This week we bid Elaine Ferguson a fond farewell as she officially retires as the SET-BC Provincial Coordinator. Elaine spent her career dedicated to students with special needs and the school teams supporting them. This dedication began early in her career when she was a team leader at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre. There, she skillfully led a multidisciplinary assessment team working with students with complex physical needs.
She joined the SET-BC Provincial Resource Team over 22 years ago as one of the original team members leading services for secondary aged students. Elaine quickly took charge of coordinating assistive technology training for school teams supporting our students as well as for our own SET-BC consultants. She initiated, developed, and led many new training initiatives in our program and was instrumental in moving SET-BC forward with not only the design and implementation of our website Learning Centre but in bringing in many expert assistive technology presenters from around the world.
Her leadership in providing high quality, effective assistive technology services extended well beyond training. She initiated many assistive technology implementation projects as well. Many of these projects had a profound impact on our students’ daily lives in the classroom. ARC-BC (Accessible Resource Centre – BC) is one such project – she saw a need for a central repository of accessible print materials and, working with PRCVI, initiated the proposal that secured the necessary funding to create this valuable collection. The many other projects and initiatives that Elaine led are over the years are just too numerous to list.
Elaine assumed the role of SET-BC Provincial Coordinator three years ago and began providing program leadership on a broader scale, helping to improve our overall services and working with many outside groups, always with the goal of advancing the interests of students with disabilities.
We will miss Elaine’s steady hand on the helm and her caring and thoughtful guidance. She leaves a wide and deep wake as she moves on to new adventures. We wish her all the best in her retirement and in the many travels we know she will enjoy in the coming years.