Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field Announces 2012 Hall of Fame Inductees

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The Hall of Fame for the Blindness Field is housed at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in Louisville, Kentucky. The Hall, which belongs to the entire field of blindness, is dedicated to preserving the tradition of excellence manifested by specific individuals through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired in North America.

To date, forty-eight outstanding professionals have been inducted into the Hall. Joining those legends are two remarkable icons, each of whom has mentored professionals and consumers throughout their careers and as a result their impact will be felt for generations to come.

The ceremony to induct Dr. Phil Hatlen and Mr. Pete Wurzburger will take place on Friday evening, October 12, 2012 in conjunction with APH's Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests, at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Class of 2012:


Philip H. Hatlen
Philip H. Hatlen (1934)

During his career, Dr. Phil Hatlen has served as Executive Director of the Blind Babies Foundation, founder and current board member of the Living Skills Center for the Visually Impaired now named the Hatlen Center for the Blind, Professor at San Francisco State University, and Superintendent of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. He has also served as President of the Council of Schools for the Blind, President of the Association for the Education of the Visually Handicapped, Co-Chair of the National Agenda, and Executive in Residence at the American Printing House for the Blind.

Dr. Hatlen has written extensively on curriculum for students with visual impairments and on education placement issues. He is the author of what is considered the most important pillar in the instruction of children with visual impairments in the field today – The Expanded Core Curriculum.

Among his honors, Dr. Hatlen has received AER’s Josephine L. Taylor Leadership Award and the Mary K. Bauman Award, AFB’s Migel Medal, CEC- DVI’s Distinguished Service Award, CEC’s Outstanding Leadership Award, and APH’s Wings of Freedom Award.

Induction into the Hall of Fame is intended for individuals who have made “significant contributions to improve the lives of those who are blind or visually impaired in such areas as professional practice, research, writing, leadership, direct service, and/or in their professional organizations.” Phil Hatlen has contributed in all of these areas, sometimes simultaneously, but always with passion, conviction, innovation, and sagacity. Dr. Kay Ferrell


Berdell “Pete” Wurzburger (1924 – 2011)

During his career, Pete Wurzburger served as Coordinator and Professor of the San Francisco State University Graduate Program in Orientation and Mobility (O&M), and taught O & M skills at the Hines Center, at the Orientation Center for the Blind, and at Sonoma State Hospital.

Mr. Wurzberger, who was one of the first peripatologists in the field, was extremely innovative. He founded and served as the first president of the California Association for Orientation and Mobility Specialists (CAOMS), invented the “marshmallow tip” for multiply disabled students who needed constant contact – now used worldwide, was one of first to teach O&M to preschool children, and was the first university professor to accept a blind or visually impaired person into the O&M program.

Among his awards Mr. Wurzburger received AER’s Blaha Award, the first NCAOMS Berdell “Pete” Wurzburger Biennial Award, the Sandy Kolterman Award, and AFB’s Migel Medal.

Pete made it clear, in words and actions, that he considered every client his equal, deserving of the same respect and dignity as every human being. Pete never judges people. Rather, he takes them as they are, warts and all, nurtures them, finds the good in them, and supports them. Dr. Phil Hatlen

Additional information regarding the 2012 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will soon appear on the APH website, www.aph.org.

Visit the Hall of Fame website for information on the Hall and those inducted.

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