As long as there are barriers to a fully inclusive society, HDI will be around to knock them down! In an odd way, I look forward to the day HDI does not need to exist.
Lou-Ann Land – Technical Assistance Specialist
How did you come to know HDI?
As a teacher, I participated in SPLASH training in the late 80s. This was my first introduction to Harold Kleinert and Jacqui Kearns. I was invited to act as a support teacher for new SPLASH participants, attended several days of training on inclusion, participated in the KY Alternate Assessment Project’s State Advisory Board and assisted with the training and scoring of alternate assessments. Eventually, I was hired on the ILSSA project.
How long have you been at HDI and what is your role?
I have worked at HDI since September of 2002, initially as a disability specialist for various states, providing technical assistance on the development of alternate assessment programs and access to the state’s standards through the general education curriculum. Since 2013, I have worked on the TAALC Communication Project, the KY Peer Support Network Project, and the KY Post-school Outcomes Center as a trainer and facilitator. These projects provide access to grade-specific academic content and a reliable communication system that are indicators for successful post-school outcomes. Using this information, I can assist school districts with interpreting data and identifying how that data can inform school-age programs and instruction.
During your time at HDI, of which accomplishments are you most proud?
Because I continually learn and grow personally and professionally in this job, I have had the opportunity to work on projects that I love. I am most proud of the work on the TAALC communication project. We have seen immediate, meaningful results.
Do you have any advice for current and future staff and students at HDI?
Take advantage of the all the knowledge at HDI through the people who work here.
What does HDI mean to you?
HDI means opportunity! For me, the opportunity to continuously learn from the expertise and experiences of all my colleagues, past and present, at HDI. For those served by the various HDI projects over the years, opportunity to access education, work, health, housing, recreation, and relationships to live a life of their choosing. Opportunities are opened and expanded because HDI holds respect and inclusion of all individuals as part of its mission and core values.