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Outreach and Conference Task Force


Chris MacDonell

Christine MacDonell

J. Preston Harley

Preston Harley

Co-Chairs: Christine MacDonell, FACRM, and Preston Harley, PhD

The Outreach and Conference Task Force is dedicated to:

  • Increase awareness of ACRM benefits and offerings in multiple countries.
  • Encourage international rehabilitation professionals to become active in ACRM and present at ACRM Annual conference.
  • Share information about ACRM at international conferences, symposiums, lectures, and in rehabilitation settings.
  • Educate stakeholders re: importance of interaction with international association with researchers and rehabilitation professionals.
  • Promote the submission of symposiums, papers and posters for ACRM Annual conference.


Due to the COVID-19 and the issues it has brought upon the world, many conferences, globally, have been postponed for 2021, or have switched to virtual format. This has made the work of our Task Force rather challenging, as we are now unable to conduct onsite surveys, and promote the ING. However, as the Outreach and Conference Task Force, we have developed digital surveys to continue promoting ACRM at International meetings and conferences. We engage and will continue with outreach to rehabilitation organizations, professionals, researchers, and universities to submit proposals for presentations, papers and posters for the 2021 ACRM Conference in Dallas, Texas. We also look forward to hearing from you about local, regional, national and international conferences and opportunities to advertise and promote trainings done by ACRM such as the Cognitive Training. We are also willing to consider articles on ACRM and ING activities in newsletters.

Refugee Empowerment Task Force

Christina Papadimitriou

Christina Papadimitriou

N. Erkut Kucukboyaci image

N. Erkut Kucukboyaci

Co-Chairs: Christina Papadimitriou, PhD, and N. Erkut Kucukboyaci, PhD

The Refugee Empowerment Task Force is dedicated to:

  • Publicly attending to, identifying, quantifying, addressing the needs of the individuals with disabilities who are living as refugees or asylum seekers in various parts of the world
  • Finding innovative ways to augment, empower and support ongoing humanitarian projects led by local and international organizations actively working with refugees with disabilities with the rehabilitation research and clinical know-how of task force members.

The Refugee Empowerment Task Force has been busy both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, task force members Carolyn Podolski, Clinical Assistant Professor at Georgia State University, and her colleagues Jade Gross, OTD, OTR/L, CSLT, Temple Moore, MScOT, MScGHD and Jennifer Green, M.DIV have been working in presenting a symposium at the 2020 ACRM Annual Conference to discuss their work within the refugee communities in the state of Georgia with the “Friends With Refugees,” a preschool program for refugee children and families. Their symposium is titled, “Community Partnership Opportunities with Refugees: Lessons for Educators, Clinicians, and Researchers.”, and will be available during the online conference on Saturday, October 24, 2020 @ 8:30 AM – 9:45 AM EST. This symposium will help (i) to identify how services from Friends of Refugees comprehensively works to meet the needs of refugees in Georgia; (ii) to describe how service learning opportunities can help to promote student competency in working with a refugee population while simultaneously supporting local refugees living in the community; and to (iii) to apply understanding of service learning opportunities to future directions in educating healthcare providers and future healthcare providers in working with refugees.

Furthermore, the task force co-chairs Drs. Nuri Erkut Kucukboyaci and Christina Papadimitriou are developing a database of task force members and their areas of expertise to be shared with Mr. Arda Kuran, an experienced field officer in charge of multiple refugee campsites in Africa. This database will facilitate the exchange of information and resources to support the health and wellbeing of displaced communities via providing access to rehabilitation professionals (This is an ongoing task, so please email TF co-chairs for more info).

Also, Dr. Papadimitriou presented the results of the CARF-facilitated needs assessment survey that emphasized the need for continued training in cross-culturally informed and trauma-centred care provision for refugee populations in rehabilitation settings. One of the interesting findings of the survey was also that the members were able to afford and attend courses/educational opportunities when presented online as opposed to in-person during the annual meeting, as the attendance related costs are often prohibitive for many of the international members.

