Director of Transportation Initiative, University of Kentucky Human Development Institute
Maria Kemplin is director of the Transportation Initiative, a project at the University of Kentucky’s Human Development Institute (HDI). The Transportation Initiative supports Kentuckians with disabilities who want to learn more about accessible transportation options, determine eligibility for programs, and troubleshoot service questions. The project relies on the collaboration of advocates, organizations, and agencies across the state to drive systems change. A shared desire for all Kentuckians to have the ability to live, work, learn, and participate in their community fuels the effort.
Maria serves on the state’s special education advisory board as a parent representative and participates as a self-advocate in several community efforts. “Clear rules and regulations are the framework though which I navigate the world. Imagine my dismay in tackling a topic like reasonable modifications! How do we approach such an open-ended subject? While there will never be an exhaustive list, evaluating case examples has allowed me to travel an established path to arrive at what is reasonable.”
Marsha has been designing, developing, programming, testing and managing content-rich, database-driven web applications and distance education / online training projects since 2000 with a focus on maximizing usability and accessibility based on “best practices” research and established guidelines, such as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C): Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
Marsha has been a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) since 1993 and has over 30 years experience as a manager, practitioner, and volunteer working with children and adults with disabilities in hospital, long-term care, and community settings. Since 1995, she has authored and facilitated hundreds presentations and trainings on disability awareness, web accessibility, and assistive technology.
Cares Program Coordinator UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work
Annamae T. Giles
Annamae T. Giles, MSW, is the Program Coordinator for Cares (Center for Aging and Adult Research and Educational Services) at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Social Work.With over 25 years of experience in healthcare, end of life, substance use prevention, and aging, Annamae’s expertise spans both macro and direct practice. Currently, she leads an initiative funded through NC Money Follows the Person whose goal is to help Medicaid-eligible North Carolinians in inpatient facilities transition to their own homes and communities with support. In addition, Annamae actively contributes to various Cares initiatives, co-facilitating the NC Dementia Friendly Communities and Hospitals Network, coordinating Cares work as the North Carolina affiliate for the Southeast ADA Center, and assisting in the development of workforce training projects for the Division of Aging and Adult Services of NC DHHS.
Senior Adviser on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Southeast ADA Center
Janice Baldon Gutter
Janice Baldon-Gutter, MS-HRE, MBA, SHRM-CP, HCRI-PHR, has joined the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University as the Program Coordinator – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion of the Southeast ADA Center.
Ms. Baldon-Gutter has over 25 years’ experience in human resources and 18 years teaching in higher education. She has certifications from: The Society for Human Resource Management – Certified Professional (SHRM-CP); and Professional in Human Resources (PHR) – Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI).
Ms. Baldon-Gutter has a Master of Science in Human Resource Education from the University of Louisville, Master in Business Administration (MBA) from Bellarmine University and a Certificate in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) from the University of South Florida.
Prior to joining the Burton Blatt Institute, Ms. Baldon-Gutter was a Human Resource Generalist for DuPont Chemical Company. She taught for 18 years at the University of Louisville School of Business (Economics) and currently teaches online (16 years) for Purdue University Global. She is also the author of “Caregiving A Daughter’s Story” and “The Triangle of Discrimination – Physical, Age and Disability.”
Ms. Baldon-Gutter is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. – part of the National Pan Hellenic Council (Divine 9) and the Louisville Society for Human Resource Management. She is also learning American Sign Language (ASL) and beginning Spanish.
Coordinator – Comprehensive Transition and Post-Secondary Program (CTP), Supported Higher Education Project, Human Development Institute, University of Kentucky
Erin Fitzgerald works for the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky, where she coordinates the College and Career Studies (CCS) program. CCS is a Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary *(CTP) program, a non-degree program supporting students with intellectual disability. CCS students attend college to take classes of interest, explore career options, and engage in campus and community life.
Erin also helps coordinate the Kentucky Supported Higher Education Partnership (KSHEP), a statewide partnership of inclusive postsecondary programs.
