AAC Meets Telerehabilitation: Envisioning Transformative Tele-AAC Research

Dr. Ellen Cohn, RERC TR investigator, organized a research symposium on telerehabilitation for the 15th Biennial Conference of the International Society for augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) ( As noted below, several of our researchers participated as presenters, moderators and panelists:

Posted January 24, 2012: The new issue of Facets Magazine (Fall/Winter 2011) has three great articles that prominently feature the work of the RERC on Telerehabilitation. Take a look! (Facets 2011 Fall Winter.pdf)

Posted November 10, 2011: ATA 2012: 17th Annual International Scientific Meeting & Tradeshow April 29 – May 1, 2012 in San Jose, CA
The ATA Annual Meeting is the largest telehealth event of the year, with over 450 peer reviewed presentations and the world's largest tradeshow focusing exclusively on telemedicine, telehealth and mHealth technologies. RERC on Telerehabilitation researchers will join 4000 telemedicine professionals and discover the technologies that are revolutionizing healthcare. The 2012 meeting focuses on the business of telemedicine, model programs and best practices, innovative technological applications and the latest scientific research findings. For full program information, visit

Posted Oct. 5, 2011: RERC on Telerehabilitation co-investigator Ellen Cohn joined American Telemedicine Association CEO Jon Linkous, and Senior Director for Public Policy, Gary Capistrant in a webinar that "described the current 50 state system for medical licensure and practice regulation and efforts to facilitate solutions that will potentially benefit consumers, clinicians and fiscally challenged state governments." Linkous and Capistrant Jon unveiled a new ATA sponsored web site and petition at: Their goal: to give voice to consumers and professionals who are in favor of a more effective and efficient professional state licensure system. Please visit:

Posted August 29, 2011: New resource! The License Portability Sub-Committee of the American Telemedicine Association's Telerehabilitation has created an informational document, "Resolving Barriers to Licensure Portability for Telerehabilitation Professionals". It is available for downloading and sharing. (Document 221kb PDF file)

Posted June 24, 2011: Call for Articles for International Journal of Telerehabilitation (IJT) The next issue of the journal will be published in November 2011, with articles needed by late August. Please consider sending: original research; clinical case reports; technology reviews...IJT is now indexed by EBSCO and was accepted for indexing by the Directory of Open Access Journals,, based in Sweden. We are expecting to publish more "Country Reports" –so please let me know if you have any great international telrehab. authors I might invite. Submit to Ellen Cohn at Many thanks for considering the IJT.

Posted June 20, 2011: The World Health Organization/World Bank's first World Report on Disability recognizes Telerehabilitation as an important source for delivery of rehabilitation services. See pp 118-119 and in the recommendations section, p. 124. The World Report on Disability can be found at: The WHO/World Bank first World Report on Disability was released at the United Nations on June 9, 2011. Our very own Dr. Kate Seelman is one of the authors and editors of the report. The Report provides support for the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities by providing the best scientific evidence of needs and gaps and uses this evidence to effect government policy around the world. There will be a U.S. Launch of the WHO/World Bank's first World Report on Disability in Sept. in Washington, D.C. Please see: (Kate Seelman, University of Pittsburgh and John Stone, State University of NY-Buffalo will co-chair the U.S. Launch.)

Posted June 17, 2011: PN Regarding Obligation to Make Emergency Information Accessible to Persons with Hearing or Vision Disabilities Released

On June 17, 2011, the Commission issued a Public Notice reminding video programming distributors (VPDs) of their obligation to make emergency information accessible. The FCC has rules in place to ensure that the critical details of emergency information shown on television are accessible to viewers with hearing or vision disabilities. There are no exemptions to these rules. VPDs - including broadcasters, cable operators, satellite television services - are responsible for following these rules. Emergency information that is heard must be made accessible using closed captioning or other methods of visual presentation, including open captioning, "crawls," or "scrolls" that appear on the screen. Emergency information that is seen must also be made accessible: For regularly scheduled newscasts the newscaster must make sure they speak whatever emergency information is being provided visually. If emergency information interrupts programming (for example, if there is a crawl or scroll going across the screen that contains emergency information), there must be an aural tone to alert persons with vision disabilities of emergency information so they can tune to another source, such as a radio, for more information.

Link to Public Notice:

Posted May 2, 2011: CMS Finalizes a New Rule for Telemedicine Services
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a final rule for telemedicine services, which will ensure that patients in remote areas will receive cutting-edge care from local hospitals. This rule changes the process that hospitals and critical access hospitals use for credentialing physicians and practitioners to deliver care through telemedicine. The rule simplifies and streamlines how hospitals can partner with non-hospital telemedicine entities to deliver care. This rule will benefit patients in rural areas where hospitals lack the staff or resources to deliver specialized services to patients.

The final rule can be found here.

Posted April 1, 2011: The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Telerehabilitation is sponsoring a policy conference in Washington D.C. about what is Telerehabilitation and how it can enhance independent living and community integration for people with disabilities. Mark your calendar for Friday, April 1, 2011, 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Register today for this free conference intended for consumers, clinicians, researchers, policymakers, government agency representatives, industry, and providers. Lunch provided for registrants. More information and Registration Form at

Posted October 7, 2010: Pitt features tech commercialization opportunities
VISYTER, Versatile and Integrated System for Telerehabilitation, a platform developed to allow clinicians and clients to communicate remotely with high-quality video conferencing and secure connection.
Go to: for the full story.

Posted March 10, 2010: Dr. Katherine Seelman represented the RERC on Telerehabilitation at The Federal Communications Commission panel discussion, "Increasing Access to Broadband for People With Disabilities" in Washington DC.

Posted October 20, 2009: Dr. Katherine Seelman represented the RERC on Telerehabilitation at the Federal Communications Commission panel on National Broadband Policy and Furthering National Purposes and People with Disabilities in Washington, DC.


Events & Awards

March 24, 2010--Congratulations to Andrea D. Fairman, MOT-OTR/L, CPRP, who took 3rd Place in the "New Product Idea" category of the Big Idea Competition. Ms. Fairman presented on the mobile technologies component of project R3: A telerehabilitation enhanced wellness program in spina bifida. The event was hosted by the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh.






Journal of Telerehabilitation


D3 video screen on YouTube

TeleWellness: Interactive Mobile Health and Rehabilitation



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