Provider Development Specialist
Supports for Community/KY Supported Employment Training Project
Responsibilities: Training for providers in Supports for Community Living/Michelle P waiver staff; employment specialists who provide supported employment services
Experiences: Facilitation of person-centered planning meetings and trainings; consultation/training on impact of work on Social Security Disability benefits; estate planning issues for families of people with disabilities; ABLE accounts and Hart Supported Living
Reason: I had the opportunity to work for what is now the American Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities when I was a college student at The American University in the 70's. Through that experience, I met key leaders in the field, including Dr. Burton Blatt, Dr. Wolf Wolfesnberger, and Dr. Doug Biklen form Syracuse University. I then attended Syracuse University to obtain my Master's degree in 1976, a year after passage of P.L. 94-142 and was fortunate to have each of these individuals as professors and mentors.
Research: Motivational factors influencing parents to plan for the future.
Interests: Assisting people to plan for the future using capacity driven approaches; supporting learning about impact of work on Social Security Disability Benefits; training and technical assitance for familes to plan for a safe and secure future including founding member of Life Plan of Kentucky, Inc., a pooled special needs trust
Carolyn Wheeler is a native Kentuckian with over 40 years of experience in program development, training, and advocacy on behalf of people with disabilities and their families. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from The American University and her master’s degree in Special Education at Syracuse University. From November 1990, to the present, Carolyn has been employed on a variety of projects with the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky. She was instrumental in the development of the Kentucky Hart Supported Living Program and the promotion of person-centered planning practices. She is a founding member of Life Plan of Kentucky, which is a pooled special needs trust. Carolyn is certified as a Community Partner Work Incentives Counselor and provides training on the positive financial impact of working for people who receive Social Security Disability benefits. She was also involved in planning efforts to implement the ABLE Act in Kentucky. Since 1980, Carolyn has voluntarily served as a legal guardian and Power of Attorney for three different individuals with intellectual disabilities whose parents were deceased. In this role she has helped each of them to live a good life in the community.