I'm Debra

Mental Retardation Counsellor

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What brought you to Fanshawe?

I was born and raised in London Ontario. Throughout my teen years I enjoyed caring for children and was quite fascinated by those that were developing differently. The Guidance Counsellor at my high school (Clarke Road Secondary) recognized my passion and lead me to Fanshawe College. She supported me in registration process for the Mental Retardation program.

Tell us about your favourite Fanshawe experience.

The diverse learning settings i.e. theatre style seating, groups, labs, practicums, and sitting on the floor in beanbag chairs; it was the 70's after all. This was refreshing after high school where the traditional seating was rows of desks. The opportunity to learn among adults of varying age and backgrounds was enlightening.

What impact has Fanshawe had on your life?

Graduating from Fanshawe was the catalyst to my very successful life long career in rehabilitation-type services. The MRC diploma was immediately recognized which lead to my first job at the London Assoc for Children with Disabilities (I believe the name has changed), shortly after graduation. I have been continually employed and have had a 40+ year career, primarily in Alberta. The MRC program formed the foundation of my beliefs and work efforts to support working in the field with children who have disabilities and development.al challenges.

What are you up to now?

I have recently retired from my position in the Alberta Health Services ~ Early Intervention Program, where I worked as a Coordinator of an Early Intervention Program and as a Child Development Specialist. Since retiring I have written two children's books as I plan to continue advocating for children with disabilities. The first book is entitled 'Friends at the Pool' and is available on Amazon.ca, Barnes & Noble, and soon at Indigo-Chapters. The second one, coming out in summer 2022 is called 'Hold My Hand, Friend. You'll Be Okay'. My books focus on friendships, diversity, disabilities, and inclusion. My author name is Debra Ashford Huff.

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