Dr. Joseph M. Pellerito, Jr. was born in 1961 in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in and around the Motor City. In 1984 he graduated from Western Michigan University’s College of Health and Human Services and Lee Honors College in Kalamazoo, Michigan with a Baccalaureate of Science (BS) degree in O… Read More
Dr. Joseph M. Pellerito, Jr. was born in 1961 in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in and around the Motor City. In 1984 he graduated from Western Michigan University’s College of Health and Human Services and Lee Honors College in Kalamazoo, Michigan with a Baccalaureate of Science (BS) degree in Occupational Therapy (OT) and a Minor in Sociology. In 1995 he completed a Master of Science (MS) degree in Technology in Rehabilitation and Special Education at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in Baltimore, Maryland. In 2008 he earned a PhD in Medical Sociology at Wayne State University (WSU) in Detroit, Michigan.
Dr. Pellerito worked in the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) at Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM) in Detroit, Michigan from 1984 through 1999. At the time of his departure he filled concurrent roles including Director of the OT, Physical Therapy (PT), and Therapeutic Recreation (TR) professional practices. Additionally he was managing the DMC Nursing Centers’ Therapy Staff, as well as, directing RIM’s specialty services including the Home and Jobsite Evaluation Program, interdisciplinary Assistive Technology Center (co-founder), Wheeled Mobility and Seating Clinic (co-founder), and the Driver Rehabilitation and Community Mobility Program. Dr. Pellerito also was an Associate Professor as well as Director of the Assistive Technology Learning Laboratory (founder) and Co-Director of the Driving Simulation Research and Learning Laboratory (founder) at WSU. He served as Academic Program Director and department Chair in the Department of Occupational Therapy from 2000 until 2009 in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and Research Associate at the Institute for Gerontology also at WSU. Dr. Pellerito secured numerous research and development grants, taught and mentored students, and conducted research that focused on seniors and driver readiness and driving retirement.
In 2010 he was hired to Chair the Department of Occupational Therapy in the College of Health and Human Services at Western Michigan University (WMU) in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He possesses a passion for administration, teaching, scholarship, and service work that focuses on empowering people with disabilities and their caregivers. He has lectured nationally and internationally and has published numerous book chapters and papers on important topics such as driver rehabilitation and community mobility, assistive technology, and social justice. Dr. Pellerito has published numerous books and electronic media that have been distributed throughout North America and other countries on several continents. He founded Abilities Group in 2003 featuring the first-ever national allied health Veterans Service Provider Network in the US. It was comprised of more than 400 professionals who served our nation’s honorable veterans in 28 states. Read Less