Woman with long brown hair wearing a pink and white striped shirt standing in front of a tree

50th Anniversary Spotlight on Amanda Corbin

To me, HDI means helping people. When my nine-year-old was asked what his mom’s job was, he said, “She helps people with disabilities.” That’s what HDI does, and I feel fortunate to be a part of the work happening here.
Amanda Corbin – Data Support Specialist

How did you come to know HDI?
While working on my master’s at UK, I came across a temporary position at HDI.

How long have you been at HDI and what is your role?
I started in January of 2017 as a temporary employee in the Evaluation Unit, and was hired in September of that year as a data support specialist.

During your time at HDI, of which accomplishments are you most proud?
From writing an advocacy op-ed, to researching the employment needs of individuals with disabilities, to facilitating a community conversation simultaneously in Lexington, Murray, and Morehead via video conference, I’m proud to support the work of a number of different projects across HDI.

Please share a fun or fond moment you had with HDI?
I recently participated in StoryCorps training and was touched by the interviews with young people with disabilities. Sharing personal stories is so powerful, and I can’t wait to hear what stories are out there waiting to be heard!

What do you think the future holds for HDI?
I think HDI will continue to expand its reach and make an even larger impact on the lives of people with disabilities.

Do you have any advice for current and future staff and students at HDI?
There is so much expertise and so much passion at HDI! Reach out to your colleagues to learn as much as you can.

Kentucky State Capitol

Research Brief Summer 2018

Exploring and Understanding the Advocacy Needs of Kentuckians with Developmental Disabilities

by Chithra Adams, Amanda Corbin, Luke O’Hara, Kathleen Sheppard-Jones, & Malachy Bishop

In this research brief we present the results of a recent needs assessment evaluating the advocacy-based needs for Kentuckians with developmental disabilities and their families. Results highlight the different levels and types of supports needed to build self-advocacy capacity and to inform effective planning and services and the individual, local, and state levels.

Download here.

Two men with Down syndrome in a meeting.

Research Brief Fall 2017: A Statewide Community Conversation about Post-School Employment for Kentucky Youth with the Most Significant Disabilities

by Chithra Adams, Harold Kleinert, Kathy Sheppard-Jones, Amanda Corbin & Malachy Bishop

Young adults with disabilities face multiple challenges in obtaining successful post-school employment outcomes. This situation has remained relatively unchanged despite nearly 25 years of federal attention to the issue, including mandated transition services and a series of additional significant legislative responses. Recent research by Carter, Austin, and Trainor (2012) highlighted the severity of the situation, showing that “just 26% of recent graduates with severe disabilities were working for pay in their community up to 2 years after leaving high school” and 43% of those who were employed “held jobs in which most other workers had disabilities” (Carter et al., 2016, p. 398).

KentuckyWorks is a five-year systems change grant project designed to directly impact post-school outcomes for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Kentucky. KentuckyWorks is a collaborative, multi-partner project that aims to impact youth outcomes within each of the state’s 174 school districts, and the target population is defined as all KY transition-age students with the most significant disabilities. The goal is to increase positive post-school outcomes (integrated employment, participation in post-secondary education, or both) for students with the most significant disabilities in the state by 20 percentage points over the five years of this grant.

Read the Research Brief.