like his initial ...

Stigma Silenced: Stories Spoken, A Mental Health Podcast is coming soon!

Stigma Silenced: Stories Spoken, A Mental Health Podcast is coming soon!
We are so excited to share the stories of those who have experienced stigma related to a mental health condition.  ...

HDI Celebrates National Mentoring Month

Two people seated on a couch talking
January is National Mentoring Month, and that makes it a great time to highlight HDI’s Disability Mentoring Program. The program pairs people with disabilities with ...

Making Connections

two people talking and laughing
As Executive Director Dr. Kathy Sheppard-Jones tells it, 2023 was a year of connections for the Human Development Institute. Connections, according to Sheppard-Jones, are a ...

HDI Staff and Students Attend AUCD Annual Conference

six HDI staff and students standing in front of the AUCD conference banner
University of Kentucky Human Development Institute (HDI) staff and students attend the 2023 Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) conference. The theme of this ...

“All people offer perspective that is valuable to the rest of the world.” HDI Staff Erin Fitzgerald speaks on their experience with Neurodiversity and mental health

Erin Fitzgerald, a staff member of HDI is wearing a blue flannel and holding a washboard to make music. they are on a blue background with HDI's logo in the top left.
The following article discusses suicide, which some readers may find distressing. Erin Fitzgerald could always see the signs that she was different growing up - ...

UK expands training to help substance-exposed children

baby playing with blocks
Educators from the University of KY are providing a unique service to address a desperate need- training students to work with babies born substance exposed ...

“I hate being treated like an emergency waiting to happen.” UK student Bailey Patterson speaks on her experience with suicide and wanting to help others

"I hate being treated like an emergency waiting to happen." UK student Bailey Patterson speaks on her experience with suicide and wanting to help others
The following article discusses suicide, suicidal ideation, miscarriage, and sexual abuse, which some readers may find distressing.  ...

Community Health Workers make connections across Kentucky

Two women in a room sitting at a table
Community Health Workers (CHWs) are front-line workers that serve as the bridge between our communities and the healthcare system. CHWs work across our state to ...

HDI Photo Library Available Now!

Four people smiling and laughing with their arms around each other. Trees are in the background.
Stock photography lacks disability representation. The photos are often staged and use models without disabilities resulting in misrepresentation and unnatural scenes. Staff from the University ...

HDI’s Preservice Health Training Stands the Test of Time

HDI’s Preservice Health Training Stands the Test of Time
Medical knowledge can advance so quickly that it’s a wonder when any tool stands the test of more than a few years. HDI’s Preservice Training ...

Turner wins Gold!

LEND Trainee Morgan Turner headshot
Though everyone working at HDI is a champion of some sort, one of us has the medals to prove it. Morgan Turner, a program education ...

“Mental health isn’t a one-size fits all.” Austin Nugent speaks on her experience with OCD and how it may look different from what you think.

"Mental health isn't a one-size fits all." Austin Nugent speaks on her experience with OCD and how it may look different from what you think.
What do you think of when you think about OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder? Is it someone who has to obsessively organize their whole book collection ...

Austin Nugent reflects on her experience in therapy, misdiagnosis, and the importance of finding a therapist you trust

Austin Nugent reflects on her experience in therapy, misdiagnosis, and the importance of finding a therapist you trust
Austin Nugent remembers the moment when someone first suggested she try therapy. “I was in Europe, and I called my mom from a four-star hotel ...

A Semi-Brief Fascinating History of American Sign Language + Resources for Learning

ASL
There is a vast misconception among hearing Americans that American Sign Language is English on the hands, but in fact, it is a full language ...

HDI’s Lisa Amstutz is Second in Kentucky to Earn Special Credential for Mental Health ASL Interpreting

HDI's Lisa Amstutz is Second in Kentucky to Earn Special Credential for Mental Health ASL Interpreting
Lisa Amstutz earned her Qualified Mental Health Interpreter Certification earlier this month, making her the second American Sign Language interpreter in Kentucky to do so ...

Lifetime access pass to national parks and recreational land offers accessible options to Americans with disabilities  

rock formations with bright horizon, with a circular body of bright blue water in the middle, and a tall rock formation in the center or the water
Spring sunshine continues to taunt summer loving Kentuckians with its promise of the radiant afternoon rays that fade into calm evening glow. It’s a great ...

“Can You Read My Lips?” Ten Things to Know Before You Ask

Illustration of lips followed by text: "Can you read my lips?" Here's what you should know before you ask.
Lip reading is a communication technique in which a person who does not have full access to sound closely watches the mouth of a speaker ...

HDI Celebrates Developmental Disability Awareness Month

HDI Celebrates Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month 2023 with Amanda Stahl
This month (March), HDI celebrates Developmental Disability Awareness Month. For some people, that may lead to questions about what defines a developmental disability. Developmental disabilities ...

ASL Team delivers services at Southeast Regional Institute on Deafness

ASL Team standing in front of SERID Conference poster
This past October, the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreting Team, housed at the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute, ...

