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Philip H. HATLEN


1934 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Philip H. HATLEN Obituary
HATLEN, Philip H.
Philip "Phil" H. Hatlen, an innovative and internationally renowned leader in the education of children who are blind or visually impaired, passed away peacefully on January 14, 2016 in Concord, California. He was born to Lillie and Julius Hatlen on September 4, 1934 in Goleta, California and was raised in Patterson, California.
Phil received his Master's Degree in Special Education at San Francisco State University and his Doctorate Degree in Education at the University of California, Berkeley. He had a long and distinguished career as Principal of the California School for the Blind, Founder of the Living Skills Center for the Visually Impaired, Executive Director of Blind Babies Foundation in San Francisco, Professor of Special Education at San Francisco State University, and as Superintendent of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Austin, retiring in 2007. He authored numerous articles, chapters, and books that continue to be invaluable resources to his profession. He is especially known for the concept of the Expanded Core Curriculum, a specialized curriculum for students with visual impairments which has been adopted and implemented nationally.
Phil was passionate in his dedication and advocacy for children and adults who are blind or visually impaired. He served as a member of many organizations, boards, and committees including Alliance of and for Visually Impaired Texans, All Blind Children of Texas, and as President of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AEVH) and the Council of Schools for the Blind.
Phil has also been recognized by his peers with countless awards and honors. In 1997, he received the prestigious Migel Medal from the American Foundation for the Blind, the highest honor in the blindness field, and in 2012 was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field at the American Printing House for the Blind. He was also a friend and inspirational mentor to his many students and colleagues world-wide. Phil was considered a visionary of change and a political force in legislation for his profession.
During his years in Austin, Phil enjoyed his faith community of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church and served as Vestry member and Senior Warden. He was also an avid San Francisco 49ers fan and loved to travel, living life with optimism and great joy! We will miss his kind and supportive nature, smiling eyes, cheery laughter, and his gentle, heartfelt spirit.
Phil was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers Sheldon and Burton Hatlen. He is survived by his three sons, Jim Hatlen of Concord, California, Edward Hatlen of Lafayette, California, and Lucas Hatlen of Athens, Georgia; grandchildren Melissa (husband Mike), Christopher (wife Amy) and Madeline, Eric, and Kyle Hatlen; and great-grandchildren Chasen and Brysen. Phil cherished his family and treasured time spent with them.
A service to celebrate Phil's life will be held at St. Matthews Episcopal Church, 8134 Mesa Dr., Austin on February 6th, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. Donations may be made in memory of Phil to the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired or All Blind Children of Texas, 1100 W. 45th St, Austin, TX 78756.
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Jan. 17 to Jan. 18, 2016
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