Her father is a retired occupational therapist and her mother worked for the Iowa Department of the Blind. Like both of her parents, Paulette and one of her older sisters, Amy, is legally blind; but the trait that defines this family is their passion to work directly with people living with disabilities to make an impact on their lives. Paulette grew up immersed in activities and events for people with disabilities, so when it came time to decide what she wanted to do for a career as an adult, she felt a calling to be involved in social work.
At IndependenceFirst, she developed an extensive network of partnerships among local and national services for people with disabilities. As Executive Director of the Center for Deaf-Blind Persons, she expanded the center’s services and the public awareness of the deaf-blind population. She founded the Midwest Resource Network on Vision Loss and Disabilities, a web-based referral program for services and resources for individuals with disabilities. But what brought her to Outlook Enrichment was her desire to work one-on-one with clients and families.
Paulette, who recently joined Outlook Enrichment as a program manager, brings more than 25 years of program management for vocational rehabilitation and disability services to the role. In this new role, she leads the execution of Outlook Enrichment’s adaptive technology training and education, as well as cultural and recreational programs. She will develop innovative approaches to current and new programming to expand opportunities to the visually impaired.
Paulette earned a bachelor’s degree in social work, specializing in disability law from the University of Iowa. She also earned a master’s degree in public administration from Bellevue University. She has participated on numerous boards and committees serving the disabled, including the Wisconsin Governor’s Rehabilitation Council.
Paulette is a mother of five and grandmother of three. In addition to being a program manager, she will also carry the unofficial title of “resident botanist” at Outlook because of her love of gardening. She devotes her extra time to care for nearly 180 indoor plants!