Alan M. Jette, P.T., Ph.D., M.P.H. (Chair), is professor of health law, policy, and management at Boston University School of Public Health. His research interests include late-life exercise; evaluation of rehabilitation treatment outcomes; and the measurement, epidemiology, and prevention of disability. Dr. Jette is an international expert in the development and dissemination of contemporary outcome measurement instruments for evaluation of health care quality and outcomes and has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles on these topics. He currently directs a project entitled “Use of Computer Adaptive Testing to Assist with the Social Security Work Disability Determination Process.” Dr. Jette also directs the Boston Rehabilitation Outcome Measurement Center, serves on the Executive Committee of the Boston Roybal Center for Active Lifestyle Interventions, and is project director of the New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center. He also is editor in chief of the journal Physical Therapy. For the past 15 years he has directed the Boston University Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Outcomes Research, and from 1996 to 2004 he served as dean of Boston University’s Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences. Dr. Jette has served on multiple study committees for the former Institute of Medicine (now the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Health and Medicine Division), to which he was elected a member in 2013. He received a B.S. in physical therapy from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1973 and an M.P.H. (1975) and a Ph.D. (1979) in public health from the University of Michigan.
Fabricio E. Balcazar, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His primary research interest is developing effective strategies for enhancing consumer empowerment and personal effectiveness among individuals with disabilities. Dr. Balcazar has conducted research over the past 25 years in several disability-related areas, such as the development of systematic approaches for the effective involvement of people with disabilities in consumer advocacy organizations; the development and evaluation of a model service-delivery approach to increase consumers’ empowerment in the vocational rehabilitation service-delivery system; the development of interventions for helping Latino youth with disabilities who have dropped out of high school return to education and/or find jobs they can keep; the development of interventions to help minority students with disabilities transition into employment (including the development of entrepreneurial skills and start-ups for small businesses) and career development; and the promotion of cultural competence in rehabilitation services. He has published more than 70 peer-reviewed journal articles and recently co-edited a book entitled Race, Culture and Disability: Issues in Rehabilitation Research and Practice. Dr. Balcazar is a fellow of the American Psychological Association.
Laura J. Ball, Ph.D., is director of hearing and speech research at Children’s National Health System in Washington, DC, and a professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, The George Washington University. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln with a specialization in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and complex communication disorders and has more than 35 years of experience as a clinical speech-language pathologist. Her research focus is on individuals with complex neuromotor speech disorders across the life span, with particular interest in examining functional communication and participation; AAC assessment and implementation; and neurological speech-language and swallowing impairments resulting from neuromuscular, neurogenetic, and white matter disease. Her current research is examining advanced neural decoders for communication interfaces (i.e., brain–computer interface), functional communication for adolescents with Fragile X transitioning from school to vocational environments, and improving patient–provider communication for individuals from minority populations with severe communication impairments. Dr. Ball served on the Massachusetts General Hospital Committee for Assistive Communication and Technology and is currently active in the Global Leukodystrophy Initiative Standardization of Care Task Force. She has been a member of the Medicare Implementation Team, an Ad Hoc Committee for AAC Funding Advocacy, since 1999.
Rory A. Cooper, Ph.D., earned B.S. and M.Eng. degrees in electrical engineering from California Polytechnic State University and a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering with a concentration in bioengineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is FISA Foundation and Paralyzed Veterans of America chair and distinguished professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology and professor of bioengineering, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and orthopedic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Cooper is founding director and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) senior research career scientist at the Human Engineering Research Laboratories, a VA Rehabilitation R&D Center of Excellence. He has authored or co-authored more than 300 peer-reviewed journal publications and two books, and he has 20 patents awarded or pending. He is an elected fellow of the National Academy of Inventors as well as several other professional societies. He has been a distinguished speaker for several organizations and an honorary professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Xi’an Jiatong University. Dr. Cooper has been involved with Paralympics for a number of years and served with numerous governmental and nongovernmental organizations focused on disability and rehabilitation. He also has actively collaborated with the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre on increasing access to quality services and devices for people with disabilities in India and throughout developing countries. Dr. Cooper is a U.S. Army veteran with a spinal cord injury and a director of the Paralyzed Veterans of America Research Foundation as well as a civilian aide to the secretary of the Army. He currently serves as a member of the Honorary Board of Advisors for Student Veterans of America; the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for Education and Human Resources; the Command Council, Staff Sergeant Donnie D. Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Community Services; and the World Health Organization Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology (GATE) Committee.
