Dr. Hannah Ehrli
Dr. Ehrli has taught for over 20 years in special education. Her passion as an educator initially stems from her involvement as a parent of a now adult child with special needs. She is proud to say her son has, in his own right, become an advocate for children with special needs. She is also proud of her daughter becoming a special needs teacher through Teach for America and who now resides in Melbourne, Australia where she teaches special education in a high school setting.
Dr. Ehrli’s international experience as an educator began with 4 years in a small town outside Belgrade (2010-2014) where she partnered with her colleague, an OT, to design early childhood classrooms for children with autism, conduct home visits, and produce professional development for educators. She also promoted awareness of autism through conferences, newspapers, radio and collaboration with local establishments and political offices in Serbia. This led to the creation of Mali Tesla (Little Tesla) and a culmination of funding the design and implementation of an inclusive playground on the site of the St. Sava School in Sabac, Serbia.
As a DISES member of several years, Dr. Ehrli has formerly served as member at large on the board of directors, in addition to presenting at past DISES conferences and as a panelist featuring her work in Haiti at a national CEC/DISES Showcase session. After receiving the CEC Clarissa Hug Teacher of the Year Award, she was invited by fellow Clarissa Hug Award recipient, Don Devito to keynote a conference for over 400 Haitian educators in Cap Haitian. It was there where they partnered with Gertrude Bien Amie to support her inclusive orphanage in Port Au Prince, and, as a Board, support the opening of the first inclusive school in Port Au Prince in 2017. She has led multiple trips (2013-present), as well as support from Clinton’s Global Initiative for support for women’s empowerment, for professional development for teachers and education for students in Cap Haitian, Haiti. Unfortunately, the capital of Haiti is no longer safe for travel so support comes through Zoom and other similar ways. However, through DISES she has met many like-minded people who continue to unite to meet challenges across the globe and join in collaborative and creative efforts to unite us toward a common goal of inclusive education.