Roger O. Smith, Ph.D., O.T. FAOTA, RESNA Fellow

Professor; Director, Rehabilitation Research Design & Disability (R2D2) Center

[Image] Roger Smith

Enderis Hall, Room 975
Phone: (414) 229-5625
Alt. Phone: (414) 229-4713
Lab Phone: (414) 229-6803
TY Phone: (414) 229-5628
Fax: (414) 229-5100


Occupational Science & Technology, Rehabilitiation Research Design & Disability (R2D2) Center


  • Ph.D., Industrial Engineering (Human Factors and Health Systems), University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1993
  • M.O.T., Occupational Therapy, University of Washington, Seattle, 1980
  • B.A., Psychology with co-major in Communications, Goshen College, Indiana, 1976

Speaker Topics

  • Accessible Design
  • Assistive Technology
  • Universal Design
  • Bifocals and Falling
  • Outcome Measurement and Disability

Interests & Expertise

Dr. Smith's research focuses on measurement related to disability and the application of assistive technology & universal design. In measurement, Dr. Smith examines assessments to determine their reliability and validity in use. He has created a software based evaluation system that uses a branching question structure called TTSS (Trichotomous Tailored Sub-branching Scoring). One component of Dr. Smith's current research specifically investigates the utility of the TTSS methodology as embedded in OTFACT software. Dr. Smith also investigates the effectiveness of assistive technology and universal design interventions on the lives of people with disabilities. Currently, Dr. Smith directs several federally funded projects. Dr. Smith has served as primary author and director for more than 30 grant and contract awards of over 8 million dollars of extramural sponsored research and training programs. These projects have supported many dozens of students in assistive technology training and in research support positions.

See the Rehabilitation Research Design & Disability (R2D2) Center website for more about current projects.

The R2D2 Center is located at:

2400 E. Hartford Ave.
Enderis Hall, Room 135
Milwaukee, WI 53211

Voice 414.229.6803
TTY 414.229.5628

The R2D2 Center provides an interdisciplinary home for basic research, applied research and development, as well as innovative instruction related to technology and disability.

The R2D2 Center affiliates multiple college/school units in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Currently, key linkages exist with the Departments of Occupational Science & Technology and Health Informatics & Administration in the College of Health Sciences, the Department of Exceptional Education in the School of Education, the School of Architecture and Urban Planning, and components of the campus Office of Information Technology.

Recent Publications

Selected Publications

Beschorner, K. E., Milanowski, A. M., Tomashek, D. B., & Smith, R. O. (2013). Effect of multifocal lens glasses on the stepping patterns of novice wearers. Gait and Posture. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2013.05.014

Brayton-Chung, A., Tomashek, D., & Smith, R. O. (2013). Fall risk assessment: Development of a paradigm to measure multifocal eyeglass effects. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics, 31(1), 47-60.

Fiedler, G., Slavens, B. A., Hafner, B. J., Briggs, D., & Smith, R. O. (2013). Leg laterality differences in persons with bilateral transtibial amputation: A pilot study using prosthesis-integrated load cells. Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics, 25(3).

Lenker, J., Harris, F., Taugher, M., & Smith, R. O. (2013). Consumer perspectives on assistive technology outcomes. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology. doi: 10.3109/17483107.2012.749429.

Steinfeld, E., & Smith, R. O. (2012). Universal design for quality of life technologies. Proceedings of the IEE, 100(8), 2539-2559.

Watson, A. H., & Smith, R. O. (2012). Comparison of two school-based assistive technology outcome instruments. Technology & Disability, 24, 1-10.

Smith, R. O. (2010). Evidence based practice (EBP) in Universal Design. In J.L. Maisel (Ed.), The State of the Science in Universal Design: Emerging Research and Developments (pp. 31-46). Buffalo, NY: U.A.E.: Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

Watson, A. H., Ito, M., Smith, R. O., & Andersen, L. T. (2010). Effect of assistive technology in a public school setting. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64, 18–29.

Johnston, M., & Smith, R. O. (2010). Single Subject Designs: Current Methodologies and Future Directions. Occupational Therapy Journal of Research, 30, 2-6.

Mendelsohn, S., Edyburn, D. L., Rust, K. L., Schwanke, T. D., & Smith, R. O. (2008). Using assistive technology outcomes research to inform policy related to the employment of individuals with disabilities. Assistive Technology, 20, 139-148.

Fennema-Jansen, S., Edyburn, D. L., Smith, R. O., Wilson, S., & Binion, M. (2007). Developing a statewide system for providing and assessing outcomes of assistive technology. Journal of Special Education Technology, 22(1).

Honors & Awards

  • Research Foundation Senior Faculty Award, University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, 2014
  • Dean's Research Award, College of Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, 2011
  • Inducted Academy of Research, American Occupational Therapy Foundation, 2010
  • Fellow of Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA), 2004
  • Dean’s Research Award, College of Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, 2002
  • Dean’s Research Award, School of Allied Health, University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, 1999
  • Pin Dot Outstanding Paper Award, in the journal Assistive Technology, RESNA, 1997

  • Byoung Kim Award for Teaching Excellence, College of Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2008.
  • Golden Apple Teaching Award, School of Allied Health Professions, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1996.

  • Ambassador Award, College of Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2013.
  • National Advisory Board on Medical Rehabilitation Research, NICHD, NIH, 2012-.
  • Board of Directors and Executive Committee, RESNA, Rehabiliation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America, 2012-.
  • Wisconsin Occupational Therapy Association – Lifetime Achievement Award, 2011.
  • American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Service Award, 2009.
  • Occupational Therapy Alumnus of the Year Award, University of Washington, 2006.
  • Award of Appreciation, Southeast District Wisconsin Occupational Therapy Association, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000.
  • Certificate of Appreciation, RESNA, Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America, 1997.
  • Service Award, American Occupational Therapy Association, Technology Special Interest Section Standing Committee, 1995.
  • Service Award, American Occupational Therapy Association, Uniform Terminology Task Force - Commission on Practice, 1989.
  • Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association (FAOTA), 1993.
  • Certificate of Recognition, Wisconsin Occupational Therapy Association, 1986.
  • Award of Excellence, Occupational Therapy Association of Oregon, 1983.

Research Partners

  • Marquette University, Biomedical Engineering, and Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science Departments
  • Medical College of Wisconsin, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Radiology Departments
  • University of Wisconsin - Platteville
  • University of Wisconsin - Parkside
  • University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Layton Boulevard West Neighbors, Inc.
  • Rebuilding Together Greater Milwaukee
  • Pathways to Independence, Wisconsin Department of Health Services