Janna L. Friedly, M.D., is a board-certified physiatrist and associate professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle. She is also the medical director for the Limb Preservation and Amputation Rehabilitation Services and the outpatient Rehabilitation Medicine clinics at Harborview Medical Center. Dr. Friedly conducts outcomes research related to back pain treatments in the Comparative Effectiveness, Cost and Outcomes Research Center at the University of Washington. She has received numerous awards and grants for her research related to back pain. She received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and her medical degree from Oregon Health Sciences University. She completed her residency training in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Washington and a Rehabilitation
Medicine Scientist Training Program K12 fellowship in 2008. She has been a clinician scientist with the University of Washington since 2008. Dr. Friedly is actively involved in administration at the University of Washington. She has served as rehabilitation medicine representative on the Medical Quality Improvement Committee at Harborview Medical Center for the past 8 years and as a member at large of the center’s Medical Executive Committee and a past medical staff president. She is currently serving as an at-large member and on the Executive Committee of the University of Washington Physicians Board of Trustees. She is listed among “The Best Doctors in America,” and received the Top Doctors Award from Seattle Metropolitan Magazine in 2014, 2015, and 2016.
Walter R. Frontera, M.D., Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation, and Sports Medicine and the Department of Physiology at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine. He is former inaugural chair and professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where he served as medical director of rehabilitation services. He is a former dean of the Medical School at the University of Puerto Rico. In 1996, he was recruited to Harvard Medical School to establish the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), and he was appointed Earle P. and Ida S. Charlton professor and chairman of the Department of PM&R at Harvard Medical School and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. He was also chief of service at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Frontera’s main research interest is the mechanisms underlying muscle atrophy and weakness in the elderly and the development of rehabilitative interventions for sarcopenia. He has authored more than 220 scientific publications, including more than 95 peer-reviewed articles and 16 edited books. Currently, he serves as editor in chief of the American Journal of PM&R and is president elect of the International Society of PM&R. He has received several awards for his contributions to the field of PM&R. In 2008, he was elected a member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Frontera completed his M.D. and residency in PM&R at the University of Puerto Rico and his Ph.D. in applied anatomy and physiology at Boston University.
Katya Hill, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is an internationally recognized speaker and advocate in the field of AAC and assistive technology (AT), evidence-based practice, and performance measurement. She obtained her Ph.D. in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, where she is currently an associate professor in the Department of Communication Science and Disorders, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Technology. As
a speech-language pathologist, she has more than 30 years of AAC and AT clinical experience. Her clinical experiences led to a keen desire to conduct research to develop methods for measuring AAC performance and outcomes. Dr. Hill’s research has been in the area of AAC language activity monitoring, AAC language transcription and analysis, performance measurement, and brain–computer interfaces. Her research has led to the development of AAC software analysis tools, standards for definitions for measuring AAC communication performance, systematic approaches to evaluating AAC technologies, and several patents. Her career reflects her mission of improving the quality of life for individuals who rely on AAC by advocating for the most effective communication possible. Dr. Hill is also co-founder of the AAC Institute and ICAN Talk Clinic, nonprofit charitable organizations dedicated to advancing professional practices in AAC/AT and the life experience of people who use AAC/AT and their families.
Barbara L. Kornblau, J.D., OTR/L, is executive director of the Coalition for Disability Health Equity and serves on the faculty in the Division of Occupational Therapy, School of Allied Health, Florida A&M University. She also serves as a consultant to the United Spinal Association’s Pathways to Employment Program. Ms. Kornblau is past president of the American Occupational Therapy Association, a former Robert Wood Johnson Foundation health policy fellow in the Offices of Senators Harkin and Rockefeller, an attorney, a certified disability management specialist, a certified pain educator, and a person with a disability. She is recognized as an expert in disability policy, return-to-work issues, assistive technology, and reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.
Frank R. Lin, M.D., Ph.D., is an associate professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, geriatric medicine, mental health, and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University. He completed his medical education, residency in otolaryngology, and Ph.D. in clinical investigation at Johns Hopkins, and further otologic fellowship training in Lucerne, Switzerland. Dr. Lin’s clinical practice is dedicated to otology and the medical and surgical management of hearing loss. His epidemiologic research focuses on how hearing loss impacts the health and functioning of older adults and the role of hearing rehabilitative strategies in potentially mitigating these effects. In particular, his research group has demonstrated that hearing loss in older adults is strongly and independently associated with the risk of cognitive decline, incident dementia, impairments in physical functioning and mobility, and greater health care resource utilization in multiple epidemiologic studies. He collaborates extensively with researchers across multiple fields including gerontology, cognitive neuroscience, audiology, and epidemiology,
and has collaborative working relationships with individuals in industry, government, and nonprofit advocacy organizations.
Laura A. Miller, Ph.D., CP, is a research scientist/prosthetist for the Center for Bionic Medicine at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (previously known as the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago). She is a board-certified and Illinois-licensed prosthetist. Her clinical interests include high-level upper-limb prosthetic fittings. Dr. Miller is also an associate professor in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Northwestern University and works as a research prosthetist with the AbilityLab’s Center for Bionic Medicine. She is particularly interested in the application of pattern recognition as a method for controlling upper-extremity powered prostheses. She received her B.S. summa cum laude from Tulane University and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University, where she also completed a certificate program in prosthetics. She completed her prosthetics residency at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Dr. Miller has multiple publications in the areas of normal gait and lower-limb prosthetics as well as high-level upper-limb prosthetic fittings. She serves as a member of the board and treasurer of the U.S. Chapter of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics.
