National Leadership Program, Summer 2018
Jaemi Hagen was a Communications Fellow at RespectAbility working on the Hollywood disability inclusion project. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. Hagen is an advocate, activist and public speaker from Minnesota. He also is profoundly Deaf. Additionally, he is part of the LGBTQIA+ community. He joined RespectAbility because he wanted to be a part of making profound changes in disability rights, equity and accessibility all across the nation.
Hagen’s primary goal is to reduce the stigma and misperception that people with disabilities cannot work, obtain an education or support a family. He wants to set an example for others and, through his own actions, show what is possible. Hagen also wants to promote and encourage speaking openly about disabilities and make it more of a conversational norm, rather than something to hide and be discreet about.
Previously, Hagen was an intern in the Child Protection Unit at the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office in St. Paul, Minnesota. He also worked as a Special Education Assistant at a charter school for grades 6-12 in St. Paul, Minnesota. These experiences, along with his personal experience, motivated him to become a more active role model and advocate for himself and others with disabilities. Hagen is a public speaker, speaking at schools and universities in Delaware, Maryland, California and Minnesota.
Hagen is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities majoring in Psychology and minoring in Leadership. He was part of the brain club, unicycle club and the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association chapter club. In 2016, Hagen completed an internship at the University of Pacific Doctoral Audiology program in San Francisco.
Hagen’s favorite author is the late neurologist Oliver Sacks. Hagen has a black belt in Taekwondo and is a ski and snowboard instructor. He loves cats and dogs. For fun he likes to draw, paint, play card and board games, lift weights and go for walks. Hagen is fluent in American Sign Language and Cued Speech as well. After graduation, he wants to pursue law school or a career in disability advocacy and accessibility. In five years, Hagen wants to have graduated law school and be working as a criminal prosecutor or as a disability and human rights lawyer.
Hagen wrote one piece during the 2018 Summer Fellowship. Check it out on our website:
- Sheehy on Disability Employment: “We are going to have some hard work ahead of us, but it’s work worth doing” (August 31, 2018)
Join Our Team
RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community. Learn more about the National Leadership Program and apply for the next cohort! Contact BenS@RespectAbility.org for more information.