Dr. Kate McCarthy-Barnett is a 1985 graduate of Coventry High School who has distinguished herself as an individual who has conquered adversity, achieved distinction in the field of education, and has worked tirelessly on behalf of people with disabilities and the elderly during times of natural disasters.
While at Coventry High School, Kate developed a chronic illness that at times caused her to be bed-ridden and required her to be home tutored for long periods of time. Though it was difficult, Kate never gave up and graduated from CHS in June, 1985.
After graduating, Kate worked to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees and then a Doctorate in Education. She moved on to conduct research and teach courses relating to eliminating barriers to education and employment for people with disabilities. For 10 years, she also wrote a column for the Providence Journal called “disABILITY” where she explored the problems encountered by those with disabilities and highlighted people who overcame adversity to lead product lives.
Over the past few years, Kate has worked for the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency Region 1 as the Regional Disability Integration Specialist, located in Boston, Massachusetts. In this position, she leads the Agency’s commitment to integrate and coordinate the needs of people with disabilities, access and functional needs in emergency preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation.
She has served as an appointed member to the Federal Emergency Management Agency Region 1 Regional Advisory Council and as a member of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s planning team for the development of Guidance on Planning for Integration of Functional Needs Support Services in General Population Shelters. Her experience extends to serving as a member of the Regional Incident Management Assistance Team.
In addition, Kate serves as Chair of the Rhode Island Department of Human Services State Rehabilitation Council and Co-Chair of the Council’s State Plan, Policy and Quality Assurance Committee. She currently serves as Vice Chair of the Rhode Island Governor’s Commission on Disabilities and Chair of the Commission’s Accessibility Committee. In addition, she has served on the US President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities Communications Committee. Kate is a member of multiple committees and Boards of Directors focused on setting policy for individuals with disabilities.Dr. McCarthy-Barnett has authored numerous articles and is known for her work on advancing emergency preparedness integration efforts for individuals with disabilities, access and functional needs.
The Coventry High School community is deeply indebted to Kate because of her contributions to the disabled in Rhode Island and at the national level. She continues to make a significant difference for others and provide leadership, helping to turn disabilities into abilities.
Tickets to the March 28 ceremony are available for $30 from Ernie DiMicco at 401-261-6902 or firstname.lastname@example.org by March 21. Donations are welcome with proceeds going to Coventry High School Senior Scholarships.