Speakers and Dialogue Leader: Katherine D. Seelman, Ph.D.
Katherine D. Seelman, Ph.D.is associate dean of disability programs and professor of rehabilitation science and technology at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh. She holds a secondary appointment in the School of Public Health, an adjunct position at Xian Jiatong University, China and is co-scientific director of the National Science Foundation-supported Quality of Life Technology Engineering Research Center. Dr. Seelman is one of two Americans serving on the World Health Organization 9-member international editorial committee to guide the development of the first world report on disability and co-chair of the U.S. launch of the report in September 2011. She presented a chapter of the Report, on which she was a principal author, at the United Nations in June, 2011.
In the Clinton Administration, she served for seven years as the Director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research in Washington. She assumed her position at the University of Pittsburgh in 2001. In 2002, Governor Edward G. Rendell appointed Seelman, who has had a life-long disability, to the Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Advisory Council. In 2004 Seelman was named by the Allegheny County Executive and the Mayor of Pittsburgh to the City-County Task Force on Disability which she co-chairs. In 2007 the Allegheny County Executive named her to the Area Agency on Aging Advisory Board. The Allegheny County Council has recognized her with two service awards.
In 2007 the University of Pittsburgh's Chancellor presented her with the University's Distinguished Public Service Award. In 2010, ACHIEVA presented her with its Professional Service Award. In 2011, she was invited to the join the Advisory Board of the Center for the Study of Chronic Illness and Disability, George Mason University by Dr. Lynn Gerber, former Director of the NIH Department of Rehabilitation.
Dr. Seelman has lectured and keynoted in countries throughout the world including Japan's National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities and the World Health Organization in 2003 and in Vietnam for the World Bank in 2002. In 2008, she keynoted two international conferences, ICOST and APCHI (Seoul, Korea). In September 2010, she presented a series of five lectures on Access and Assistive Technology in Korea. She is widely published with a focus on health and technology policy for people with disabiities and older adults. She is a chapter co-author for the June, 2011 WHO World Report on Disability. Recent articles have appeared in International Journal of Telerehabilitation (2010), Engineering, Medicine and Biology (2008), Encyclopedia of Special Education (2007), Encyclopedia of Bioengineering (2006) and Disabilities Studies Quarterly (2005). She is the author of the Forward and a chapter on technology for the Handbook of Smart Technology for Aging, Disability and Independence: Computing and Engineering Design and Application and co-editor of the Handbook of Disability Studies. Past accomplishments include working with Margaret Mead on the National Council of Churches study of the ethical implications of civilian nuclear energy and serving on two advisory panels for the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment and chairing, one, on international electronics.
During her career, she has received numerous awards including the Gold Key Award from the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, the Distinguished Public Service Award from the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the Outstanding Public Service Award from the Association of Academic Physiatrists, an honorary fellow in the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA), a National Science Foundation Assistantship and a distinguished Switzer Fellowship. In 1995 she was honored by her alma mater with induction into Hunter College Hall of Fame. Dr. Seelman earned her doctorate in public policy from New York University in 1982, with a concentration on science, technology and public policy.