On April 22, AUCD Executive Director, Andy Imparato, visited HDI to learn more about our work and also share ideas with us about ways we can expand our programs and connect to other centers. He also participated in our Spring Seminar series, along with Jeff Edwards of Kentucky Protection and Advocacy, to speak about disability policy issues at the federal and state level.
During the morning meetings, HDI staff shared with Imparato the range of different programs and resources we offer across the life course in a range of area, including health, education, resources, employment, transition services, and more. He offered specific insights during each presentation with suggestions about how to reach even more consumers, identify funding sources, and find colleagues engaging in similar work in the AUCD network.
During the Spring Seminar that afternoon, Imparato spoke about key provisions and opportunities connected to recent federal legislation like the Workforce Innovation Opportunities Act, the Every Student Succeeds Act, and the ABLE Act. He also addressed the approach that the Supreme Court of the United States has taken in the area of disability rights, both in terms of Constitutional rulings and interpretation of key disability laws on a wide range of issues, and the implications of the current Supreme Court Justice vacancy for the disability community.
Dr. Kathy Sheppard-Jones shares, “We are extremely thankful for the generosity with which Andy shared his time and expertise. It was a terrific opportunity for our staff, affiliate faculty and students to learn from a leader in the field, and get a greater understanding of how we fit and contribute to the AUCD network.”
“The Human Development Institute is one of the strongest, most innovative centers in our network” says Imparato, “I was delighted to get to spend time with Drs. Kathy Sheppard-Jones and Harold Kleinert in the same trip, and witness the smooth transition of leadership that they have been able to manage. HDI is at the cutting edge of so many issues, from inclusive classrooms to health promotion to helping to educate parents and professionals about the implications of a prenatal or postnatal diagnosis of Down syndrome and other congenital conditions. HDI is a world-class center for excellence and we are lucky to have them as part of the AUCD network.”