We are pleased to share that on July 1, 2015 Dr. Kathy Sheppard-Jones will officially begin her work as the Interim HDI Director. She has been employed at the University of Kentucky’s Human Development Institute since August 1996. She has served as HDI Training Director since 2010, as well as Principal Investigator for a broad range of projects—including Belonging in the Community, the Kentucky Mentoring Project, the Driver Rehabilitation Center, and UK Home Modification Services. She directs HDI’s Graduate Certificate in Developmental Disabilities and is working to establish a highly innovative Undergraduate Certificate in Universal Design, with the support of 19 faculty across 12 UK Colleges. She is Adjunct faculty in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling. We are looking forward to her visionary leadership and ability to collaborate with diverse stakeholders across the lifespan for people with disabilities.
Retiring Executive Director, Harold Kleinert shares, “I am truly excited that Kathy Sheppard-Jones is becoming the Interim Director of HDI, and how fortunate we are to have leadership right now. Kathy has the qualities that are absolutely essential for HDI at this point in our history. She is an outstanding teacher, a leading researcher in developmental disabilities, and Principal Investigator across multiple projects of state and national significance. She has secured approximately $15 million in external funding in her work at HDI. But most importantly, she is a superb collaborator who knows how to get things done. She exemplifies what a UCEDD should be doing: focusing the expertise and knowledge of professionals and students across a broad array of disciplines to work in concert with families and self-advocates to address critical problems in individuals’ everyday lives. Her work spans employment, health and wellness, transportation, housing, friendships, self-determination, and the measurement of life outcomes and life satisfaction. Her work goes to the heart of our field.”