The aphasia world lost a true champion on Sunday, January 28, when Shirley Morganstein passed away after a bout with cancer. Shirley was a long standing member of the Professional Advisory Board of the NAA and we are grateful for the wisdom and advocacy she brought to our organization.
Shirley devoted her career to improving quality of life for families experiencing aphasia. She was a protégé of our founder, Martha Taylor Sarno, who stated that “few speech-language pathologists have understood the insider perspective of living with aphasia as well as Shirley. Her career has been characterized by a passion for bringing meaningfulness to persons with aphasia. She is a gift.”
Marilyn Certner-Smith, Shirley’s partner in co-founding “Speaking of Aphasia,” a private practice dedicated to aphasia states that “she was keenly sensitive to the needs of others, how to support people, and write authentically about the importance of relationships. Her family and friends adored her, her clients flourished and her colleagues revered her.”
I know that I revered and respected her as a colleague. Whatever she wrote, I read. Whenever and wherever she spoke, I listened, because I was eager to benefit from her expertise and I was sure to take away a message of civility. We honor her as a pioneer, a champion for the rights of people with disabilities, a generous colleague, and a trusted friend.