Austin is a member of the UW-Madison School of Education’s Board of Visitors. She graduated from UW-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy. UW-Madison’s OT program is housed within the School of Education’s Department of Kinesiology.
Austin has worked as an occupational therapist for 40 years. Her career began by working with medically fragile infants, and then she moved to an early intervention program for children aged 0-3 years old. In 1990, Austin began her own private occupational therapy practice for children of all ages in home, school and community settings.
For the past 13 years, Austin has volunteered at Chase’s Place, a special needs school with an individualized program, a 2:1 student-teacher ratio and a commitment not to turn any children away because they were too low-functioning. Austin provides occupational therapy for all of the students every week.
“I love being able to find that special piece of equipment or technique that helps a child. And of course, the look of satisfaction or achievement on a child’s face is priceless,” Austin told Dallas Doing Good. “For a lot of our kids, progress is slow – but very well celebrated.”
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