CLICK to View STROKE ISIG BrochureThe mission of the STROKE ISIG is to:

(1) promote opportunities for ACRM members to network with colleagues interested in promoting evidence-based rehabilitation for people with stroke and

(2) serve as a vehicle for rehabilitation professionals of all disciplines to work together for the expressed mission of advancing the field of stroke rehabilitation.


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It's new, it's fun, it's informative — join us for these bimonthly events.


Stroke ISIG Virtual Happy Hour on Google Hangout

Upcoming Event: POSTPONED
Please check back for rescheduled date and time.

Jennifer M. Kaldenberg, MSA, OTR/L, SCLV, CLVT, FAOTA
presenting on visual field impairments and the evidence for OT interventions.


In this talk we will discuss the functional implications of visual field impairment, the roles of the rehabilitation team and the current evidence regarding OT interventions for those with visual field impairment as a result of neurological insult. In addition, we will discuss the Giorgi, Woods, & Peli, 2009 article and the use of the Peli prism placement for rehabilitation.



Jennifer KaldenbergJennifer M. Kaldenberg, MSA, OTR/L, SCLV, CLVT, FAOTA is Clinical Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy and Academic Fieldwork Coordinator. Her clinical experience has been primarily with adults in a variety of settings including rehabilitation, home care and out-patient with extensive focus on working with individuals with visual impairment. Additionally, she has trained and educated occupational therapy and optometry students on the functional and social implications of visual impairment on occupational performance and quality of life. She has become a leader within this specialty area. She served on the Board of Advanced and Specialty Certification and was a Panel member for the development of the low vision specialty certification. She has engaged in research and has written on various topics related to visual impairment and its impact on occupational performance. She is a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association.


  1. To join a STROKE ISIG Virtual Happy Hour, please RSVP to your email invitation. If you did not receive an invitation, please request one from the event administrator, Valerie Hill, including your name, email address and ACRM member number. You will receive the invitation the week of the Virtual Happy Hour.
  2. Fifteen minutes prior to the event, pull up the email invitation to join the Hangout. Click on the “Hangout” hyperlink just below the date and time. A screen with the Hangout logo will appear. Click on “Join Call” at the bottom of the screen.
  3. If this doesn’t work, please email Valerie Hill at  to be re-invited to the Hangout.


How to Participate in the STROKE ISIG

  1. ATTEND the ACRM Conference — with the MOST STROKE rehab programming in the WORLD
  2. Join STROKE ISIG meetings at the conference
  3. Participate in the STROKE ISIG task forces (easiest to do at the ACRM Conference)

The work of the STROKE ISIG is accomplished through its task forces and the ACRM Annual Conference events.

Participation in four very active task forces is open to all members of the STROKE ISIG and new members are welcome.

All ACRM members and others thinking about joining the STROKE ISIG for the first time should contact any of the executive committee members or task force chairs (listed below) to make a meaningful difference in the field of Stroke rehabilitation. Membership is growing – don’t be left behind!


Seeking ISIG Members with Expertise in Mild Stroke

The Health and Wellness Task Force of the Stroke ISIG is working to improve rehabilitation after mild stroke through the development of a publication and conference submission. We are looking for interprofessional members of the ISIG with expertise in mild stroke, particularly in the areas of evaluation and treatment of cognition, healthy eating, physical activity, medication adherence, driving, return to work, mental health, and self efficacy to join our work group.

If you are interested, please email Jaclyn Schwartz and include the following details.

  • Your area of expertise
  • Your availability to collaborate on a publication
  • Your availability to collaborate on an educational presentation at the 2016 ACRM Annual Conference

The work group will begin meeting in January and will hopefully culminate with both written and conference products.


Excellence in Post Acute Stroke AwardACRM STROKE AWARD

John Chae, MD

Co-sponsored by the ACRM STROKE ISIG and the National Stroke Association, the Excellence in Post Acute Stroke Award is the only one of its kind in the field.

The inaugural award recognizes the outstanding work of John Chae, MD and his contributions to stroke rehabilitation. Dr. Chae presented the award lecture, 
Peripheral Nerve Stimulation for Hemiplegic Shoulder Pain #4408
on Thursday, 29 October during the ACRM 92nd Annual Conference. Read More >


 “How does ACRM Help the Stroke Community?"

