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It is with a heavy heart that we share with you that Dr. Phil Hatlen passed
away this morning. We have lost the presence of a talented, generous, loving
friend. Yet….his legacy will live on!!
He was living in California for a number of years, since his retirement as
superintendent of TSBVI. He passed away in California.
Phil has been honored many times with prestigious awards for his lifetime of
achievement in the field of blindness.
As you know, Phil was a consummate leader who authored articles and chapters
in books that have enlightened us and brought new advancements in teaching
children, a teacher of students with visual impairments, a leader of
university teacher training programs to teach children who are blind or have
low vision, a developer of system change steps to improve the educational
system in America for children who are visually impaired, researcher to find
new educational approaches, a friend with conviction to his mission in life,
and a person who supported families in their quest to dream big.
I personally am reflecting upon the many years spent alongside him with
building AVIT and with the creation of the National Agenda for the Education
of Children and Youths with Visual Impairments, Including those with
Multiple Disabilities and the subsequent numerous activities and projects we
uplifted from its ten goals. He is known far and wide for his work with the
creation of the National Agenda’s Goal 8 ----the Expanded Core Curriculum.
Here are a few heartfelt quotes from today’s exchange of emails from
colleagues ……who admired Phil.
He is my ECC hero.
Words can’t express my sorrow.
What a loss to our field, but it’s so much better since he was in it.
OMG…this is sad news..but what a true leader he was.
He was dedicated to his work and was generous in sharing his expertise.
He was a giant in the field of blindness services whom I was proud and
privileged to call a friend.
Phil was honored by being inducted in 2012 to the Hall of Fame -- Leaders and
Legends of the Blindness Field. This Hall of Fame is housed at American
Printing House for the Blind (APH). You may read more about Phil’s work and
mission in life at http://www.aph.org/hall/inductees/hatlen/
In his own words………his message to the field.
Stand tall, be proud of your profession. Decide what your "bottom line" is,
and do not compromise. Commit to your fundamental truths, and live your
profession by not compromising. Be gentle, be creative, and respect the
dignity of all children. Love life, work hard, live with a passion for
everything that you do. Laugh a lot, and help your
students to learn to laugh.
From the Executive Board of AVIT
Nancy, Cyral, and Mary Ann
Mary Ann Siller, M.Ed.
National Consultant in Blindness and Low Vision Services
To learn more about AVIT, visit the AVIT website: alliancevitexans.org
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