First HDI Fund for Excellence Grants Selected!

HDI’s Fund for Excellence Endowment was established to develop critically needed programs, services or products for which funding is currently not available. We are pleased to announce that the review committee has selected three proposals submitted by HDI staff in our first round of Fund For Excellence grant competition.  

The funded proposals are:

HDI National Center for Prenatal and Postnatal Resources – Harold Kleinert and Stephanie Meredith

Through grants from the Kennedy Foundation and the HDI Fund for Excellence, the National Center for Prenatal and Postnatal Resources will have the funding to create a medically-reviewed, balanced, accurate, and up-to-date resource about Turner syndrome — following the model of their nationally recognized “Understanding a Down Syndrome Diagnosis” booklet. The Turner syndrome book will feature photographs of people with Turner syndrome engaging in daily activities, and the material will be reviewed by a consensus group of representatives from national medical organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Society of Genetic Counselors, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, and AUCD.

Click here to view the final report.

Adaptation of Health and Wellness Curriculum with Universal Design for Learning and Dyad Approach – Lindsey Mullis

This project will focus on modifying a health and wellness curriculum to use a more universal design that is accessible for people with disabilities and different learning styles — and enables them to make more informed choices about their health and wellness using the Dyad approach. The person with a developmental disability will choose a health partner with whom he or she will participate in self-selected health promotion activities.Participants will choose the health component that is of most interest to them and work toward positive changes in that specific area, such as exercise or nutrition. The lessons learned from the evaluation of this project will be used to create new resources that promote healthy lifestyles. Resources will be housed on the existing website to insure that they are available statewide.

Click here to view the final report.

Sibling Support: Building Capacity for a Kentucky Sibling Leadership Network Chapter – Carolyn Wheeler

In order to “grow” a Kentucky Chapter of the Sibling Leadership Network as a strategy of sibling support, an investment in local efforts to find and invite siblings to not only join the KY SLN Network but also to provide meaningful opportunities for siblings to gather, share information and “figure out” what makes sense for them in their local communities is the focus of this project.  This would be accomplished through six mini-grants to organizations throughout Kentucky which have a focus on family support to encourage their recruitment of adult siblings to the KY SLN Chapter as well as provide assistance in supporting siblings in whatever role, current or future, they have in their brother or sister’s lives. In addition, funding would be available to two adult siblings to attend the Ohio SIBS Conference in Columbus, Ohio, in November as a leadership development opportunity as well as to provide concrete direction for the development of a similar event as part of The Arc of Kentucky’s Conference scheduled for March 17-18, 2016 in Louisville.  Supporting siblings and their involvement in their brother or sister’s life is a critical element of “changing practice – changing lives” which is at the core of HDI’s mission.

All of these projects have the potential to significantly improve the lives of people with disabilities at a range of ages both throughout Kentucky and across the nation. Great job with all the visionary project ideas and many thanks to the review committee for their thoughtful consideration and feedback on all of the applications.

Click here to view the final report.

Applications for the next round of funding will be accepted through October 15, 2015. All HDI staff are eligible to apply! For more information, visit: or email Kathy Sheppard-Jones at