Philip Morse, PhD, FACRM
ABI Rehabilitation New Zealand


Executive Committee

Chair: Stephen Page, PhD, OTR/L FAHA, FACRM
Chair-Elect:  Pam Roberts, PhD, OTR/L, SCFES, FAOTA, CPHQ, FNAP
Past Chair: Phil Morse, PhD, FACRM
Secretary: Kristen L. Mauk, PhD, DNP, RN, CRRN, GCNS-BC, GNP-BC, FAAN
Membership Officer: Marc Kovic, PhD
Co-Communications Officer: Sarah Wallace, PhD, CCC-SLP
Co-Communications Officer: Heather Tanksley, MOT, OTR/L
Early Career Officer:
Kelly Anderson, OTR/L, PhD student
Member-at-Large: Richard Zorowitz, MD
Member-At-Large: Elaine L. Miller, PhD, RN, CRRN, FAAN, FAHA
International  Networking Group Liaison (Ex-Officio): Prathap Raghavan, MD
ACRM Staff Liaison: Terri Compos


One of the most valuable benefits of ACRM membership is the opportunity to participate in the many interdisciplinary special interest groups and networking groups.  Not sure ACRM membership is right for you? Consider an ISIG Only membership.


Print an ISIG ONLY Membership Application

2015 Poster Awards for Stroke

Congratulations to the following winners of the 2015 STROKE ISIG poster awards. These posters will be presented at the ACRM 92nd Annual Conference in Dallas.


The NIH Stroke Scale Lacks Validity in Chronic Hemiparetic Stroke #3433
First author: Heather Tanksley Peters



Treatment of Vascular Depression and Post Stroke Depression using Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: Systematic Review #3828
First author: Spencer Thompson 



Total therapy time and time by therapy discipline is associated with rehabilitation outcomes among stroke inpatient rehabilitation patients #4141
First author: Margaret Anne DiVita


This semi-annual newsletter of the ACRM STROKE-ISIG, reports the news, updates, progress, and opportunities that spring from the group's many task forces and dedicated members.


Task Forces

The work of the STROKE ISIG is carried out by its task forces. Collaboration among task force members is accomplished throughout the year with regular conference calls and two face-to-face meetings per year. These are held during the ACRM Mid-Year Meeting in the spring and the ACRM Annual Conference in the fall.

All of the task forces have made impressive strides in the past two years in preparing and publishing papers. Read on to learn about the specific projects undertaken by each group.


CHAIR: Kathy Kniepmann, OTD, MPH, OTR/L

Return to work and community reintegration post stroke are essential to optimize function and quality of life.  Stroke survivors are faced with major life changes as they deal with transition from acute care to rehab and returning home.  Several areas require more attention to aid successful patient transition after the acute stroke:  Cognitive, behavioral and emotional changes impact family relationships and work capacity, yet may be neglected in stroke survivors.

The goal of this task force is to improve life after stroke through assessing existing resources and developing materials, posters, presentations and publications to educate clinicians, caregivers and patients. We will address stroke survivor needs in order to build a stronger bridge from discharge after stroke acute care to rehab and return to family, work and life activities.  Join our active stroke group and help us enhance life after stroke!

Task Force Goals

  • Submit one conference proposal
  • Host one virtual Happy Hour
  • Compile group interest/ develop project ideas as basis for a publication
  • Draft and disseminate a roster of resources for clinicians and families about  Living Life After Stroke

Please contact Kathy Kniepman if you are interested in participating.



CHAIR:  Marsha Neville Smith, PhD, OT

The Movement Interventions Task Force is a dynamic group of neurorehabilitation researchers and clinicians representing a variety of disciplines from across the United States and Canada. A common interest among all members, and the theme of this task force, is movement after stroke.

Movement-related deficits are the most common impairments exhibited after stroke, and in many cases, the most disabling. Yet, there remain few therapies that effectively target stroke motor impairments. Moreover, the therapeutic ingredients that most impact motor changes after stroke, and the ways in which movement-related variables change after stroke (i.e. speed, precision, strength, pacing), each remain poorly understood. We are a product-oriented group focusing on developing new knowledge about movement after stroke through development of presentations, papers, and other educational materials for patients, care partners, and professionals.


