Ms. Barrett is the parent of a 28 year old daughter who is challenged by autism and who is deaf and a 22 year old son. Ms. Barrett holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Bradley University, Peoria, IL and attended California State University, Los Angeles for graduate studies in speech therapy. Along with credits in business management, business law and marketing, Ms. Barrett has a Certificate of Completion from St. Thomas University in Minority Business Management, Department of Business Management.
Ms. Barrett is an advocate for persons with disabilities. For 10 years, as Project Coordinator of the Supported Employment, Parents, Transition, and Technical Assistance Project (1987 - 1997), a national technical assistance project, Ms. Barrett assisted federally funded parent training and information centers in the development and implementation of parent training about supported employment and transition. Ms. Barrett assisted parent training and information centers to expand their capacity to train and inform more families about transition and to enhance their leadership capabilities to impact transition and supported employment systems. In addition, she organized national conferences and small group meetings and presented at numerous national conferences about supported employment and transition.
From 1994 to September of 1996, Ms. Barrett coordinated the Technical Assistance About Training on the Rehabilitation Act (TATRA), a national technical assistance project which assists projects which train families and consumers about the Rehabilitation Act. In January 1995, Ms. Barrett was appointed to serve on the National Commission on Childhood Disability. This Commission was established by Congress to assess the eligibility criteria for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for children with severe disabilities.
In 1996, Ms. Barrett helped to conceptualize and eventually coordinated the FAST Forward Project, a parental assistance center funded through Goals 2000, U.S. Department of Education. The FAST Forward Project is located at PACER Center and the primary purpose of FAST Forward is to involve all parents in Minnesota in their children's education.
Beginning October 1, 1997, Ms. Barrett became co-director of the Technical Assistance Alliance for Parent Centers Project. The Alliance Project provides technical assistance to all parent training and information centers and community parent resource centers.
Presently Ms. Barrett serves on numerous policy making and advisory boards including the Howard University Research and Training Center Advisory, the Beacons Project Advisory, and Frasier.