Kate Seelman-Quality of Life Technology Center - Carnegie Mellon University

Kate Seelman

seelman photo

Rehabilitation Science and Technology
University of Pittsburgh
Forbes Tower, 5033
kds31 @ pitt.edu

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. In September 2010, she presented a series of five lectures on Access and Assistive Technology in Korea.

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.

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). 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 upcoming WHO World Report on Disability. Recent articles have appeared in 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.

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.

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"QoLT provides a vision and its application to meet a critical national need for supports to meet the independence and continued community integration objectives of people with disabilities and elders. As a person with a lifetime disability, I have been immersed in the consumer, policy and research communities to bring this vision to reality. In addition to my professional work, I sit on a number of local, state and national consumer panels that will be useful to the ERC."