There are many things I value about HDI, but two stand out to me as most important. The first is the way students are supported, nurtured, and respected as partners in our work. Research Assistants work on grant proposals, travel to present at conferences, and enjoy opportunities to contribute to the literature in our field. Practicum students have developed learning and evaluation tools that continue to benefit us long after they have moved on. The ways students are valued and embraced by the institute says a lot about our cultural character. Another vitally important aspect is our interdisciplinary focus, which provides access to a wide array of viewpoints, theories, and methods to use in our work. Having multiple ways to think about problems allows us to develop solutions that are truly innovative, and to continue growing our own understandings of disability in society.
—Bev Harp, Principal Investigator on Innovative Supports for Autistic Workers
by Amanda Corbin
The Supported Training Experiences Post-Secondary (STEPS) case study project provides leadership skill-building opportunities for college freshmen with disabilities who participated in the HDI Summer Leadership Experience (SLE) camp. HDI’s Teresa Belluscio leads the project. Teresa is a disability advocate with over twenty years’ experience serving underrepresented groups.
Five students participated in STEPS. After attending SLE camp as high school seniors, they graduated and began their first semester of college in August 2018. These five students met together regularly with Ms. Belluscio to discuss leadership and self-advocacy. They also became official peer mentors for high schoolers at the 2018 SLE camp where they worked with campers throughout the week. Continue reading