HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight — Karen Roof Boudreaux

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s a part of HDI’s 50th celebration, we are profiling individuals who have offered vital contributions over the years toward accomplishing HDI’s mission of inclusion and independence for people with disabilities and their families. We are profiling the self-advocates who have educated, informed, and pushed us to going further. We are profiling family members who were willing to share their experiences and journey. We are profiling students who went through our training programs who enriched our training program while they were at HDI and have gone on to do great things. We are profiling practitioners who have trained people working in the communities to serve all of us and helped implemented inclusive programs and policies. We are profiling researchers who have helped translate research to practice and vice versa. We are profiling partners who have shared their resources and space because they believed in our mission. Scores of people have helped and continue to help HDI realize its mission.

The Human Development Institute’s mission is ‘To promote the inclusion, independence, and contributions of people with disabilities and their families throughout the lifespan. We achieve our mission through education, research and evaluation, information sharing, leadership, and advocacy across Kentucky and the nation.’ We had set this mission collectively. We knew to achieve this mission it would take action and contribution from self-advocates, families, current and future practitioners, current and future researchers. We realized achieving this mission means working at all levels of governance and practice every day.

We make change on grounds that were toiled and broken by many. We are in deep gratitude. We are humbled by your generosity and will continue to expand on your work. This profile series is just a small snapshot of the diverse folks who have helped us in the long haul. We thank you and will shine a light by sharing 50 profiles in celebration of 50 years of HDI!

Our first spotlight will shine a light on Karen Roof Boudreaux, the mother of a young woman with Down syndrome and former president of HDI’s Consumer Advisory Council.

HDI is truly a University Center for Excellence!! It’s mission, vision and programming are truly remarkable! I’m very thankful for having the opportunity to be a part of such an incredible team focused on making futures brighter for individuals with disabilities. The positive impact and success of HDI is so widespread it spans the globe! —Karen Roof Boudreaux

How did you come to know HDI?

Dr. Harold Kleinert introduced me to HDI.

How long were you with HDI and what was your role?

2002-2009 Consumer Advisory Council – President and VP, Parent Mentor – UK Medical students/PT Students, Guest Lecturer and Panelist, Brighter Tomorrows Project Collaboration Team – training module for physicians

During your time at HDI, of which accomplishments are you most proud? 

Brighter Tomorrows and Mentoring Future physicians/ therapists have been my favorite roles in addition to serving as VP and President of CAC

Looking back, can you please share with us a fun or fond moment you had at HDI? 

When we realized the impact Brighter tomorrows was having and the extent it was being used by physicians and families all over the world. Being a Mentor family for students across several medical disciplines and seeing the impact its making has been truly rewarding.

Do you have any advice you would like to share with current and future staff and students at HDI? 

Seek to find opportunities to educate and continue to be creative in training individuals with and without disabilities on ways to be inclusive.

What do you think the future holds for HDI?

The future is bright as opportunities continue to surface for individuals with disabilities and training and education will be needed to change perceptions and implement programs.