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]

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

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