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Faculty Directory

Roger Ideishi Roger Ideishi
Program Director for the Occupational Therapy Doctorate program
Professor of Health, Human Function, and Rehabilitation Sciences

Office Phone: TBD
Email: Email
Department: Health, Human Function, and Rehabilitation Sciences


  • Bachelor of Science, University of Washington, 1984
  • Juris Doctor, Temple University, 1994


Roger Ideishi is the Program Director of Occupational Therapy and a Professor of Health, Human Function, and Rehabilitation Sciences at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He received his JD in Law from Temple University and BS in Occupational Therapy from University of Washington. His clinical experience spans children through adults primarily in neurological rehabilitation and community engagement for people with developmental disabilities.


As a researcher, Professor Ideishi's work focuses on community accessibility, engagement, and inclusion. He has been a principal or co-investigator on several funded projects from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Patient Centered Outcome Research Institute, and Canadian Institute for Health Research. His work in community engagement frequently addresses health, education and social disparities for immigrant and disabled communities. His work has taken him across the country and globe including Japan, China, Ireland, Sweden, Russia, and Romania.


Professor Ideishi is a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association. He is the recipient of the 2017 Cultural Access Award from Art-Reach for making an individual impact in the Philadelphia arts and culture sector, and the 2019 Award for Excellence in Accessibility Leadership from the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts for lifetime achievement in arts accessibility. In 2022, Ideishi was named one of Kennedy Center's Next 50 for his dedication to help shape culture and society — with integrity, creativity, empathy, and excellence — he is identified as a cultural leader.


Dr. Ideishi teaches graduate courses in the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) and Doctor of Health Sciences (DHSc) programs. He has over 25 years as an OT educator. He has taught for the past 5 years as a visiting faculty at Tokyo Metropolitan University in Japan.

Community Service

Dr. Ideishi is a community activist working to create social change related to community accessibility. He is a co-coordinator of the Philadelphia Chinatown Disability Advocacy Project, a program that supports disabled immigrants and their families navigate the health, education, and social systems that are often culturally and linguistically inaccessible. He is a member of the Philadelphia Health Equity Coalition that most recently has been advocating for accessible COVID-19 vaccination processes for disabled and immigrant communities. He contributed to the disability education policy subcommittees for the Clinton and Biden presidential campaigns and serves on the Democratic National Committee Disability Council.

He serves on several boards including the Kennedy Center Education Advisory Committee in Washington, DC, and is a Board of Director for People’s Light Theatre in Malvern, PA. He served on the American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF) Board of Trustees from 2017-2020 and continues to serve on AOTF subcommittees related to fundraising, and to diversity and equity in research.


  • Occupational Therapy


Bendixen, R., Benevides, T., Ideishi, R., Smythe, R., Taylor, J., Umeda, C., Kerfeld, C., and Jirikowic, T. (2022). Community conversations: Stakeholder-identified research priorities to foster community participation for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Frontiers in Rehabilitation Sciences, 3:873415. doi: 10.3389/fresc.2022.873415

King, G., Chiarello, L., Ideishi, R. I., D’Arrigo, R., Smart, E., & Ziviani, J. & Pinto, M., (2020). The nature, value, and experience of engagement in pediatric rehabilitation: Perspectives of youth, caregivers, and service providers. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 23 (1), 18-30. DOI: 10.1080/17518423.2019.1604580

King, G., Chiarello, L. A., Ideishi, R., Ziviani, J., Phoenix, M., McLarnon, M. J. W., Pinto, M., Thompson, L., & Smart, E. R. (2019). The complexities and synergies of engagement: An ethnographic study of engagement in outpatient pediatric rehabilitation sessions. Disability and Rehabilitation, 1-13. DOI: 10.1080/09638288.2019.1700562

Ideishi, R. I. & Santalucia, S. (2019). Intellectual disabilities. In C. Brown, V. Stoffel, & J. Munoz (Eds.). Occupational Therapy and Mental Health, 2nd edition. Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis.

Ideishi, R. I. (2019). Adding value during change. In K. Jacobs & G. McCormack (Eds.) OT Manager, 6th edition. Bethesda, MD: AOTA Press.

Umeda, C., Fogelberg, D., Jirikowic, T., Pitonyak, J., Mroz, T. & Ideishi, R. I. (2017). Expanding the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act for populations with intellectual and developmental disabilities: The role of organizational-level occupational therapy consultation. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71, 1-6. DOI:10.5014/ajot.2017.714001

Ideishi, R. I. , Cohn, E., Orsmond, G., Wintrol, J., Whalen, M. L., Nickolaus, S., Swanson, J., & Siegel, B. (2013). Sensory friendly programming for people with social and cognitive disabilities: A guide for performing arts settings. Washington, DC: Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Industry Relationships and Collaborations

This faculty member (or a member of their immediate family) has reported a financial interest with the health care related companies listed below. These relations have been reported to the University and, when appropriate, management plans are in place to address potential conflicts.

  • None