Peterson, Nancy

Nancy L.
Peterson, PhD
Year Inducted: 
1994
Nancy Peterson
Highlights: 
  • Department Chair of Special Education at the University of Kansas
  • Created Kansas’ first university courses and training programs for early childhood special education
  • Appointed by Governor Finney the consultant the Governor’s Task Force on Preschool Handicapped Children
  • Chair of the Kansas Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Childhood Developmental Services
  • Implemented federal early childhood programs, policies, and congressional mandates across the nation
Biography: 

A child can give to the world hope and innocence, and only certain people can reciprocate that special hope to a child.  Dr. Nancy Peterson has made an impact that can only truly be measured by the families she has touched and the assistance she has provided to children with disabilities.

Dr. Peterson is responsible for the creation of the first university courses and training programs in the state of Kansas in the area of early childhood special education.  She served as Department Chair of Special Education at the University of Kansas.  As an international leader in her field, she has provided extensive technical assistance to facilities throughout the United States in implementing federal early childhood programs, policies, and congressional mandates.  She has  acted on behalf of young children through contributing time and talent over the years; she has made and will continue to make significant contributions to the lives of exceptional children and their families. 

Dr. Peterson has been dedicated to the needs of family programs nationwide, and through this endeavor she has also enriched her own capacity to teach others.  Her numerous journals, publications, films and presentations illustrate her genuine and undying commitment to the needs of the disabled.  As a result, she has received many grants, published reports, served as a consultant to the Governor’s Task Force on Preschool Handicapped Children, and has coordinated personnel training programs, which she created, at the University of Kansas. She has served for three years as the Governor’s appointee, and according to Governor Joan Finney, “played a pivotal role in conceptualizing and writing the first federally funded ‘State Implementation Grant.’”  Her success has been a wonderful blend of clinical skill and scholarly competence that gives her enormous credibility in her field. Through her devotion to helping a broad range of people, she was chair of the Kansas Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Childhood Developmental Services and has committed a great deal of her own ideals to improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities.  Donald D. Deshler, former Director for the Center for Research on Learning, stated, “She devotes enormous energy and time in teaming efforts with other researchers, service providers, and students.”  


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