December 16th, 2013:

Dr. Shari Rosen wins inaugural SENIA Advocacy Award

Dr. Shari Rosen, a speech and language pathologist in Shanghai, China wins the first Special Education Network (SENIA) Advocacy Award. The SENIA Advocacy Award celebrates the achievement of a student, adult or group who encourages awareness and advocates for the aspirations of people with disabilities. The award honors those who exemplify the vision and mission of SENIA, which is to advocate in behalf of exceptional people in Asia.

Dr. Rosen will be receiving her award at the SENIA 2014 Conference to be held in the United World College East Campus, Singapore on February 28 to March 1, 2014.

Dr. Shari Rosen’s inspiring story of advocacy started when she moved to Shanghai in 2003. After witnessing the extreme lack of special needs services in China, she tirelessly worked as a volunteer to empower students, teachers and parents. Fueled by her passion to advocate for persons with disabilities in China, Dr. Shari Rosen and her husband chose to stay in China and become social entrepreneurs. After selling their home, they risked all they had to start Special Education Consulting. It has not been an easy road but today, their company has grown into the Essential Learning Group (ELG) with offices in five cities, two countries with over 90 staff members. In 2012, the ELG formed the XiErSen (Hope Forest), a local Chinese organization for Chinese families and children with autism.

Her advocacy work has taken Dr. Shari Rosen to various places as an advocate, expert speaker and consultant. She has worked with Red Thread Charities and has facilitated trainings for the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), the Special Education Network in Asia (SENIA), and other professional development seminars. Dr. Rosen, along with two professors, are currently working on a Fulbright Scholarship to bring graduate students in the field of special education and communication sciences and disorders to China.

Dr. Shari Rosen’s story truly inspires and compels all special education practitioners to continue to advocate for exceptional children in Asia. Congratulations, Dr. Shari Rosen and the Essential Learning Group!

Honorary certificates will be awarded to Dr. Francis Dimalanta (Philippines), Mr. Oscar Jonsson (China), Ms. Penny Robertson (Jakarta), Ms. Pilar Tan (China) and Surjati Soekraman (Singapore).

Feature Photo Credit: Leading the Way (2006)