Who Are We?

The Human Development Center (HDC) was established in 1974 and became a University Centers of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Education, Research and Service (UCEDD) in 1984. HDC is a member of AUCD , a national network of 67 UCEDD programs.

The Mission of the Human Development Center (HDC) is to provide leadership and innovation in interdisciplinary education, community service, research, and to disseminate information to strengthen and increase the capacity of local communities to support and include individuals with [developmental] disabilities and their families in all aspects of life in the community.

Association of University Centers on Disabilities, AUCD, News and Updates
Contact Us
LSU Health Sciences Center Human Development Center

411 S. Prieur
New Orleans, Louisiana 70112
(504) 556-7585
Fax:(504) 556-7574

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Senate Passes ABLE Act

The ABLE Act allows for savings accounts for individuals with disabilities for certain expenses, like education, housing, and transportation, without jeopardizing certain important federal benefits such as SSI and Medicaid. The funds saved in these accounts, if managed correctly, can be another tool in planning for the lifetime support needs of an individual with disabilities. Up to $14,000 a year can be put in an ABLE account, with a cap of $100,000.
The bill must now be signed by the President to become law. Once the law is implemented in each state, the ABLE Act will allow the following:

  • 1. Enable people with disabilities or family members to put up to $14,000 per year in the account, up to $100,000 total amount.
  • 2. ABLE accounts could generally be rolled over only into another ABLE account for the same individual or into an ABLE account for a sibling who is also an eligible individual.
  • 3. The funds must be spent on qualified expenses related to the individual's disability, such as health, education, housing, transportation, training, assistive technology, personal support, and related services and expenses.

Sadly, the man who conceived and worked tirelessly to pass the legislation, Steve Beck of Burke, Virginia, died suddenly last week. Steve was 44 years old and the parent of two daughters, including Natalie who had a disability. Steve, along with a group of parents around his kitchen table, conceived the idea of a savings account for his daughter, similar to the 529 account used for college savings. The passage of this Act is a wonderful tribute to the memory of Steve Beck.

West Bank Spotlight: Programs collaborate to send man with autism to college

The Hawkins family thinks every day is a day to be thankful, but this Thanksgiving Day, they are overjoyed with thankfulness because their son, Glenn Hawkins Jr., who has autism, is attending college.

His mother, Veolia Hawkins said, “Glenn had spent the last four years in high school and was ready to move on, but he hadn’t earned enough Carnegie Units to receive a high school diploma.” This dilemma gave her concerns. Glenn could either go back to school or go to work.

She carefully listened to Glenn’s reasons for not wanting to return to high school, so they went to Louisiana Rehabilitation Services.

Click here to read the full article

Upcoming Training & Events
Peer Mediated Instruction and Intervention: Utilizing Peers across Settings
December 9, 2014

How often are you using peers to support students with disabilities across school settings? Peer mediated instruction and intervention (PMII) is designed to increase the social engagement of children and youth with ASD. In this presentation we will take a look at the established guidelines for implementing PMII with students with ASD and attempt to crack some of the barriers that instructional teams frequently face as they implement this strategy across unstructured and structured school environments.

Supported Employment 40 Hour CORE Training Certificate

Baton Rouge - Jan. 27, 28, 29 & Feb 4 (1/2 day)
1979 Beaumont Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70806

New Orleans - March 17, 18, 19 & 25 (1/2 day)
LSU HSC Human Development Center
411 S. Prieur St., New Orleans, LA 70112

Lafayette - May 12, 13, 14 & 20 (1/2 day online)
LRS Regional Office
825 Kaliste Saloom Rd., Brandywine VI, Suite 350 Lafayette, LA 70508

Shreveport - June 9, 10, 11 & 24 (1/2 day online)
Location TBD

15 hour Supported Employment Trainings Statewide:

Managing SE Programs
Job Developer Clinic
SSA Benefits and Work Incentives
Assessment Clinic

New Orleans
SSA Benefits and Work Incentives - Nov 19, 2014
Assessment Clinic - July 15, 2015

