microphone with chairs in the foreground

HDI Staff to present at AUCD Annual Conference

Staff representing the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute (HDI) will present at the 2020 Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) conference December 7-9. The theme of this year’s conference is Achieving Equity, Leading the Way in the Next Decade. The HDI is a member of the AUCD organization that supports and promotes a national network of university-based interdisciplinary programs in every U.S. state and territory to achieve meaningful change.

Dr. Tawara Goode, conference Chairperson, reports that the virtual event will attract an international audience of people with disabilities, leaders from multiple disciplines, researchers, scientists, advocates, policy experts, and other key stakeholders. This year’s theme will serve as a call to action for the AUCD network to create a national equity agenda in partnership with people with disabilities, their families, and the communities in which they live.

Visit www.aucd.org for more information about the AUCD network and conference.  If you are interested in learning more about HDI programs or the presentations being made, contact Beth.Potter@uky.edu.

Conference sessions presented by HDI staff include:

Highlighting the Lived Experience and Professional Perspective of Mental Health & Disability Through Storytelling
Presenter: Danielle Augustin, MS, Health Coach & Project Coordinator, Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute, UCEDD
Co-Presenter: Jefferson Sheen, PhD, Logan, UT, United States, UT – Center for Persons with Disabilities, UCEDD/LEND

Contributing Author: Alex Schiwal, PhD, Logan, UT, United States, UT – Center for Persons with Disabilities, UCEDD/LEND

Workplace Accommodations and Universal Design for Young Adult Central Nervous System Cancer Survivors
Presenter: Kathy Sheppard-Jones, Ph.D., Executive Director, Lexington, KY, KY – Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute, UCEDD
Co-Presenter(s): Stuart Rumrill, M.S., Madison, WI,  KY – Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute, UCEDD; Phillip Rumrill, Ph.D., Lexington, KY, KY – Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute, UCEDD

How Food Insecurity Shapes Mental Health for People with Disabilities and Incorporating Inclusive Community Nutrition Programs

Presenter(s): Lindsey Mullis, M.S., Inclusive Health & Wellness Director, KY- Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute, UCEDD; Meredith Williams, MPH, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Danielle Augustin,M.S., Lexington,KY, Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute, UCEDD
Austin Nugent,B.A.,Louisville,KY,United States,KY – Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute, UCEDD
Contributing Author: D. Phuong Do, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI;

The Center for Dignity in Healthcare: Reducing Health Inequities and Addressing Medical Discrimination Experienced by People with Developmental Disabilities


Chithra Adams, PhD, Director of Evaluation, Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute, UCEDD

Kara Ayers, PhD, Cincinnati, OH, University of Cincinnati UCE, UCEDD/LEND;
Leah Smith, MPA, Cincinnati, OH, University of Cincinnati UCE, UCEDD/LEND;
Ilka Riddle, PhD, Cincinnati, OH, University of Cincinnati UCE, UCEDD/LEND;
Maureen van Stone, Esq., MS, Balitmore, MD, Kennedy Krieger Institute, UCEDD/LEND;
Tracy Waller, Esq., MS, Baltimore, MD, University of Cincinnati UCE, UCEDD/LEND;
Tiffany Opii, MPA, Lexington, KY, Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute, UCEDD;

Kristen wearing a black and white gingham shirt smiling in front of a tree trunk. She has long, blonde hair and is wearing berry lipstick

Dahl to Co-Chair AUCD Special Interest Group

Kristen Dahl, LPCC, CHES, has been selected to co-Chair the Mental Health Aspects of I/DD Special Interest Group of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). This group provides information on critical issues related to mental health for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD). Their vision is to promote inclusion and belonging for all people with IDD and MH needs. Learn more about this group and their resources on AUCD’s website.  

Kristen is the Senior Program Manager for the Mental Health Developmental Disabilities (MHDD) National Training Center.  The MHDD National Training Center is a collaboration between the University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the University of Kentucky, University of Alaska Anchorage, and Utah State University. Established in 2018 through funding provided by the Administration for Community Living, they work to improve mental health services and supports for people with developmental disabilities. By serving as a national clearinghouse, we help provide access to the most current evidence-based, trauma-informed, culturally responsive practices that address the mental health needs of individuals with developmental disabilities.

Contact Kristen.Dahl@uky.edu for more information.

b/w photo of infant with black hair

Hausman and Howard to lead Kentucky’s Act Early Network

The University of Kentucky Human Development Institute (HDI) has received a 2020 Act Early State and Territorial Team COVID-19 Response Initiative grant funded through an existing cooperative agreement between the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

Christine Hausman, Kentucky’s Act Early Ambassador, and Mary Howard, Director of Child Care Aware of Kentucky, will lead this effort to ensure there is continued and enhanced access to relevant developmental monitoring tools, materials, and program information that will improve resiliency of families with young children during the COVID-19 response. This opportunity is expected to help boost and evaluate the integration of parent-engaged developmental monitoring using “Learn the Signs. Act Early” (LTSAE) in statewide programs serving families with young children (birth to age 5).  

Dr. Kathy Sheppard-Jones, HDI’s Executive Director, says, “HDI has the team, the resources, and the broad partnerships necessary to carry out this critical initiative for Kentucky’s children and families.

Visit the LTSAE website to learn more.

boy in wheat field with sun shining brightly

Mary Howard selected a Children’s Mental Health Champion

The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) with support from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has selected Mary Howard, HDI Research and Development Associate for Early Care and Education, as a Children’s Mental Health Champion. Mary is one of six people selected for this opportunity to serve as a state liaison to the CDC’s Children’s Mental Health program. She will act as community champion change agent to increase awareness activities and improvement of positive parenting practices; develop and test strategies for building partnerships to promote identification, screening, referral, and intervention; and implement effective strategies for mental health promotion, prevention supports, and creation of networks (e.g., school, healthcare, and community) and promote better connections between these systems.

Mary serves as the Director of Child Care Aware of Kentucky and has a network of potential partners who serve children and their families across the Commonwealth.

Dr. Kathy Sheppard-Jones, HDI’s Executive Director, says “We’ve known Mary as a champion for early childhood for many years. This new role is so important in bridging mental health needs for our little-ist Kentuckians. Having an opportunity for dialogue at a national level will help strengthen families in the Commonwealth.”

In addition to Kentucky, individuals were selected to represent California, Colorado, New Mexico, Virginia, and Washington D.C. You can learn more about the CDC’s Children’s Mental Health Program at https://www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth/index.html and AUCD at www.aucd.org.

Project Contact:  Mary.Howard@uky.edu

Staff Photo of Danielle Augustin

Danielle Augustin selected as AUCD Emerging Leader

The UK Human Development Institute is pleased to announce the selection of Danielle Augustin as an Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Emerging Leader.  Emerging Leaders can make a collective impact at the local, state, and national level and are part of a community of early career professionals from all health and related disciplines, including self-advocates and family members; and others that are relatively new to the disability field.  AUCD provides an array of resources, including access to a diverse range of disability experts from across the country, as well as opportunities for leadership, academic, and professional growth.  

Danielle has her master’s degree in Health Promotion and is the Disability Education Health Coach for UK HDI Health and Wellness initiatives. As a health coach, Danielle aims to empower individuals with disabilities and their support networks to live a holistically healthy lifestyle which prioritizes the mental, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, sexual, and social aspects of health alongside the physical aspects.  

“The ability to continue to fight for the equality of people with disabilities, without discouragement, is both a meaningful skill and a beautiful art”.

              -Danielle Augustin

 Learn more about AUCD Emerging Leaders at https://www.aucd.org/emergingleaders/Home.