For the Community

PhD students present during VA House of Delegates visit
RHBS Students and the VA House of Delegates

A group of PhD students from the Department of Rehabilitation Science presented research to members of the Virginia House of Delegates Appropriations and Finance committees during a recent visit to the Fairfax Campus. Read more.


Nick Balenger, a participant in our incomplete spinal cord injury study, spoke about his experience with the program at the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) annual meeting in 2016. Video courtesy of APTA.

There is a growing national focus on the necessity of restoring optimal movement and function to people living with impaired mobility to support a vibrant and productive society. This emphasis on rehabilitation science is spurred by the growing awareness that:

  • Approximately half of the adult U.S. population has at least one chronic condition leading to numerous secondary conditions and significant changes in quality of life.
  • There is a shift in the perception of individuals with physical limitations as they seek full inclusion and return to live and work in the community.

The community’s support of our work, particularly our clinical research, on the student and faculty level is integral to advancing the field of rehabilitation science and improving the quality of life for those in our community dealing with disabling conditions.

What We Are Doing

Our faculty is on the cutting-edge of academic programs and clinical research in rehabilitation science. Their work provides unique resources and support for our Northern Virginia community.

Our community commitments include the following:

  • Developing the first undergraduate degree in rehabilitation science in Virginia. Learn more about the degree.
  • Presenting on advances in research to brain injury organizations around Virginia and the country.
  • Lecturing on pulmonary hypertension to the American Heart Association and other scientific organizations.
  • Providing in-services on stroke to local clinicians and hospitals.
  • Offering series on physical activity and health to members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). 
  • Recruiting individuals with Parkinson’s Disease into research opportunities.
  • Designing a novel task-specific training program for individuals with spinal cord injuries. This is the only such program of its kind in the greater Washington, DC metro area specifically for this population. The program provides an opportunity to extend the period of recovery for these individuals who have moved out of the traditional health care system. Read more about this program.

How Can We Help You

Faculty are available to work with community organizations to explore opportunities for member education, as well as program development and evaluation. For more information about how we can support your organization's work, contact

How Can You Help

For more information about how you can support our department's work, contact