UK HDI Fund for Excellence Award to fund Bluegrass Mountain Biking Accessibility Initiative 

Person using an adaptive bike in the woods
Kentuckians will soon have access to an adaptive mountain biking trail, thanks in part to an internal grant funded by the UK Human Development Institute ...

HDI celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month written in yellow, orange, and white on a navy blue background with colorful triangles as a border
17 October, 2022 | Written by Delaney Wickert Upon the conclusion of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15th—October 15th), the Human Development Institute would like to ...

The State of HDI Episode 2: Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Photo of Stephanie Meredith
Description: October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month; in this episode, join Stephanie Meredith, HDI's Medical Outreach Director and the mother of Andy, a 22-year-old with ...

As Suicide Prevention Awareness Month comes to a close, keep these risk factors in mind

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month 2022
30 September 2022 | Written By Delaney Wickert Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, or SPAM, is recognized during the month of September. Suicide is an important ...

Human Development Institute’s Stephanie Meredith receives PCORI Engagement Award to address health disparities as related to Down syndrome diagnoses in Black and Hispanic families

latino boy
The Lettercase National Center for Prenatal and Postnatal Resources at the University of Kentucky’s Human Development Institute (HDI) has been awarded a prestigious Eugene Washington ...

Southeast SuperHub Champions working to increase vaccine confidence 

Woman getting a bandage after shot
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 ...

UK Human Development Institute Resources Formally Recommended by American Academy of Pediatrics for Families of Infants with Down Syndrome

Mother and father with a baby with Down syndrome
In a clinical report released on April 18, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended resources administered by the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute to ...

HDI to Host Prenatal Disability Education Summit

b/w photo of infant with black hair
On May 13, 2022, the National Center for Prenatal and Postnatal Resources, housed at the UK Human Development Institute will host the Prenatal Disability Education ...

HDI Staff and Students Selected to present at National Conferences

microphone with chairs in the foreground
Congratulations to HDI Staff selected to present at the 2022 National Council on Rehabilitation Education Conference in San Diego, California in March. Evaluating the Stress-Appraisal-Coping ...

University of Kentucky Human Development Institute releases 2022-2023 Strategic Plan

University of Kentucky Human Development Institute releases 2022-2023 Strategic Plan
The University of Kentucky Human Development Institute (HDI) is pleased to announce the release of its 2022-2023 Strategic Plan. As Kentucky’s University Center on Disability, ...

HDI introduces new mental health project: Merge

Merge Logo.
The University of Kentucky Human Development Institute introduces a new project: Merge. The project will strengthen the existing training framework serving Kentuckians with co-occurring mental ...

HDI Staff to Present at Annual AUCD Conference

AUCD Conference ad.
University of Kentucky Human Development Institute (HDI) staff are preparing to present sessions and posters at the 2021 Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) ...

Kentucky’s OVR Interpreters in Action at SERID Conference

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 ...

HDI Launches Storytelling Website

Jacob Mason Tina Jackson Story video still with Jacob and Tina during the interview with the caption: "Who are you and why do you want to share your story?"
The University of Kentucky Human Development Institute Digital Storytelling Initiative highlights the stories and lived experiences of people with disabilities. By recording and collecting stories, the ...

HDI Receives Notice of Awards

Photo of Mineral Industries Building with UK blue overlay and UK HDI logo in white
The University of Kentucky Human Development Institute (HDI) received notice of award of a five-year grant from the Administration for Community Living to better serve ...

HDI to partner with the Adaptive Martial Arts Association

two male martial artists shaking hands; one man is wearing white and is standing and the other man is wearing black and uses a wheelchair for mobility. Three martial artists are shown in the background.
The Kentucky Inclusive Health Collaborative at the UK Human Development Institute is excited to partner with the Adaptive Martial Arts Association (AMAA) to develop training ...

Promoting COVID-19 Vaccine Access and Confidence

smiling woman with short brown hair wearing a tan top, jean jacket, and hoop earrings with trees in the background
Over the next year, the UK Human Development Institute will work with the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) and several partners as part ...

Recharging Resiliency Together

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 ...

Dahl to Co-Chair AUCD Special Interest Group

Kristen wearing a black and white gingham shirt smiling in front of a tree trunk. She has long, blonde hair and is wearing berry lipstick
Kristen Dahl, LPCC, CHES, has been selected to co-Chair the Mental Health Aspects of I/DD Special Interest Group of the Association of University Centers on ...

Communication Initiative for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Jacqui Kearns Staff Photo
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 ...

Wellness Edge awards grants to local communities!

People exercising.
The University of Kentucky Human Development Institute’s Kentucky Inclusive Health Collaborative has awarded grants through Wellness Edge. This program aims to improve health outcomes for individuals with ...

Enter now to win!

Comic Book cover with 5 illustrations of people wearing blue shirts and gray pants
The University of Kentucky Human Development Institute - HDI​ with Michael Carter, creator of  the "Disability Don't Mean Can't" (DDMC) comic book series to host ...

