Hailing from Newfoundland, and having spent time in Alberta, Carmel French moved to Nova Scotia in 1985 with her husband where they have raised a daughter (now in her 20s) together. Carmel’s 40+ year career as an educator (BAED, Memorial University) began as an elementary teacher working with children with special needs in Newfoundland. She obtained a Graduate Diploma and Masters Degree’s in Special Education and a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Alberta. Carmel has taught courses in the departments of Child and Youth Study, Psychology and Education and has been Chair of the Department of Child and Youth Study at Mount Saint Vincent University. She is now a Professor Emeritus at MSVU and continues to work with graduate Education students and on her own research.
In her spare time, Camel enjoys reading, sewing, playing the piano, card games, and is part of an active book club. As well as volunteering with NSACL, she has also assisted with stage construction for the Bedford Players theatre group.
Carmel first joined the Board of Directors of NSACL in 1986, at which time she was Chair of the Education Committee and ran conferences for NSACL. From 1986 to 1998, she held different positions with NSACL including Government Liaison and President. Since returning to the Board in 2015, Carmel has been Vice-President and President, and is now Past President. As President of NSACL from 2016 to 2019, Carmel led the Board of Directors and the organization through a period of revitalization as we have confirmed and re-established ourselves as an essential voice for families and individuals with disabilities in Nova Scotia. Carmel continues to be active in the ACL community at a national level as Nova Scotia’s representative on CACL, as Chair of CACL’s Governance committee and as a Director-at-Large on the Board of the Institutes for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society (IRIS).