Who We Are

Lab Director

Lab directorDr. Jessica KramerAssociate Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida.

Dr. Kramer’s work involves partnering with youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) to develop and evaluate rehabilitation products; developing community-based interventions that equip youth with I/DD and their families with the skills to identify and resolve environmental barriers to participation; and designing high quality patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs). She draws upon theoretical concepts and methodologies from occupational therapy, disability studies, education, and rehabilitation.

Dr. Kramer has been awarded over 1.5 million dollars in external funding and collaborates with researchers at different universities and advocates across the nation.  Dr. Kramer’s occupational therapy practice experience is with enabling children and youth ages 3 to 20 with multiple, severe disabilities to participate and learn in a public school setting.

Doctoral Students

Doctoral StudentFiorella Guerrero is a PhD student in Rehabilitation Sciences and a Fulbright Scholar. She completed her Master in Sociology and her Undergraduate Degree in Electrical Engineering. Her previous work has been in telecommunications companies, non-profits, and public health research. She is the co-founder of Warmakuna Hope, a non-profit serving children with disabilities living in conditions of poverty and their families in Peru by providing therapeutical services, empowering workshops and promoting inclusive education with families and teachers.


Elizabeth Kennelly-Smith has served as a Project Manager for the Multiagency Network for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities (SEDNET) and has extensive expertise in collecting, reviewing, and analyzing data related to student interventions and outcomes, including, restraint and seclusion, suspension and expulsion, school-based mental health, and community mental health. In this role she served six Regional Districts and provided consultative and assistance activities based on specific requests or identified needs; including requests for grant funding for special class initiatives or projects. Ms. Kennelly-Smith provided training in areas that include Positive Behavior/Social Emotional Learning, Children’s Mental Health, MTSS, supports for the reduction of restraint/seclusion, Transition from School to Community, and Trauma-Informed Care. Ms. Kennelly-Smith is highly skilled at building relationships with students, adults, and families when providing activities to assist in increasing parent and youth involvement, as well as support and education for families of students with disabilities. 


Staff memberShelby Waldron graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2018 with a B.S. in Psychology and Exercise & Sports Science. She is a member of the inaugural UF OTD class of 2021 and is interested in practicing in the field of pediatrics. Her previous research focused on health outcomes associated with early sport specialization. Shelby is the co-director of the UF OT Equal Access Clinic, providing free occupational therapy services to the underinsured in the Gainesville area. She also enjoys playing volleyball, reading, and exploring Gainesville.


  • Andy Persch, PhD, OTR/L, BCP, Assistant Professor, College of Health and Human Sciences, Colorado State University.
  • Beth Pfeiffer, PhD, OTR/L, Associate Professor, College of Public Health, Temple University
  • Katherine Bevans, PhD, Associate Professor, College of Public Health, Temple University
  • Joan Beasley, PhD, Institute on Disability/UCED, University of New Hampshire
  • Christine Helfrich, PhD, OTR/L. FAOTA, School of Health Sciences, American International College
  • Wendy J. Coster, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Professor and Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy, Boston University
  • Lindsay Rosenfeld, ScD, ScM, Scientist and Lecturer, The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University
  • Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, PhD, Samuel F. and Rose B. Gingold Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, and Director of the Institute for Child Youth and Family Policy, The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University

Partnering Institutions