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Roberta Depompei

Roberta DePompei

Professor of Speech-Language Pathology
Director, School of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

The University of Akron

Traumatic Brain Injury in Children and Adults - Main research is conducted in traumatic brain injury and the resultant cognitive-communicative disorders. Presently, there are four projects being conducted and one that is completed.

  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 is being 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 present team at UA includes Roberta DePompei, Yvonne Gillette and RAs Deb Faithful and Kelly Stingel. The research is 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. You can learn more about this study by viewing our dissemination site at An article on our initial survey was published. The potential of electronic organizers as a tool in the cognitive rehabilitation of young people. By: Gillette, Yvonne; DePompei, Roberta. NeuroRehabilitation, 2004, Vol. 19 Issue 3, p233.
  2. Concussion screenings for the University of Akron athletic teams. This study is in conjunction with Akron Children's' Medical Center and Drs. Joseph Congeni and Julie Kerr. All athletes are screened when they enter as freshmen. If they sustain a concussion, they are retested and followed through their recovery from concussion. 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 is under the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission who holds a grant from HRSA. There will be a DVD available after December 30 ,2005 about these issues and you can obtain one form me at my e-mail address. The study is being facilitated by a graduate assistant who works with me.
  4. Conducting a study of the information and referral services in Summit County that families believe they receive form local hospitals. This is a part of a larger study conducted by the Summit County TBI Collaborative and is funded by HRSA. The study analysis is being completed by a graduate assistant who works with me.

Completed study: I managed five studies for the State of Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission. These studies focused on data and services in the State of Ohio for persons with TBI These studies are completed. For results of the studies or further information about these five grants contact me at:

Support Groups for Persons with TBI: I have been involved with a support group for persons with TBI in the Akron area for 20 years. They meet the third Thursday of the month. Graduate students assist with the planning and co-ordination of this group. As of May, 2005, there is also a clubhouse for persons with TBI-the Ballinger House. We assist with the clubhouse as well and graduate students are encouraged to volunteer time there.

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. Yvonne Gillette is the director of this program.

Problem Solving Collaborative for Persons with TBI: A group of agency personnel form 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.

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. I have developed a business with Marilyn Lash, Bob Cluet, Harvey Jacobs, and Ronald Savage to provide such materials. For further information see website LA Publishing:

I have also developed a free Power Point Program about traumatic brain injury. You can access this program here: Traumatic Brain Injury In Ohio

Presentation and Publication: Internationally in Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Italy, Great Britain, Spain and Canada. I routinely present at national conferences such as American Speech-Language and Hearing Association, the Brain Injury Association of America, and Council for Exceptional Children. 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).

Honors: 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. Both are national 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 work clinically with graduate students who wish to gain experience with persons with aphasia, cognitive-communicative disorders and other neurogenically based communication disorders. 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 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 Pittsburgh Steelers!