University Lecture Series

The Human Development Institute has an extensive catalog of one-hour lecture and seminar style presentations available at the University of Kentucky. These lectures are being offered virtually through zoom for online classes as well. We welcome the opportunity to bring diverse perspectives to your classes. The lectures cover an array of topics that include: foundational lectures on disability, advocacy, health, employment, early childhood, universal design, and assistive technology. Presenters are people with disabilities, family members of people with disabilities, and other interdisciplinary experts. For more information or to schedule a lecture for your class, Contact to reserve a speaker.

Human Development Institute: University Lecture Series 2022-2023 [PDF]

Most people who receive Social Security Disability Benefits are under the misconception they cannot save for the future.  This is not TRUE!!!  STABLE Kentucky is Kentucky’s ABLE (Achieving A Better Life Experience) program which allows a person whose disability occurred before the age of 26, their family member, friends, etc. to save up to $15,000/year without jeopardizing the person’s Supplemental Security Income eligibility or Medicaid eligibility.  Supplemental and Special Needs Trusts allow for more funds to be saved and used for supplemental needs.  This presentation will provide an overview of these tools as well as provide resource information.

Carolyn Wheeler

Supported decision making is just a way to describe how we all make decisions. It means that people turn to trusted friends, family members, and professionals to help them make decision, both large and small. Supported decision making can be used as an alternative to legal guardianship, but can also be used in any person’s life.

Laura Butler, Camille Collins-Dean

Caroline and Christine present on topics key to early childhood development for children with disabilities, as well as for their families and peers. Topics include tips for transitions within the early childhood years, from early intervention to preschool and from preschool to kindergarten, from the perspective of children, their families, and teachers. As KY’s Ambassador for the Center for Disease Control’s “Learn the Signs, Act Early” campaign, Christine presents on the early identification of children with autism and other developmental disabilities so that children and families can access the services and supports they need.

Christine Hausman, Caroline Gooden

This discussion covers the experiences of parenting a child with Down syndrome from the moment of diagnosis to the first day on the job as an adult. We cover important milestones like rebuilding dreams after a diagnosis, working toward developmental milestones through early intervention, preparing for the first day at school, cultivating healthy sibling relationships, encouraging community and school inclusion, and preparing for work.

Stephanie Meredith

Self-advocates will provide an overview of self-advocacy, including the history of self-advocate movements created by people with intellectual disabilities. The presenters will discuss past and current uses of the term “self-advocate” and will describe a variety of activities that can fall under the umbrella term. The presenters will discuss their experience with forming and leading a self-advocacy group for autistic adults and youth and will offer suggestions for others interested in joining or forming a group.

Bev Harp, Autistics United KY (AUK) and Kentuckiana Autistic Spectrum Alliance (KASA) Members

Families will provide an overview of the importance of advocacy. Personal perspectives will be shared, along with applications of advocacy in health care across the lifespan and across domains. Advocating as a parent can change across the child’s lifespan. For example, a child who is young, nonverbal, and requires full-time, round-the-clock care requires a different kind of advocacy than for an employed and active adult.

Traci Brewer, Jennifer Ulbricht, Stephanie Meredith

This lecture will share and discuss opportunities to collaborate with our community partners. The lecture will discuss identifying community stakeholders, successful relationship building within the community, the staff necessary to carry out the mission of the organization, and lessons learned from developing community partnerships with agencies that are serving children and adults with disabilities and their families.

Walt Bower

Anyone can be an ally to people with disabilities; the fundamental tools required are thoughtful listening and a willingness to step back and let disabled people lead. This training is designed for professionals, family members, direct support workers, and anyone else who would like to learn how to better support people with disabilities. The presenters will discuss the meaning of allyship and its importance to people with disabilities and will offer a wide range of interactive scenarios for evaluating efforts and improving allyship skills.

Bev Harp, Tony Lobianco

Since 2012, HDI has been instrumental in bringing participant-driven meetings, called unconferences, to Kentucky residents with disabilities, their family members, and support workers. The unconference format is inherently democratic, providing a space where disabled voices can be heard. Learn how it works and results of our 4 unconferences on sexuality as well as the more recent disability leadership unconference.

Bev Harp, Laura Butler

Did you know that Kentucky has two self-advocacy groups by and for autistic people? Autistics United Kentucky (AUK) and Kentuckiana Autistic Spectrum Alliance (KASA) engage in advocacy, social justice actions, and community events, promoting the rights of all autistic people. We also have a lot of fun! Learn about some of our past, present, and future projects.

Bev Harp, AUK and KASA members

Individuals with disabilities are 3 times more likely to experience heart disease, stroke, diabetes,
and cancer. Kentucky is one of the highest ranked states with a disability rate of 33.2%. This
lecture provides an overview of the health disparities experienced by people with disabilities,
along with providing insight on strategies for inclusive health through education, empowerment,
and cultural competency.

Lindsey Mullis, Kathy Sheppard-Jones, Danielle Augustin

Challenges in rural health care include lack of physical access to facilities, lack of special equipment, and lack of healthcare provider knowledge in working with individuals with complex needs.  Because of this lack of access, many individuals are forced to travel long distances to metropolitan areas for their healthcare, or individuals wait until problems that are easily treated become very advance problems and seek treatment in the local Emergency Department.  Therefore, a lack of access not only impacts the person’s quality of life, it also leads to an overall increase in healthcare costs. This lecture will provide an overview of some of the rural disparities and will include opportunities for implementation of solutions in rural healthcare, including results of rural healthcare accessibility surveys in Kentucky.

Christina Bard, Jason Jones, Kathy Sheppard-Jones