six HDI staff and students standing in front of the AUCD conference banner

HDI Staff and Students Attend AUCD Annual Conference

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 year’s conference was Emerging Leaders: Shaping the Future.

The UK HDI is Kentucky’s Center on Disability and is a University Center of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). As a UCEDD and a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program, we are a member of the AUCD organization that supports and promotes a national network of university-based interdisciplinary programs in every U.S. state and territory to achieve meaningful change.  Visit for more information about the AUCD Network and Conference.  If you are interested in learning more about HDI programs or the presentations being made, contact

Staff and students representing HDI included Laura Butler, Kristen Dahl, Jon Drummond, Christina Espinosa, Brittany Granville, Kristopher Gruber, Bev Harp, Bailey Hull, Dr. Kathy Sheppard-Jones, and Dr. Phillip Rumrill.

Presentations included the following:

Mental Health & Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities: Landscape Analysis Results from Four States

Improving the Future of Disability & Belonging

Advocacy as Leadership: A Panel Discussion of People with Disabilities who Show Up as Leaders in a Variety of Roles

How to Become an Agent for Change in Air Travel Accessibility

The Therapeutic Value of Martial Arts for Youth with Autism: Into the Tae Kwon Do or Tang Soo Do Dojang

Emergent Vocational Rehabilitation Strategies for People with Diabetes Mellitus

Exploring the Intersection of Criminal Justice System Involvement and Disability: Considerations for Rehabilitation Services

Utilizing Propensity Score Matching Analysis to Examine the Effects of Postsecondary Education on Employment Outcomes of People with Mental Illness