[Greater-baltimore] FW: [nfbwnews] Passing of Dr. Lilli Nielsen

Melissa Ann Riccobono melissa at riccobono.us
Tue Aug 27 15:06:10 UTC 2013

Hello everyone,
Just passing this information along. I never met Dr. Nielsen, but her work
surrounding children with multiple disabilities was incredible.

-----Original Message-----
From: nfbwnews [mailto:nfbwnews-bounces at nfbwis.org] On Behalf Of Hyde, David
W. (ESC)
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2013 4:49 PM
To: 'wpbc at nfbwis.org'; 'nfbwnews at nfbwis.org'; 'pibe-division at nfbnet.org';
'nobe-l at nfbnet.org'
Subject: [nfbwnews] Passing of Dr. Lilli Nielsen

I received this from another list. For those who are not familiar with Dr.
Nielsen's work, it does not suffice to say that she revolutionized the
teaching of children with multiple disabilities. I was surprised to learn
about her work when I came to Wisconsin. Evidently, her foundation will go
on, as will her work.


Lilli Tribute.pdf

LilliWorks Active Learning Foundation 

Web: www.lilliworks.org 

email: info at lilliworks.org 

Facebook:"Active Learning for the Disabled: 

Lilliworks Foundation" 

Lilliworks Tribute to Dr. Lilli Nielsen 


"Oh, wow, I miss her! :o( I will never forget 

meeting her & seeing the compassion & 

intelligence in her eyes. She truly knew how 

to treat all people as people. May she rest in 

peace! Her legacy lives on thru us & "her/our" 


Debbie Heslin Zimmer 

Lilli, we will miss you! 

It was with great sadness that we learned of the 

passing of Dr. Lilli Nielsen in an email from her sons. 

"Dear friends and colleagues of Dr. Nielsen, 

It is with sadness we have to inform you that Dr. Lilli 

Nielsen passed away on the 24. june 2013 at the public 

hospital of Kolding after a short but hectic period of 

illness. She was hit by pneumonia and her general 

condition was worsening over the last week. She was 

clear in her mind to the very last, but exhausted and 

only awake for a few minutes at a time." 

Yours faithfully 

Christan Reker and Erik Reker 

Sons of Lilli Nielsen 

Our Thoughts 


Active Learning for the Disabled: LilliWorks Founda


"She was an amazing lady that brought the world to 

our special children. We are thankful for her life, her 

compassion, her love, and most of all for her creation 

of Active Learning. She will live on through her wonderful 


Lori Enroth 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

You are very much in our thoughts, and your touch has 

permeated our lives, not just with Miranda, but all our 

children. That we nurture and rejoice in their explorations 

is a profound legacy in whole generations passing 

the attitude, the perspective, the manner of learning 

and of developing oneself is all greatly colored and enhanced 

by your infectious faith in and sensitivity to our 

curious nature. 

God bless you Lilli, because He sure blessed us with you. 

Rand Wrobel 

. . . How Dr. Lilli Nielsen changed my life . . . 

Lilliworks Tribute to Dr. Lilli Nielsen 

The "Little Room" 

When I was first introduced to Active Learning by my daughter's Blind Babies
Foundation counselor, I 

saw at last a form of therapy that required my daughter's engagement rather
than my manipulation of my 

daughter.I knew this was a key to finally reaching Miranda and couldn't wait
to learn more.

I met Dr. Nielsen (Lilli) at a training she was giving in Anchorage, Alaska.
My daughter Miranda was 2-1/2 

years old at the time, diagnosed with Cortical Visual Impairment, Spastic
Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, and 

Epilepsy. I was fortunate enough to not only attend her training but to get
a consult with her as well.

In the training, the pure strength and heart of Lilli was something to
behold. She spoke with authority 

about children she had helped that no others could reach, about the methods
she had developed that are 

known as Active Learning, and taught all in attendance to learn to observe
rather than interfere with our 

blind and disabled charges so that they could learn by whatever means
available to them. To me, the mother 

of a miserable isolated toddler, it was a revelation to hear her and see her
in action. 

When Miranda and I got private time with Lilli for our consult, her strength
was even more apparent. She 

spent an hour on the floor with Miranda (Lilli was in her seventies at the
time). I recall that neither Lilli nor 

Miranda was well that day, but I saw Lilli try everything to reach Miranda.
Lilli informed me that Miranda was 

one of the most passive children she had ever seen, but that she felt
certain this could change because Lilli 

has already helped one other child similarly stricken. Lilli encouraged me
to believe in Active Learning and 

apply the teaching in ways that would eventually break through my child's

Through the years, my husband and I became friends with the teacher that
changed our daughter's life for 

the better. She trusted us to bring her equipment to this country and to
protect her intellectual rights others 

had tried to take from her. I had the good fortune to have Lilli in my home
and to share dinners with her. And 

because of all Lilli had done, we found a way in to Miranda's world and were
able to lift her out of her misery 

and isolation to the happy active 16 year old she is today. 

Through the founding and creation of LilliWorks Active Learning foundation,
I saw the "Lilli" effect repeatedly. 

I have seen first-hand unreachable children begin to move and respond to the
Active Learning Techniques 

Lilli created and taught. Time and time again, I witnessed parents respond
with joy at their children's 

early responses and see the gift that Active Learning was when all other
approaches had failed. 

There will never be another like Dr. Lilli Nielsen, she was a force to be
reckoned with and created amazing 

tools and techniques we know as Active Learning. We will have to go on
without her and try our best to 

keep bringing her work to the children of the world who benefit so from
Active Learning. Her presence with 

us will be deeply missed and we can never thank her enough for the gifts she
has given us, but her legacy 

can and will stay on, hopefully for many generations to come. 

Good-Bye Dear Lilli, 

Michaele Monaghan


David Hyde, Professional Development Coordinator

Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired

1700 W. State Street

Janesville WI  53546

608-758-6152 (office)

608-751-0960 (cell)

608-758-6169 (fax)

866-284-1107 ext. 34 (toll free)


david.hyde at wcbvi.k12.wi.us <mailto:david.hyde at wcbvi.k12.wi.us> 


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