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The Human Development Institute (HDI) is a unit of the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research at the University of Kentucky and part of a nationwide network of University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. The mission of the Human Development Institute is to improve the inclusion, independence, and contributions of people with disabilities and their families through education, research and evaluation, leadership and advocacy.

The programs and activities represented in each HDI priority offer resources that may be helpful to UK employees and their families.

Early Care & Education: From expectant parents to lifelong learners, HDI projects support quality transitions, provide information and training to families, early childhood providers, education and higher education.

Employment: HDI projects work to decrease employment disparities that exist between people with and without disabilities.

Universal Design and Assistive Technology: Universal design elements improve access and enhance opportunities for all in physical, learning and virtual environments. Assistive technology provides solutions that maximize function for individuals. HDI offers training and direct service efforts in this area.

Health: People with disabilities experience significant inequities in health. HDI efforts seek to address this. HDI also helps communities provide more inclusive health and wellness opportunities.

Leadership & Self-Advocacy: We strive to develop leaders and allies through training, technical assistance, and mentoring.

Research & Evaluation: HDI projects include evaluation and research opportunities. Our Evaluation Unit works with customers in Kentucky and nationally. We offer competitive funding for research led by HDI staff and faculty through our Fund for Excellence.

Learn more about HDI services for UK faculty, staff, and student employees!

The HDI and committed project partners support employees who have a non-work-related injury or illness that puts them at risk of leaving the workforce. This collaborative effort, RETAIN Kentucky, delivers return to work and stay at work early intervention strategies to faculty, staff and student employees at UK. These services and strategies enhance and build upon on the comprehensive health and wellness program provided to university employees and support a diverse and inclusive workforce. Contact for more information.