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 2023-2024 [PDF]

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 35%. 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, Morgan Turner

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 health needs. Because of these factors, many individuals travel long distances for their healthcare, or wait until problems that may have been easily treated worsen and they seek treatment in local Emergency Departments. These and other healthcare disparities not only influence a person’s quality of life, but also lead to an increased healthcare cost. This lecture will provide an overview of these healthcare disparities, with a particular focus on rural healthcare, and will include discussion of potential solutions, including results of rural healthcare accessibility surveys in Kentucky.

Christina Espinosa, Jason Jones, Kathy Sheppard-Jones

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 lived experience 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 with-markey-cancer-center-to-createdisability-awareness-webinar/

Morgan Turner, Jason Jones, Lindsey Mullis

Universal Design encompasses principles and strategies that help all individuals have an equal opportunity to succeed, which is a strategy that allows full access to all persons for programs and services. Learn why it is important to include universal design in health promotion and programming, and gain insight in how to include strategies that will assist in reaching the widest possible range of participants. The presentation provides examples of incorporating universal design in health promotion including messaging, print materials, and program activities.

Lindsey Mullis, Morgan Turner, Austin Nugent, 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 to provide accountability and 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 Kentucky’s 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, Morgan Turner

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