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]

Informative interview regarding cancer care for persons with disabilities, developed in collaboration with Human Development Institute and Markey Cancer Center staff. The nature of disparities in medical care for adults with disabilities is introduced. Information includes real time information from adults with disabilities, such as helpful attitudes from medical staff, positive approaches to medical care, patient transfer, and access to medical facilities. Information presented applies to many interactions between medical staff and persons with disabilities. This session can be presented live, or viewed via recording at

Morgan Turner, Jason Jones, Lindsey Mullis, Danielle Augustin

Learn why it is important to include universal design in health promotion programming and gain
insight on how to include strategies that will assist you in reaching the widest possible range of
participants. Presentation will provide examples of incorporating universal design in health
messaging including print materials and program activities.

Lindsey Mullis, Morgan Turner, Danielle Augustin, Kathy Sheppard-Jones

This session will cover the importance of incorporating an inclusive approach into health &
wellness programming that highlights successful ways for individuals with varying levels of ability
and their networks of support to successfully identify and work towards self-determined health
goals. This session will also provide success strategies on partnering together to provide
accountability and built-in community support for program participants of all abilities.

Lindsey Mullis, Morgan Turner

Recreation refreshes, revitalizes, and improves a person’s quality of life. Learn about HDI’s Kentucky Recreation Resource Guide and wellness4ky website, which highlights resources around our state that include things like state parks, adaptive recreation programming, sports clubs and teams as well as inclusive activities that can be done anywhere.

Lindsey Mullis, Megan Jaspersen, Morgan Turner, Danielle Augustin

Sexual health and healthy relationships for individuals with disabilities are often overlooked and undervalued.  This presentation provides insight and resources into the topic for educators, health providers, and caretakers on sexuality for individuals with disabilities to recognize the importance of sexuality and create a positive environment for improved and safe sexual opportunities.  This presentation can be catered to intellectual and developmental disability or physical disability.

Lindsey Mullis, Jason Jones

Physical activity is beneficial for everyone, but it is especially important for individuals with
disabilities who experience obesity and high blood pressure at significantly higher rates than the
general population. This lecture will build a case for the importance of inclusion of individuals with
disabilities in physical activity and discuss considerations for assessment measures of physical
activity and fitness levels. Adaptive equipment and alternative methods for measuring activity will
be included.

Lindsey Mullis, Morgan Turner, Danielle Augustin

This lecture reviews the history of the modern eugenics movement from the early 20th century to current prenatal testing technologies. Many of these genetic technologies to “control breeding” and eliminate people with “undesirable traits” have emerged at the same time as the deinstitutionalization and subsequent civil rights movements for people with disabilities. Explore ideas about how to ethically approach the schism between genetic testing and the disability rights movement and current efforts toward that goal.

Stephanie Meredith

This session will define assistive technology terminology and practice.  We’ll discuss categories of AT, and how AT can be applied toward greater independence across the life span. We’ll examine AT’s usefulness for independent living, employment, community participation, and education.

Christina Bard, Jason Jones

Universal design principles can build environments that are accessible to the broadest array of users. Learn about strategies that maximize usability in physical and virtual environments. We’ll examine a variety of applications of universal design at use in the workplace, community, and classroom.

Kathy Sheppard-Jones

The inclusion of all learners, regardless of ability, is essential in training and teaching environments. The goal of this talk is for learners to leave with the skills to begin implementing universal design strategies in their work. The lecture is intended to give learners an overview of universal design and practical ways to use accessibility practices in the creation of documents.


  • List one way you will JAZZ up your documents
  • Describe how you will USE an additional method to incorporate accessibility in your documents
  • Note two ways to SIMPLIFY text
  • Detail how you will TEST your documents

Patti Singleton

This presentation will explore the barriers faced by people with disabilities in all aspects of life by discussing real life stories that offer examples of these barriers. Discussion and activities around etiquette and myths around a variety of disabilities will occur while we consider how Universal Design principles can promote accessibility to the broadest array of users. Learn about strategies that maximize usability in policy, program, physical and virtual environments. The inclusion of all learners, regardless of ability, is essential in training and teaching environments. The goal of this talk is for participants to be comfortable with disability and leave with the skills to begin implementing universal design and disability inclusion strategies in their work with an overview of universal design and practical ways to use accessibility practices in the creation of documents.


Objectives include: Understand barriers experienced by individuals with disabilities; List reasons why universal design supports all students; Describe the relationship between accessibility and universal design; Evaluate a document and make recommendations for how the document can be made more accessible; Produce a handout/document free of accessibility errors.

Lindsey Mullis, Kathy Sheppard-Jones, Christina Bard, Jason Jones, Patti Singleton

Online learning has become a mainstay in early care and education professional development. This session is for trainers or faculty who need guidance for developing online training, or for anyone who is training online and would like to make content interactive, engaging, and universally designed. Two stages of development will be discussed, as well as turning problems into online learning solutions. Questions and answers will be addressed in real time with the use of your smart phone, tablet, or computer.


  • Develop a problem-based learning objective.
  • Identify a knowledge, skill, and attitude for your learning objective
  • Develop an assessment for the knowledge, skill and attitude
  • Identify universal design for learning strategies

Patti Singleton