“The handicapped child is entitled to an education at the same level of commitment that all other children are entitled to. This commitment to children, to the education of all children to their fullest potential at whatever the cost, is what the term ‘education’ should mean”.
Dan Ringelheim was one of those rare people who came along only once in a great while. His determination and insight tipped society’s scales in favor of important human values. As one of the prime architects of the Education of all Handicapped Children Act, Dan played a key role in helping change, for the better, education for all of America’s handicapped children.
Dan received his Ph.D. from Peabody College in 1958 and served as Director of Psychological and Pupil Services in a local school district, as well as Professor of Educational Psychology at NYU. He came to New Jersey in 1969 and joined the Department of Education as Director of Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services. His remarkable leadership, open style, directness, forcefulness and honesty were always evident, and earned him many warm relationships throughout the state.
As Chairperson of the National Advisory committee on the Handicapped, Dan provided much of the early critique and professional input for the landmark legislation which guaranteed the rights of all handicapped children. This law became known as PL 94-142 and was signed by President Ford in 1975. Dan then moved to Washington DC and was instrumental I the development of the regulations implementing PL 94-142.
The New Jersey Council for Exceptional Children established the Daniel Ringelheim Memorial Award in 1978. Presented biennially, it is the highest award bestowed by the NJCEC to individuals who continue to emulate Dan’s life through outstanding contributions to the field of special education in New Jersey.
Mr. Barry Schwartz, Awards Chair
The New Jersey Council for Exceptional Children