The Council receives a federal formula grant from the Department of Health and Human Services every three years. The funds are used to fund and initiate programs and projects that fulfill the mission of the DD Act for individuals with developmental disabilities to achieve full citizenship and inclusion in the community through advocacy, capacity building, and systemic change.
Some of our programs and initiatives include:
The Health Partners program is a holistic health and wellness workshop in which individuals work together with a partner to learn about physical, social, emotional, and spiritual health through meaningful activities. Based on what is important to the participant, they will create their own personal health goals. Over several sessions, they will receive the tools and information needed to be successful in reaching these goals. They will receive support and additional resources during follow up meetings. Program content is adapted from Healthy Lifestyles for People with Disabilities curriculum authored by professionals at the Oregon Health and Science University.
WHO: We are reaching out to individuals 16 and up with a developmental disability and a health partner of their choice to complete the program together. The partner can be a friend, family member, or support person. Program content has been adapted for Universal Design for Learning so the curriculum is appropriate for all participants. This can be offered to groups ages 16 and up or in an adapted format from ages 8-12.
WHERE: Health Partners is being offered across Central Kentucky at various community locations based on interest. Currently our target area is any region that falls within 90 miles of Lexington. We hope to expand this in the future. We are also providing programming in schools for youth in grades 3-5 as well as high schools.
WHEN: NOW! Widespread programming Began in January 2016. Participants must be willing to complete 12 hours of initial programming broken up over several days and then attend monthly follow up meetings once a moth for six months after the program.
In partnership with the Arc of Kentucky, the Council sponsors groups of teenagers with and without disabilities to travel to Washington D.C. to learn how to advocate in public policy.
The Kentucky Peer Support Network
Beginning in the Fall 2018, the Kentucky Department of Education will work to fulfill the requirements of Senate Joint Resolution 52 (passed unanimously by the KY House and Senate in Spring 2018) by having the Regional Special Educational Cooperatives take the lead role in working with schools within their respective regions in implementing peer support arrangements and peer networks. Click here to find your school's Special Education Coop: Kentucky Regional Special Education Cooperatives.
Kentucky Works is a collaborative effort between the Human Development Institute, the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), the Kentucky Department of Education , the Kentucky Division of Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, Kentucky Protection & Advocacy, the Kentucky Office for the Blind, Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities, the Kentucky Office of Autism, and the Kentucky Autism Training Center all focusing on employment for people with developmental disabilities.
Coalition for Workforce Diversity
The Coalition for Workforce Diversity forms trusted partnerships with employers who celebrate diversity in the workplace and are looking to provide work opportunities to people with disabilities. The Coalition represents potential workers with a broad spectrum of physical and mental disabilities; each with unique skills and personality that contribute to a truly great workplace.
Employers looking to fill positions in manufacturing, logistics, customer service, etc., are assisted in the process to match the right talent with the right opportunity. The Coalition, through agency and employer partnerships, provides support throughout the employment and training process. Besides filling open positions, employers have many benefits available to them when hiring individuals with disabilities. Some are financial, such as tax credits and others are less tangible; such as giving an enthusiastic, hard worker the opportunity to be a productive and beneficial part of the workforce.
Kentucky STABLE Accounts
A STABLE Account is an investment account available to eligible individuals with disabilities. STABLE Accounts are made possible by the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (“ABLE”) Act. STABLE Accounts allow individuals with disabilities to save and invest money without losing eligibility for certain public benefits programs, like Medicaid or SSI. Earnings in your STABLE Account are not subject to federal income tax, so long as you spend them on “Qualified Disability Expenses.”