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The Rehabilitation Services Administration Funds Partnership to establish Technical Assistance Center on Quality Employment

In concert with the University of Wisconsin and other committed partners, the University of Kentucky (UK) Human Development Institute (HDI) is part of the new Technical Assistance Center (TAC) on Quality Employment. Christina Bard, Community Education Director and Dr. Phil Rumrill, Director of Research and Training, will lead HDI’s involvement in this five-year project to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities.

The TAC will work closely with partners, state vocational rehabilitation (VR) programs, employers, disability advocacy organizations, and other national-level employment and disability resources to provide customized training and credential programs to meet employer demands in the post-COVID-19 economy.  The TAC will emphasize career pathways for STEM fields, apprenticeships, supported and customized employment, self-employment and business engagement.

The UKHDI will also lead the TAC team in conducting a comprehensive national needs assessment of state VR agencies regarding high-priority quality employment areas that should be the focus of technical assistance, pre-service training, and continuing education for VR counselors, college and university personnel, community rehabilitation providers, and other stakeholders in total workplace inclusion. In keeping with the ideals of Participatory Action Research, all UKHDI training, technical assistance, and credentialing efforts will be guided by input and direction from members of the disability community. 

Contact Christina.Bard@uky.edu if you have any questions.

HDI Fund for Excellence Awarded for Rural Clinic Assessment for Accessibility Project

Congratulations to HDI’s Christina Espinosa Bard who recently received the HDI Fund for Excellence award to engage in a “Rural Clinic Assessment for Accessibility Project”!

Nearly 30% of Kentuckians have a disability, which is the 6th highest prevalence in the nation (CDC, 2014, 2015). Adults with disabilities in the Commonwealth are more likely to experience negative health outcomes, including high blood pressure, obesity, inactivity and smoking. Health care for persons with disabilities are sparse and often poorly coordinated, the availability and quality of which can vary geographically, particularly in rural Appalachian Kentucky. Continue reading