“As a person with a disability, I grew to learn that I had rights, and that law and policy were critical to allowing me to have the opportunity to have a full life. Not only was my life affected, but also the lives of my children, grandchildren, family and friends. I realized that what I had learned during my life allowed me to influence others to understand why compliance with the laws was critical. “
Christine has participated in the ADA Training and Implementation Network, Phases 1, 2, and 3, and has spent the years since that wonderful training spreading the word about the importance of the ADA and other disability related laws. Christine has had the opportunity to become involved with the Fair Housing Act, and serve on the founding board of the Gulf Coast Fair Housing Center, with three years as President and also serving as Vice President. Christine attended the Fair Housing School, presented by the National Fair Housing Alliance, and is able to advocate for compliance with that law as well.
Christine works with the Southeast ADA Center doing technical assistance, course moderation and serves on their expert training team. In addition, Christine contracts with the Independent Living Program in Mississippi, LIFE, doing training and technical assistance. Christine has extensive, real world experience with people in all arenas giving her a unique perspective to understand what is really happening in our country and what is needed in the area of policy.
For many years before Katrina, Christine advocated on the Gulf Coast for accessibility in shelters. Following the storm in 2005, Christine was faced with severe damage to her home. Christine personally encountered the lack of access in temporary housing and the frustration of not having accessible emergency services available to her. This gives Christine a unique personal understanding of the problems associated with emergency management issues for people with disabilities and uniquely qualified for the FEMA National Advisory Council.
Disability Accommodation Specialist University of Kentucky
John Caldora received his M.Ed. from the University of Maryland and is an Accommodations Consultant with the Disability Resource Center at the University of Kentucky. As an accommodations consultant, John meets with students and determines appropriate accommodations under federal law. John also provides information to faculty on civil rights compliance.
John has a decade of experience training post-secondary staff and faculty on supporting neurodivergent students. John is the primary consultant for Autistic students at UK and runs the Neurodiverse Educational and Social Initiative, providing support and a sense of belonging to neurodivergent students.
Disability Specialist University of Kentucky Human Development Institute
Jason Jones, Disability Specialist at the University of Kentucky Human Development institution has been a strong advocate for people with disabilities for 30 years after obtaining a spinal cord injury in high school. He worked to ensure the rights of people with disabilities in finding gainful employment as a member of Executive Leadership at the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation for 16 years before coming to his current post.
Jason also co-founded the Kentucky Congress on Spinal Cord Injury (KCSCI) in 2012. The KCSCI encourages its members to be strong advocates for the rights of all people with disabilities and be willing to provide peer mentoring. Jason is currently the Board Chair for the Lexington Commission for People with Disabilities and serves as the Kentucky liaison to the Southeast ADA Center. He also serves as the director of peer mentoring services for RETAIN, a program that seeks interventions for people with disabilities to be able to gain or maintain employment.
Employment Specialist Edge Employment of Louisville, KY
Julian Adam Employment Specialist, Edge Employment of Louisville, KY
Julian Adam, He/They, Julian has a bachelor’s degree from Murray State University in Sociology with a Minor in Organizational Communication. He spent four years as a Crisis Respite Case Manager in Seattle Washington, working with vulnerable individuals in the fields of mental health and chemical addiction. Previously Julian worked as a Center Manager for The Job Center assisting with finding employment for individuals in the Warehouse and Distribution fields. Julian is a Cheerleading Coach for Noe Middle School locally in Louisville and has coached for more than a decade. He is a very passionate and professional individual who believes in leaving the world a better place than of which it was found.
Employment Specialist Edge Employment of Louisville, KY
Roan Campbell Employment Specialist, Edge Employment of Louisville, KY
Roan Campbell, They/Them, Roan has a Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in Human Resource Management and a minor in Informatics from Indiana University. Before joining with Edge Employment, Roan worked within the healthcare industry in onboarding, recruiting, HR data analysis, serving various HR roles. Roan is a passionate human rights activist and spends much of their personal time advocating inside the greater Louisville community within multiple capacities— these experiences include serving on multiple organizational boards, fundraising, event planning, organizing volunteers, and public advocacy.