Kenneth J. Ottenbacher, Ph.D., OTR, holds the Russell Shearn Moody Distinguished Chair in Neurological Rehabilitation at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. He serves as director of the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences in the School of Health Professions as well as associate director for the Sealy Center on Aging. Dr. Ottenbacher received his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia and is a licensed occupational therapist. His research interests include rehabilitation outcomes, with a focus on functional assessment, disability, and frailty in older adults. He has published more than 320 scientific/technical articles in refereed journals and is the author, co-author, or editor of four textbooks. Dr. Ottenbacher’s research has been supported by continuous federal funding since 1984. His current research is examining hospital readmission and quality-of-care indicators across post-acute care settings.
Linda J. Resnik, P.T., Ph.D., is a research career scientist at the Providence VA Medical Center and a professor in the Department of Health Services, Policy, and Practice at Brown University. As a member of the Executive Committee of the Providence VA Medical Center’s Rehabilitation Research-funded Center of Excellence on Neurorestoration and Neurotechnology, she leads a focus area on Restoring Limb Function. She is also the principal investigator of the Center on Health Services Training and Research, a multi-institutional research and training center funded by the Foundation
for Physical Therapy. Dr. Resnik is currently the principal investigator of a U.S. Department of Defense–funded national study of veterans and service members with upper-limb amputation. She has also led the VA’s studies to optimize the DEKA arm and is currently the principal investigator of a VA-funded home study of this device. Dr. Resnik is an active collaborator on several other research studies evaluating the usability and outcomes of new prosthetic controls and technologies. She served as an editorial board member for the journal Physical Therapy for more than a decade and is the author of more than 75 peer-reviewed manuscripts, more than one-third of which pertain to persons with upper-limb amputation. She completed her postdoctoral training in health services research at Brown University and received her Ph.D. in physical therapy from Nova Southeastern University; her M.S. in physical therapy from Sargent College, Boston University; and her B.S. from Hampshire College.
Jon A. Sanford, M.Arch., is director of the Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access and professor of industrial design at Georgia Institute of Technology. He was a research architect at the Rehabilitation R&D Center at the Atlanta VA Medical Center for 28 years. Mr. Sanford is one of the few architecturally trained researchers engaged in the design and usability of products, technologies, and environments for older adults and people with disabilities. He is internationally recognized for his expertise in universal design, workplace accommodations, and home modifications and is principal investigator for the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technologies for Successful Aging with Disability (RERC TechSAge), a 5-year grant from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living. He also served as co-principal investigator for the RERC on workplace accommodations from 2003 to 2013. His current work focuses on promoting universal design through the integration of digital technologies into physical products. He has more than 300 presentations and publications and recently authored the book Design for the Ages: Universal Design as a Rehabilitation Strategy.
Stephanie Sjoblad, Au.D., is a professor at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences. She has served as clinical coordinator since 2001 and is clinic director for the UNC Hearing and Communication Center. Dr. Sjoblad also teaches graduate courses and supervises students in the clinic. A consumer of hearing instrument technology from childhood, she offers a unique perspective to patients and students alike. She has served on the board for the American Academy of Audiology-North Carolina, most recently as past president; for a division of the North Carolina Speech and Hearing Association; and on the Coding and Reimbursement Committee for the American Academy of Audiology.
She served for 8 years as president of the board of directors of Beginnings for Parents of Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Inc. Dr. Sjoblad and the team at the UNC Hearing and Communication Center are leading the way in national efforts to make hearing care more accessible through unbundled and itemized fee structures while utilizing best practices as outlined by the American Academy of Audiology.
Lawrence C. Vogel, M.D., has been chief of pediatrics at the Chicago Shriners Hospitals for Children since 1981 and medical director of the Spinal Cord Injury program since its inception in 1983. He received his B.A. with distinction from Northwestern University and his medical degree from the University of Illinois. He served as a pediatric resident at Yale-New Haven Hospital and subsequently completed a fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at Michael Reese Hospital and the University of Chicago. Dr. Vogel is a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics and is certified in the subspecialty of spinal cord injury medicine. He is a professor of pediatrics at Rush Medical College and an adjunct professor of biomedical engineering at Marquette University, and he is a member of several professional societies focused on spinal cord injury. Dr. Vogel is past president of the Chicago Pediatric Society, the board of directors of the American Paraplegia Society, and the American Spinal Injury Association. Over the past three decades, he has dedicated his time to the care of children and adolescents with spinal cord injuries. A major interest is in long-term follow-up of children and adolescents with spinal cord injuries. He has authored more than 150 articles in peer-reviewed journals, 24 book chapters, more than 350 presentations or posters, and 20 instructional courses at national and international medical meetings and co-edited one book.