Summer Leadership Camp students with certificates

Latest Fund for Excellence Grants: Winter 2018

We’re excited to share that HDI is funding the following four outstanding Fund for Excellence projects this quarter! With improved consumer advocacy, leadership, and transportation options, take a look at these projects to learn how HDI plans to build more inclusive and empowered communities in Kentucky and nationwide.

This round of Fund for Excellence projects represent timely and exciting recognition of pressing needs in Kentucky. We hope that findings will be used to directly impact lives of Kentuckians with disabilities and their families, with the potential to add to the literature and develop larger projects as well!—Kathy Sheppard-Jones

  • Rural Transportation Toolkit Project: Christina Espinosa Bard and Jeff White
    The purpose of this project is to identify and then work collaboratively with a rural community in Kentucky, partnering with local government and organizations, to implement and evaluate a Rural Transportation Voucher Program (developed by the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living [APRIL]) for providing rural transportation solutions for community residents with disabilities. 

    This collaborative approach is critical to building relationships, identifying resources, and implementing the toolkit. The project will ultimately rely on local administration by a civic or community agency based program. The role of HDI project staff will be to initially organize and administer the transportation solution. KentuckyWorks will additionally contribute marketing and communication strategies to promote the transportation offering.

  • Unpuzzled: Leadership and Allyship Development Project: Bev Harp and Laura Butler
    This project proposes to launch a series of discussions around self-advocate leadership with a statewide unconference for people with disabilities. The unconference, along with supporting social media, will create a space for engaging with ideas around self-advocacy and self-determination, and for experienced self-advocates to mentor [allies and] those who have had fewer opportunities to self advocate.
  •  Fund for Excellence Project: HDI Supported Training Experiences Post-Secondary (STEPS) Case Study: Teresa Belluscio
    This project will build upon work started in the HDI Summer Leadership Experience camp of 2017. The SLE provided skill-building experiences for high school junior and seniors who had plans to transition into postsecondary education. The SLE had 11 participants, many were juniors who would enter their senior year Fall 2017 and graduate May 2018. This project will focus on a select group of those campers who would like to continue building the skill sets needed to be successful leaders and self-advocates.
  • HDI Consumer Advocacy Toolkit (CAT): Caroline Gooden, Jennifer Ulbricht, and Lindsey Coleman
    The Consumer Advocacy Toolkit will provide resources, and it will teach users how to help themselves, family members, or clients. The Toolkit will be self-guided and written in plain language. Unique features of the Toolkit include question-and-answer sections where users will fill-in-the- blanks to define their experience and needs by writing or typing.

For more information about how to apply for a Fund for Excellence grant in the next round, visit: