Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Dr. Rosa A. Hagin

I am sorry to report that Dr. Rosa A. Hagin, died on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, at the age of 92. She was an educational psychologist and had worked as aresearch professor of psychology at New York University School of Medicine. Her area of expertise was in the neuropsychological core of reading. She had also taught at Trenton State College and Fordham University.  She did research and taught educators about effective tools for early child intervention, how to identify young students with LD (learning disabilities), and how to treat them early in their academic careers.
I knew her as a mentor, teacher and advocate for children and adults with learning disabilities.

When I was diagnosed with learning disabilities & ADHD as an adult, I was told I would have a difficult road ahead of me to earn my graduate degree. Some professors actually tried to discourage me from getting an advanced degree. I found out about Dr Hagin and that she was an expert in adult learning disabilities. She lived in Manhattan at the time, and I called her to set up an appointment.  To my surprise she answered the phone herself.  I visited her home office the same week.  She gave me a lot of encouragement and became my mentor for a short while.  Her effect on me has lasted until today. She encouraged me to be a tenacious learning disabled student.  When I told her I wanted to co-found a non-profit organization to helps others with learning disabilities, she told me it would be hard but I could do it. And I did! In 2001, LD Resources Foundation was founded.

You might have heard about the Bartlett case, a landmark case decided in New York City in 2001 by then Federal Judge Sonia Sotomayor .  Jo Anne Simon (a member of the LD Resources Board) was the attorney representing a law school graduate with dyslexia, who was eventually allowed special accommodation to take the bar exam in New York State.  Dr. Rosa Hagin was an expert witness in that case.

Dr. Isabella Reichel, Ed.D., SPL-A, CCC a Speech-Language Pathologist and Audiologist, is also a board member and advisor to LDRF, and acknowledges Dr. Hagin’s influence in mentoring and guiding her in her career.

 It’s no coincidence that Dr. Hagin was a mentor to three of us who have made it a priority to help people with learning disabilities, through our own careers as well as through our work with LD Resources Foundation.

 Dr Hagin published many scholarly articles, as well as what I consider the most important textbook on learning disability:  "Disorders of Learning in Childhood ".

 She will be missed dearly by all of us.

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