KY LEND Trainee Spotlight: Kaitlin O'Neill

KY LEND Trainee Spotlight: Kaitlin O’Neill

Kaitlin O’Neill is a second-year doctoral student in the University of Kentucky’s Special Education Leadership Personnel Preparation Program. She is also completing requirements to become a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). 

O’Neill holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education for Moderate and Severe Disabilities from the University of Kentucky and a Rank 2 Kentucky Educator License Teaching Certification for Teaching Exceptional Children, Moderate and Severe Disabilities, grades primary through twelve.

Her primary area of research involves improving the efficiency of established, effective, evidence-based teaching practices for students with disabilities. She is also the project manager of a research team focused on improving methods for teaching children with intellectual disabilities how to self-instruct using mobile technology instead of relying on adult prompts. O’Neill plans to teach at the university level when she completes her degree.

O’Neill was recently awarded the CEC Teacher Education Division Kaleidoscope 2022 Student Research Poster Competition for Outstanding Single Case Research. This was awarded at the Council for Exceptional Children Conference in Orlando, FL in January 2022. The title of her poster was “Differential Effects of Criteria for Increasing Delay Intervals in Progressive Time Delay.”

O’Neill is currently enrolled as a trainee in the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute’s (HDI) Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program. LEND is a five-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration Maternal and Child Health Bureau in partnership with the University of Louisville and Eastern Kentucky University. 

These programs share the overall mission of improving the health of infants, children, and adolescents with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. LEND aims to increase the number of professionals with the knowledge and skills to provide evidence-based screening and diagnosis, as well as support to individuals and families.

HDI is currently accepting applications across disciplines for the 2022—2023 academic year. A total of nine trainees will be accepted in the LEND fellowship. The fellowship includes leadership coursework and an array of clinical and community placements each semester. Trainees commit to 15 hours of LEND activities each week.

Applications for the 2022—2023 academic year must be submitted on or before March 18th, 2022. Complete the online application here: 

Finalists will be interviewed before the selection of nine trainees for a nine-month fellowship. All applicants will be notified by April 15th, 2022. Trainees must be one of the following: 

  • Enrolled in a graduate or post-graduate training program in a LEND discipline
  • A family member of an individual with an intellectual/developmental disability
  • An individual with an intellectual or developmental disability

Visit to learn more and apply online. Contact the Kentucky LEND Project Director with any questions or to schedule an informational session for your department and interested students!