Roberta DePompei, Ph.D

Roberta DePompei, Ph.D

Title: Interim Dean of the College of Health Professions and Distinguished Professor of Speech-Language Pathology and School Director
Phone: 330/972-7552



Traumatic Brain Injury in Children and Adults

Main research

My main research is conducted in traumatic brain injury and the resultant cognitive-communicative disorders.

My most recent research activities include:

1. A national study of the use of assistive technology for memory and organization by persons with developmental disability or traumatic brain injury. This study was conducted as part of a The Assistive Technology Collaborative , a consortium organized by the University of Akron in collaboration with the Brain Injury Association of America, Temple University's Institute on Disabilities, Philadelphia, PA, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, MA. The research was funded by a five-year $1.5 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Articles that have been published include:

DePompei, R., Gillette, Y., Goetz, E.,  Xenopoulos-Oddsson, A., Bryen, D., Dowds, M. (2008). Practical applications for use of PDAs and smartphones with children and adolescents who have traumatic brain injury, Neurorehabilitation. 23(6), 487-499.

Gillette, Y. & DePompei, R. (2008). Do PDAs enhance the organization and memory skills of students with cognitive disabilities?, Psychology in the Schools, 45(7) 665-677

DePompei, R; Gillette, Y; Faithful, D. (2005). Collaborative works to determine the potential for electronic   organizers to enhance memory and organizational skills for persons with cognitive challenges, TBI Challenge! 8, 17- 19.

Gillette, Y & DePompei, R. (2004). The potential of electronic organizers as a tool in the cognitive rehabilitation of young people.  NeuroRehabilitation, 19 (3), p 233-243.

2. We have worked with the athletics department to screen for concussions for many years. We no longer have an active role because our research has become practice within the athletic department. To read an article about this work, see Kaut, K.P., DePompei, R., Kerr, J., & Congeni, J. (2003). Reports of head injury and symptom knowledge among college athletes: Implications for assessment and educational intervention. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 13, 231-221

3. Survey of the status of health services for persons with TBI who are Native Americans and living in Ohio. This study was completed for the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission who held a grant from HRSA. There is a DVD about these issues and you can obtain one from me at

Problem Solving Collaborative for Persons with TBI

A group of agency personnel from Summit County meet regularly to develop program alternatives for persons with TBI in our area who are having difficulty reintegrating to the community. Several graduate students participate in these collaborative meetings with me.

Speech-Language Pathology Community Internship Program

The program provides a stipend as well as tuition for students who work with partnership agencies. The students gain experience working in a setting that serves individuals who have communication disabilities. Some current community partners funding the project include: Hope Homes, The Edge Academy, Select Medical, and Summit County Department of Education.

Materials Development

The creation of materials for individuals and families after TBI that is easily understood is important for them to know what has occurred and how to work within many agencies who provide services. For further information see website LA Publishing:

Sarah Jane Project

Consultant to the Sarah Jane Project and major contributor to the development of the Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan  This plan is a national outline of a seamless provision of services to children and adolescents with acquired brain injury. You can read more about this plan at the website link provided.

Presentation and Publication

Internationally in Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Italy, Great Britain, Netherlands, Portugal, Scotland, Spain and Canada. I routinely present at national conferences such as American Speech-Language and Hearing Association, North American Brain Injury Society, and the International Brain Injury Association. I have published numerous chapters and articles about children and adolescents with TBI and their reintegration to school, home and community. I have co-authored a text with Dr. Jean Blosser, Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury: Proactive Approaches to Assessment and Intervention (2nd ed published 2003) and a recent chapter Gan, C., DePompei, R., & Lash, M. (2012). Family Assessment and Intervention. In N. Zasler, D. Katz, & R. Zafonte (Eds.) Brain Injury Medicine, 2nd edition, p 621-634. New York: Demos Medical Publishing.


I was awarded the Sheldon Berrol, M.D. Clinical Service award by BIAA in July, 2002. I received the Robert L. Moody Prize for Distinguished Initiatives in Brain Injury Research and Rehabilitation in March , 2004. I became a Fellow of the American Speech and Hearing Association in 2006 and received the Legends Award from the North American Brain Injury Society in 2008. All are national and international awards that I will always cherish.


My professional positions have included speech-language pathologist/audiologist in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, home health agencies, public school and private practice. My teaching assignments include adult neuropathologies, traumatic brain injury, professional issues, and counseling for the speech-language pathologist and audiologist. I am presently the interim dean of the College of Health Professions and as such am responsible for the development of interprofessional education for all students within the college. Attached are the IPEC standards that will be used within our college in order to develop students into professionals who have an interprofessional perspective about their professional employment.

I presented and published articles and co-authored a text in the area of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in both children and adults. I was a member of the Ohio Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and served as chair in 1998. I was a member of the State of Ohio's Brain Injury Advisory Committee, and Board member and co-chair of the Task Force on Children and Adolescents for the Brain Injury Association of America. I also love high school and college sports and am a dedicated fan of the Akron Zips and the Pittsburgh Steelers!

The University of Akron

Akron, OH 44325
Phone: 330-972-7111
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