Research, Policy & Outreach Initiatives

During her tenure as Director of NIDRR, Dr. Seelman advanced scientific endeavor in many areas, especially in applications of rehabilitation technology to advance the independence of people with disabilities. Dr. Seelman chaired the U.S. government's Interagency Committee on Disability Research, which promotes coordination and cooperation among federal agencies supporting rehabilitation research. She has represented the United States in a number of international forums including those in India, Israel, New Zealand, People's Republic of China and Spain. She organized and chaired a panel of international research institute representatives at the 2000 Rehabilitation International meeting in Rio de Janeiro. More recently, in 2001 she toured rehabilitation sites throughout the People's Republic of China.

Dr. Seelman, who is hard of hearing, also has held leadership positions at the U.S. National Council on Disability and the Administration on Developmental Disabilities. She chaired the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) Advisory Committee on International Competition in Microelectronics and has served on other OTA committees. Publications include those in the Encyclopedia of Special Education, the Encyclopedia of Bioengineering and Disability Studies Quarterly. She is an editor and chapter author for the international text Handbook of Disability Studies published by SAGE Publications, Inc. She was the 2007 recipient of the Chancellor's Distinguished Public Service Award at the University of Pittsburgh. 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. She has been a Switzer Scholar with the National Rehabilitation Association and she was selected to deliver the prestigious Switzer, Colin McLaurin and Schaeffer Lectures. 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.



















Thornburg Lecture Series

Thornburg Family Lecture Series on Disability Law and Policy, University of Pittsburgh, 2004

Allegeny County Council,
PA, 2006



















Department of Rehabilitation Science & Technology
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
University of Pittsburgh
Tel. 412/383-6727
E-mail: kds31 @



Biogrpahy Awards Publications Presentations