Baton Rouge
Managing SE Programs - December 3, 2014
Job Developer Clinic - January 14, 2015
SSA Benefits & Work Incentives - March 11, 2015
Assessment Clinic - August 12, 2015

Managing SE Programs - April 15, 2015
Job Developer Clinic - April 16, 2015
SSA Benefits & Work Incentives - June 3, 2015
Assessment Clinic - September 16, 2015

AUCD Announces 2014 Trainee Scholarship Recipients

AUCD is proud to sponsor 20 trainees with scholarships to the AUCD 2014 Conference. The trainees selected come from 17 centers, and represent both LENDs and UCEDDs in over 10 disciplines. Click here to read the full article

  • Laura Ambrose, MA. Center for Persons with Disabilities: Missoula, MT
  • Lauren Bishop-Fitzpatrick, MSW, PhD. LEND of Pittsburg: Pittsburg, PA
  • Sarah Brown, PsyD. Riley Child Development Center: Greenwood, IN
  • Caitlin Campbell. University of Cincinnati University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities: Cincinnati, OH
  • Creystal Castell. Center for Leadership in Disability: Buford, GA
  • Patricia Chaviano, BM, MT-BC, NICU MT, HPMT, Mailman Center for Child Development: Miami, FL
  • Bridgid Conn, MA, PhD. USC UCEDD at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles: Los Angeles, CA
  • Trista Flynn, DPT. University of Cincinnati University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities: Cincinnati, OH
  • Christine Grosso, MS-DD. Oregon Health & Science University UCEDD: Forest Grove,OR
  • Nadine Guzman, PhD. University of Colorado/Children's Hospital Colorado: Littleton, CO
  • Zipporah Levi-Shackleford, M.Ed. Partnership for People with Disabilities: Henrico, VA
  • Kelley Mautz. Center for Leadership in Disability: Dacula, GA
  • Megan McVea, M.Ed. Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities: Durham, NC
  • Julia Nelson. The University of Arizona LEND: Oro Valley, AZ
  • Teresa Nguyen. JFK Partners: Denver, CO
  • Angela Panagos. Westchester Institute for Human Development: West Islip, NY
  • Deanna Kay Rice, MA. Louisiana UCEDDERS: Baton Rouge, LA
  • Jaclyn Stephens, MSOT. Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities: Reno, NV
  • Pon Trairatvorakul, B.MedSc. University of Cincinnati University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities: Cincinnati, OH
  • K. Eva Weiss. Institute on Disabilities/UCEDD: Philadelphia, PA
More Details Released on the New System of Supports Planned for People with DD

Do you or a family member receive supports through the waiver to assist you in living at home and accessing your community? Are you or a family member on the waiting list for waiver services? Does your child receive early intervention services through EarlySteps? If any of the above applies to you, it is important to be informed of the changes that are coming to the system of supports available to people with developmental disabilities.Click here to read the full article

Employment: the Cornerstone of Full Community Participation

Among working-age adults, most of us would likely agree that employment is a critically important part of our lives. Employment gives us a sense of purpose that comes with contributing to something bigger, offers a sense of pride in accomplishment, and for many of us, it is an important part of our identity. Working provides opportunities for social interaction, chances to learn and grow, and exposure to new people and new places. And, of course, it provides income through a paycheck.
Everyone deserves the opportunity to find and enjoy meaningful work. This includes older adults and people with disabilities. When everyone – including people who experience the most difficult barriers to employment -- has the chance to contribute, we all benefit Click here to read the full article

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) signed into law

On July 22, 2014, President Barak Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the first legislative reform in 15 years of the public workforce system. WIOA supersedes the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and amends the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, the Wagner-Peyser Act, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 through the year 2020. This Act takes effect on July 1, 2015, unless otherwise noted. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will issue further guidance on the timeframes for implementation of these changes and proposed regulations reflecting the changes in WIOA soon after enactment. In his comments, the President stated that WIOA "will help workers, including workers with disabilities, access employment, education, job-driven training, and support services that give them the chance to advance their careers and secure the good jobs of the future."

