Title: Board Chair
Company: The Arc of Iowa
Location: Des Moines, Iowa, United States
Paula Stevens Connelly, Board Chair at The Arc of Iowa, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Health Care Professionals for dedication, achievements, and leadership in disability services.
As the board chair at The Arc of Iowa, Ms. Connelly focuses on helping resolve the local and nationwide shortage of direct care workers. The Arc of Iowa is the oldest organization in the United States dedicated to helping people with disabilities. Ms. Connelly responds to calls from her community, spends time training families to serve as a resource, and works with policymakers on the state and national levels. She also oversees her son’s direct care worker, as he is the youngest of her six children and was born with multiple disabilities from an inherited condition. Because of her experience caring for her son and her parents, Ms. Connelly was called to establish an organization titled the Access for Special Kids Resource Center in 1991. She draws a sense of accomplishment from helping families to find and provide the best disability support services for their loved ones.
Ms. Connelly is a certified mediator and serves on several boards in Iowa, including for Changing Spaces Iowa, an organization dedicated to providing better building conditions and access for people with disabilities by promoting education and legislative action. For her efforts, she has been recognized numerous times, and the Access for Special Kids Resource Center was included in a book by educators in Iowa about the development of special education. Thanks to the efforts of Ms. Connelly and others, the Iowa Department of Transportation is in the process of building 20 adult changing spaces across Interstate Highway 80. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, gardening and landscaping.
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