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]

This lecture will provide a brief overview of relevant disability legislation, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. These laws have been part of the disability rights movement which includes the independent living movement.
Kathy Sheppard-Jones, Jason Jones

This lecture uses the Kentucky Disability Resource Manual and online searchable Kentucky Disability Guide to provide detail around services and supports that are currently available in the Commonwealth. This lecture could provide information on ABLE accounts, with a particular emphasis on Kentucky’s ABLE program, as well as Life Plan of Kentucky, Inc., Kentucky’s pooled special needs trust program.
Walt Bower, Kathy Sheppard-Jones, Carolyn Wheeler

This lecture includes a snapshot of disability statistics for the state, an overview of models of disabilities, definitions, and an introduction to the state of the Commonwealth with regard to education, employment, and independent living.

Kathy Sheppard-Jones and Carolyn Wheeler

Are you afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing when interacting with a person with a disability? Do you avoid those interactions because of that fear? Are you missing out on a huge part of the population that could be customers, employees, resources … friends? Explore the attitudinal barriers faced by people with disabilities in all aspects of life. Hear real life stories that offer examples for each barrier.  Join in discussion around etiquette and myths around a variety of disabilities. Get comfortable.

Jason Jones, Christina Bard

Transition represents a critical passage for youth with disabilities. Moving from a system of entitlement of educational services to adult services of eligibility can lead to transitions to the couch instead of the workplace. Kentucky provides a variety of supports and resources aimed at improving transition outcomes, with an emphasis on students with the most significant disabilities.

Kathy Sheppard-Jones

For people with disabilities to be fully included in society, principles around universal design and independent living provide the underpinnings of basic rights for inclusion, regardless of level of disability. A physically accessible environment is the foundation for independence. Discussion will focus around resources and Centers for Independent Living.

Kathy Sheppard-Jones, Jason Jones, Christina Bard

Millions of workers leave the workforce each year after experiencing an injury or an illness. This can result in detrimental outcomes to displaced employees, employers, and the economy. However, stay at work/return to work strategies can help workers maintain their jobs and their way of life. This lecture will provide an overview of national SAW/RTW policy and efforts here in Kentucky.

Kathy Sheppard-Jones

The waiver redesign presentation is a brief description of Medicaid waivers and the role they can play in helping people with significant disabilities move toward independence.  Topics include: What is a waiver? Why did 1915(c) waivers become popular? Average cost of community services vs. facility services; Kentucky’s waiver menu; Supported Employment vs. Day Training; Design Challenges; Rate Structure Challenges; and, moving toward Employment First.

Jeff White

This lecture is designed to help learners understand the relationship between the benefits a person receives and their ultimate ability to live as independently as possible, with particular attention paid to the transition from child to adult status.  We will work through the three subgroups within the transition age population:  Students 14 to 17 years of age, students who are close to their 18th birthday, and students over age 18.  As we do this, we will pay close attention to the important topics for each group to move toward independence and maintain eligibility, as well as prepare for future challenges.

Jeff White

The Unscrambling Myths presentation addresses the true impact of wages on benefits and patient liability.  This presentation includes a comparison between benefit streams, an analysis of pass-through and how it can benefit recipients, a discussion of programs that help pay medical expenses, an analysis of substantial gainful activity and SSDI work incentives, real life examples of the impact of wages on SSI, a discussion of SSI work incentives, an examination of resource management strategies, examples of the management of patient liability, and a discussion of reporting requirements

Jeff White

Did you know a person could earn $1200/month (gross) and still maintain eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?  Did you know a person eligible for SSI and Medicaid could earn over $25,000/year and still maintain eligibility for Medicaid? This presentation provides factual information on what Social Security allows for a person’s SSI or SSDI payment when a beneficiary goes to work.  Resources which can be used by the person receiving the benefit, family members, employment service providers and employers are provided, as well as information about ABLE accounts and Special Needs Trusts as ways to save without jeopardizing eligibility for other publicly funded benefits.

Carolyn Wheeler

Since over 70% of North Americans die without a will, it is no surprise that people with disabilities and their allies (family members, supporters, legal representatives) have not made plans for what happens when a key ally or family member dies.  This can create a crisis and often very negative life experiences for the person with a disability.  This presentation shares four questions that need to be addressed as well as resources for people to use to take action on this important topic.

Carolyn Wheeler