HDI means “family.” We have common goals and values moving toward an ever changing but bright conclusion that we will never reach. Work goals, research, best practices flow like the tide; they come and go, but our values remain. As long as we stay true to our values and principles, HDI will remain a guiding star for the Commonwealth for many more years.
—F. Darrell Mattingly, Jr., HDI Web Developer
How did you come to know HDI?
I came to learn about HDI as a sophomore through one of my mentors, Dr. Barney Fleming.
How long have you been at HDI and what is your role?
In my near 27 years of being affiliated with HDI, I have served in a number of roles from consumer, mentee, mentor, undergraduate RA, guest lecturer, and my current role for the last 12 years as a web developer.
During your time at HDI, of which accomplishments are you most proud?
The greatest accomplishment has been watching HDI grow and evolve into the foremost expert and advocate for people with disabilities throughout the lifespan within the Commonwealth. I feel HDI has always been a strong player for school age students, but the evolution into all aspects of life away from the academic amazes me and keeps me going.
Looking back, can you please share with us a fun or fond moment you had at HDI?
For me, the work is great, but it is the social activities I remember fondly. Whether it is the tye-dye party, HDI Olympics, the movie nights, the after work social gatherings and yes, even the HDI staff meetings. It is in these moments that we lay down the academic cloaks we wear and develop the social networks that drive the HDI values and principles forward.
Do you have any advice you would like to share with current and future staff and students at HDI?
Focus on the work, but don’t let the work overshadow the HDI values. Work goals, research, best practices flow like the tide; they come and go, but our values remain.
What do you think the future holds for HDI?
HDI’s future is bright. We have the skills, talent, and determination to evolve as the needs of people with disabilities evolve. As long as we stay true to our values and principles HDI will remain a guiding star for the Commonwealth for many more years.