Here is a bulleted summary of what this 300-pages of legislation means for Employment First:
Read more: http://www.doleta.gov/wioa/

Governor Bobby Jindal Announces Appointments to the Louisiana Rehabilitation Council

BATON ROUGE - Today, Governor Bobby Jindal announced appointments to the Louisiana Rehabilitation Council. These appointments to the Louisiana Rehabilitation Council

Sue Killam, of New Orleans, Employment Initiatives Coordinator at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center – Human Development Center. Ms. Killam will be appointed to serve as a representative of individuals with disabilities who have difficulty representing themselves, as required by executive order. Other appointees include, Nanetta Magness, of Shreveport, Director of the Low Vision Rehabilitation Center for the Louisiana Association for the Blind and Nicole Walker, of Baton Rouge, Assistant Executive Director of UPLIFTD, a non-profit vocational rehabilitation organization. Click Here to read more

Autism CARES Act Passes Senate

The bipartisan, bicameral bill reauthorizes the Combating Autism Act of 2006 as amended by the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2011 for five years. Since its enactment, the law has impacted thousands of individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities and their families and has significant implications for future generations. Had Congress not reauthorized the law before September 30, activities authorized under the law would have expired due to a hard sunset. The House and Senate worked together on a compromise bill that makes a few improvements to the current law. Read More

Report Faults Seattle Schools For 'Lack Of Urgency' In Serving Most Vulnerable Students

Seattle Public Schools' efforts to educate students with disabilities of all sorts are "in need of urgent, substantial and significant improvement," according to a scathing report released Tuesday, faulting district staff from the administrative offices all the way down to individual schools.
The Report itself was commissioned by the district office's special education team as part of an effort to correct, as the authors call it, "an obvious and chronic lack... of urgency" around special education — and to bring Seattle Public Schools back in the good graces of both state officials and of federal law. This study and the report that resulted were supported through a contract from ACCELIFY. A team of experts including Dr. Robert Pasternak of ACCELIFY and HDC faculty members, Drs. Alan Coulter and Jane Nell Luster and the staff of HDC’s Teams Intervening Early to Reach all Students (TIERS) delivered the report this week and are hoping to be part of the system change effort that will be required to remedy many of the issues identified in the report. To read the entire article click here.

LASARD Workgroup Development Survey 2014-2015

What topics would you like to have offered from our online workgroup series this school year? Please take our survey and let us know! We want to hear from you!Complete our survey

Excellent ADA Anniversary Video from President Obama

Saturday marked the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) -- a landmark law that transformed American society for people with disabilities. It provided for full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for those of us living with disabilities, and also provided Americans with disabilities with legal remedies to safeguard all of those rights. Click here Watch the President’s ADA anniversary message

Louisiana Rehabilitation Services will open Order of Selection groups 2 and 3 effective July 1, 2014

To read letter from LRS Director, Mark Martin View Letter

Louisiana will change the way it refers to people with disabilities

Louisiana has changed the way people with disabilities are referred to in existing laws thanks to a bill signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal Monday (June 23). The Louisiana Legislature also voted unanimously for the proposal, which will go into effect immediately. The massive 259-page bill swaps out language like "handicapped" and "disabled person" for the phrase "person with a disability" in several state statutes. Under the legislation, a person would no longer "become disabled", but would rather "acquire a disability", according to state law. References to mental retardation, an term that many people find insulting, would also be taken off the books completely.

Read More

More than 21 million US adults 18-64 years of age have a disability. These are adults with serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs; hearing; seeing; or concentrating, remembering, or making decisions. Most adults with disabilities are able to participate in physical activity, yet nearly half of them get no aerobic physical activity. Physical activity benefits all adults, whether or not they have a disability, by reducing their risk of serious chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers. Only 44% of adults with disabilities who visited a doctor in the past year were told by a doctor to get physical activity. Yet adults with disabilities were 82% more likely to be physically active if their doctor recommended it.

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