Pregnant woman with toddler on a beach

Administration for Community Living funds Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities

The Administration for Community Living has awarded the University of Cincinnati Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities a $1.5 million grant to lead eight national partners, including the Human Development Institute (HDI) at the University of Kentucky, and other stakeholders in establishing a Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities (CDHPD). The CDHPD will develop and disseminate protocols to address and prevent healthcare discrimination that can impact Americans with disabilities across the lifespan.

ACL reports that “the Center will develop resources for medical professionals to address and prevent healthcare discrimination, including policies, protocols, and resources. They will also develop resources for reporting healthcare discrimination and advocacy in partnership with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families.” The main areas of focus for the grant will be prenatal screening, organ transplants, mental health, ageing, and end-of-life issues for people with I/DD.

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Smiling woman with black hair and glasses looking at the camera.

HDI Spotlight on Chithra Adams

My entire career has been with HDI. Career journeys involve growth and are filled with highs, lows, and doubts. The one thing constant in my career journey is what HDI stands for and its impact on our communities. It is an incredible privilege to be working with people who push boundaries, advocate, and work towards creating an inclusive community for all. It is a privilege and something that I don’t take for granted.

—Chithra Adams, Ph.D., HDI Director of Evaluation

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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.

HDI Fund for Excellence Awarded for Innovative Techniques to Assess the Effectiveness of KY Healthcare Program

HDI’s Tony LoBianco and Chithra Adams, as well as Pat Kitzman with the college of Health Sciences, recently received the HDI Fund for Excellence award to examine “Using Propensity Score Matching to assess effectiveness of health navigators on outcomes for stroke patients.” Heart disease and strokes, which are often linked to disabilities, occur more frequently in Appalachian Kentucky. In addition, “Rehabilitation providers have noted that people with disabilities in rural areas are at increased risk of secondary complications due to a lack of access to specialized support services and limited healthcare provider knowledge about neurological impairments.” Therefore, the Kentucky Care Coordination for Community Transitions (KC3T) program trains lay community health  “navigators” to support the transition of individuals with stroke and their caregivers. Continue reading