Universal Design in Action at HDI!

On September 1, HDI’s Haley Potter presented on universal design in the performing arts at the LexArts Network monthly meeting. These meetings serve as a way to present and discuss new and innovative ideas in the arts industry to professionals in Central Kentucky. Haley was joined by Erin Lum from Lexington Philharmonic as a co-presenter. The presentation titled “Universal Design for the Arts: Making the Arts Better for Everyone” provided background on disability, gave an overview on the experience in the arts as a patron with a disability, and introduced these professionals to universal design in the performing arts. This is a great example of how we can share universal design information with community partners to make their offerings more usable and accessible to the broadest array of people. Contact Haley.Potter@uky.edu to learn more about this project.

Contact ctespinosa@uky.edu to learn more about Universal Design at HDI.

young woman wearing a black sweater, black glasses, and gold earrings standing in front of palm trees

Haley Potter Awarded Burberry Award

The University of Kentucky (UK) Human Development Institute (HDI) has awarded the prestigious Paul Kevin Burberry Award to Haley Potter. Haley is a full-time HDI staff member working across multiple projects at HDI. As part of her studies in the Universal Design Certificate Program, she created a guidebook for performing arts professionals to implement accessibility, inclusion, and universal design in their organizations. She also created the Percussion Empowerment Project, a program that provided free percussion classes to middle school girls. Dr. Tony Lobianco presented the award to Haley at the HDI All-Staff Meeting and said, “Haley is a strong proponent of promoting leadership and self-advocacy”.

The annual Paul Kevin Burberry Award honor is given to a student who has demonstrated a strong commitment to people with disabilities, academic excellence, and the leadership qualities exemplified by Burberry’s own life. It is named in memory of the Berea native who was the first student with significant physical disabilities to graduate from Berea Community High School. He went on to Berea College and UK, as a philosophy major. While a student at UK, Burberry worked with HDI to create training modules to train medical and allied health students on developmental disabilities. Though his life was cut short before graduation, he was posthumously awarded his UK degree with highest honors in 2004.

Haley encourages others to continue advocating for social justice and underrepresented populations in their daily and professional lives to create a more inclusive world. Congratulations Haley Potter!

Haley wearing a black shirt smiling at the camera in front of a blue mural

Percussion Empowerment Project

A UK Human Development Institute (HDI) Fund for Excellence award has been given to Haley Potter, BA, to fund a pilot project aimed at teaching young girls about music, percussion, and performance. This inclusive extracurricular activity will be accessible to all students who identify as female. Students will learn how to read and interpret music, study the history of percussion and female percussionists, and practice performance etiquette. Supports will be provided to students as needed to participate fully in the class.

The HDI promotes inclusion and independence in all areas of life. The music industry, especially band, is historically male-dominated and many young girls may be discouraged or become uninterested at an early age. Young girls who look for inspiration from adults will rarely find a female band director, as 80% of band directors at large, public middle and high schools are male (MTD Research).  The Fund for Excellence award will support the project aims to increase the inclusion of young girls in the percussive arts by addressing the challenge of gender bias and increasing the confidence and musical knowledge of the participants. 

Contact Haley.Potter@uky.edu for more information.