Danielle Augustin selected as AUCD Emerging Leader

Staff Photo of Danielle Augustin
The UK Human Development Institute is pleased to announce the selection of Danielle Augustin as an Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Emerging Leader.  ...

The University of Kentucky and the Human Development Institute are happy to announce Year 3 funding for Wellness Edge

Green and Blue Health and Wellness logo
Wellness Edge provides grants of up to $24,999 to community organizations that aim to increase the quality of engagement for individuals with paralysis and their ...

Administration for Community Living funds Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities

Pregnant woman with toddler on a beach
The Administration for Community Living has awarded the University of Cincinnati Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities a $1.5 million grant to lead eight national partners, ...

Lindsey Mullis receives 2019 APHA Student Member Award

Woman receiving award from another woman
The American Public Health Association (APHA) has selected Lindsey Mullis to receive the 2019 Disability Section Student Member Award presented at their Annual Meeting and ...

Available Now! Comic Book Featuring People with Disabilities Achieving Health Goals

Photo of Comic book featuring 4 youth with disabilities and a superhero.
As a way to help motivate and inspire people, I created the comic book DDMC Man, in which the hero has Ataxia, much like me to show ...

Results from needs assessment for Kentuckians with developmental/intellectual disabilities

Results from needs assessment for Kentuckians with developmental/intellectual disabilities
Education and early intervention, self-advocacy, employment, housing, transportation, childcare, and community supports were all listed as areas of need by service providers, family members and ...

Latest Fund for Excellence Awards: March 2019

Mother and father with a baby with Down syndrome
The Human Development Institute (HDI) established the Fund for Excellence for the development of innovative programs, services or products to address the needs of individuals ...

Spotlight on Danielle Augustin

Photo of Danielle Augustin
Danielle Augustin is a part-time Inclusive Health Project Assistant at HDI with work spanning several projects, including the Health and Wellness Initiative: Project CHEER and ...

HDI’s Judy Johns Recognized by the National Association for Mental Health (NAMI)

Judy Johns receiving NAMI award
HDI's Judy Johns was recognized as the "Family Support Group Facilitator of the Year" on September 22 at the 2018 NAMI Kentucky Annual Conference for ...

Project CHEER offers Adaptive Exercise Videos to Improve Health for Everyone!

Athletic man in a wheelchair lifting weights.
Individuals with disabilities experience many barriers that prevent them from living the healthiest lifestyle possible. Ability to participate in regular physical activity is a common ...

Wellness Edge is ready to accept applications!

Two men, including one with prosthetics and one man using a wheelchair, exercising with a woman
by Jason Jones The University of Kentucky Human Development Institute (HDI) received a three-year grant totaling $600,000 from the Administration on Community Living. The project, ...

The Department for Medicaid Services Rescinds Proposed Changes to the Collection of Patient Liability for Long-Term Care Waiver Recipients

Photo of patient with Down syndrome and doctor using stethoscope on him
by Kevin McManis Between May and June 2018, the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services sent letters to approximately 20,000 Kentucky long-term care waiver recipients detailing the amount ...

UK HDI Receives Grant to Help Serve Individuals With Paralysis

Two men, including one with prosthetics and one man using a wheelchair, exercising with a woman
From UKNow: HDI has received a three-year grant totaling $600,000 from the Administration on Community Living. The project, Wellness Edge, is a Paralysis Resource Center State ...

Latest Fund for Excellence: Research on Impact of Physical Activity on ADHD Symptoms

Child on swing.
We’re excited to share that HDI will be devoting a Fund for Excellence grant this spring to research focused on "A School-Based Physical Activity Intervention for ...

Building Healthy Inclusive Communities

People exercising.
“Inclusion is vital in today’s society for so many reasons and health is one of the most important! In order for people with a disability ...

HDI Promotes Health and Wellness at the Special Olympics Kentucky State Basketball Tournament: The Healthy Athletes Event

Photo of attendees at Special Olympics
HDI's Elaine Eisenbaum, Lindsey Mullis, and Anna Fuller promoted good health with friends at the Special Olympics Kentucky State Basketball tournament—the Healthy Athletes event! Lindsey ...

Spring Seminar: Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: An Overview

Man looking out window sadly.
“Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptomology can overlap and present similarly. The presentation will provide an overview of TBI and PTSD ...

Raising Awareness and Inclusion for Healthy Hearts

Photo of Lindsey Mullis measuring heart rates.
by Lindsey Mullis The Kentucky CARE Collaborative (Cardiovascular, Assessment, Risk-reduction and Education) is a free blood pressure awareness program that aims to increase the number ...

Fall Seminar: Medicaid Waivers 101

Photo of Kentucky state capitol.
“What are the Medicaid waiver programs available to assist persons with developmental disabilities in Kentucky? What services does the Medicaid waivers program offer in Kentucky? ...