Task force member, Dr. Mansha Mirza served as a panellist in a webinar titled  ‘Voices from the Research Community’ that was organized in commemoration of World Refugee Day Chicago, June 19, 2020.  Her presentation summarized her research and community service projects with refugees with disabilities. The presentation can be accessed via the following link:

Finally, during the COVID-19 lockdown, task force members found opportunities to remain up to date on the “state of affairs” for the refugee populations around the world and learn from advocacy and community outreach experts by virtually attending “The Colloquium on Refugees, Migrants and Statelessness” webinars organized by a working group of the Center for International and Area Studies at Northwestern University, thanks to Dr. Mansha Mirza’s initiative. Please be sure to mark your calendar to join us during our annual business meeting during the 2020 virtual ACRM conference.

Service Delivery Task Force


Kristine Kingsley image

Kristine Kingsley

Juan Carlos Arango Lasprilla

Arango Lasprilla

Co-Chairs: Kristine Kingsley, PhD, and Juan Carlos Arango Lasprilla, PhD

The Service Delivery Task Force is:

  • Comprised by clinicians, researchers as well as administrators representing all five continents, who are frequently invited to present their work to audiences in North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania.
  • Designated to be a platform where an international network of providers and funders could learn about different service delivery models and spearhead new initiatives fostering evidence informed, cost effective and culturally sensitive interventions.

During the past three years, members of the Service Delivery task force have presented symposia, as well as, instructional courses during ACRM annual conferences. A main focus has been the identification and comparison of practice models used around the world: lessons learned and ways to increase social participation & integration in individuals with acquired brain injuries. Members of the task force are currently working on projects to describe healthcare access and disparities across cultures. We hope in the future, our work will help identify ideal features of healthcare systems and used to design culturally competent training of health care professionals as well as practice. Ultimately, we aim to disseminate the data collected to help inform public policy and consumer rights.

EVERYONE IS WELCOME! Save the date and plan to attend the ING Service Delivery Task Force Annual Business Meeting, at the virtual ACRM 2020 Conference. It’s a great opportunity to network with international colleagues who share your interests, meet your next mentor or collaborator, and learn how to get involved.

Organization and Research Task Force


Donna Langenbahn

Donna Langenbahn

Angela Colantonio

Angela Colantonio

Co-Chairs: Donna Langenbahn, PhD, FACRM, and Angela Colantonio, PhD, OTR, FACRM

The Research and Organization Resources Task Force is focusing on:

  • Promoting international research and organizational collaborations between ACRM and like-minded organizations outside the USA.
  • Identifying funding sources for future research opportunities

Members of the Research and Organization Resources Task Force are working to create more international liaisons for worldwide collaboration in the realm of Rehabilitation. In an effort to increase the spread of research experience and worldwide rehabilitation data, we are working to build universal connections and have suggested the following organizations/locations: Latin American Association of Medical Rehabilitation, European Brain Council, International Society of PM & R, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Research groups, European Multicenter Study on SCI, Pacific Island Countries (Melanesia), Brain Injury Rehab in India and Africa, The World Bank, Australia Murdock Children’s Research, CARF International, Chinese Government and Hospitals, and European and Asian University Centers with focus on BI and SCI research.

Recently task force members have considered focusing research on exploring international interest across regions and countries for collaboration on a project to translate rehabilitation measures into other languages, with the ultimate goal of developing a shared database of similar measures.  Here are two possible sources of measures which could be examined: Common Data Elements (CDE), developed by the National Institute for Neurological Disorders & Stroke (NINDS) on several diagnostic groups ( and  The Rehabilitation Measures Database ( developed through collaboration of the Center for Rehabilitation Outcomes Research at Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and the Department of Medical Social Science Informatics at Northwestern University School of Medicine. Additional research ideas include exploring international funding opportunities for brain injury or spinal cord injury with a focus on aging or sex/gender, or exploring international capacity building by achieving an understanding of obstacles to realize developmental goals, while enhancing abilities that allow measurable and sustainable results.

Perhaps you have a project or symposium topic you would like to present and have others join you. We would like to hear about these ideas as well. Please be sure to mark your calendar to join us during our Annual Business Meeting during the 2020 Virtual ACRM Conference.