  • A recent publication suggesting appropriate operational definitions for intensity, duration, and frequency of stroke rehabilitation (Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 2012;93:1395-9).
  • Another manuscript is being drafted to provide clinicians with current evidence and guidelines for use of neuroprosthetic walking devices.
  • The group is preparing a conference symposium for the 2013 ACRM Annual Conference that will emphasize the importance of using standardized clinical assessments and assist clinicians in putting such tools to use in their settings.
  • Other planned products include fact sheets on post-stroke complementary and alternative medicine and secondary stroke prevention.

Through the creation of these products, our goals are to improve stroke clinical practice, increase (and in some cases, establish) evidence related to motor impairment reduction after stroke, and influence public policy. For more information about the Movement Interventions Task Force contact Marsha Neville Smith.



John Ross Rizzo, MD
Kimberly Hreha, MS OTR/L OT, edD(c)

The visual system is one of our most important senses. It enables us to gather and process information and determines how we will interact with our dynamic environment. Neurological diseases or insults can leave patients with some degree of visual, perceptual, and/or cognitive dysfunction. A neglected component in therapies to improve function is a clear understanding of eye-hand coordination even though harmonization between eye and hand movement is required for all functional activities.

The mission of this task force is to understand how vision, visual motor, and visual perceptual training can be generalized to limb training to improve coordination and functional performance and develop the field of functional vision rehabilitation. Further, our task force will investigate the role of eye movements in eye-hand coordination and in the recovery of motor control in patients with stroke. We hope to stimulate research that will build a logical foundation to integrate the principles of eye-hand coordination into clinical practice to improve functional ability.

The Vision Task Force is a group comprised of clinicians and researchers who are dedicated to elucidating these serious concerns. Aside from the development of functional vision rehabilitation for ocular ailments, our secondary goals involve promulgating information regarding the importance of visual deficits and the clinical situations where they may be prevalent, in addition to advocating for public policy to take a stronger stance on assisting those with vision impediments and allocating healthcare resources appropriately.


One of the first projects that the Vision Task Force has focused on is developing a conceptual framework for vision. Colenbrander (2009) distinguishes between visual function and functional vision. The task force has taken these two concepts and built a conceptual framework for vision-centric healthcare. As our field progresses within the domains of ophthalmology, optometry, rehabilitation medicine, neurology, and neurosurgery, it behooves us to combine this burgeoning field of evidence-based medicine into reliable and valid diagnostic and treatment algorithms that can be utilized across clinical specialties.



CHAIR:  Jacklyn Schwartz

Health management and maintenance is an important instrumental activity of daily living following stroke. Survivors must learn how to manage their condition and actively prevent future stroke or other disease. The goal of this group is to engage in activities promoting the health and wellbeing of persons after stroke. Topics of interest include, nutrition, physical activity, adherence, medication management, and mental health.


For the 2016 ACRM Annual Conference, the Health and Wellness Task Force is submitting an instructional course on rehabilitation for persons with mild stroke. Many people do not receive rehabilitation after mild stroke, but the literature demonstrates that people in this population do experience deficits upon returning to the community, particularly in complex instrumental activities of daily living. The purpose of this instructional course is to describe best practices for persons with mild stroke in the areas of cognitive function, nutrition, physical activity, medication adherence, driving, return to work, and mental health.




Lisa Connor, PhD, MSOT, MGH
Marjorie Nicholas, PhD, CCC-SLP, MGH


Goals of the STROKE ISIG

  • Development of products within the task forces
  • Grow the STROKE ISIG in number, depth, and breadth, including links to other professional groups interested in stroke rehabilitation

Developing Stroke-Related Program Content

A major focus of the STROKE ISIG is to promote more stroke-related content in the ACRM annual conference program. The 2012 Vancouver conference was a tremendous success in this area. We began the meeting with two great half-day pre-conference instructional courses, Innovations in Stroke Rehabilitation – Part 1 (Catherine Lang, Arlene Schmid, Robert Teasell, Lara Boyd) and Part 2 (Sarah Wallace, Deirdre Dawson, Pamela Roberts, Richard Riggs JR Rizzo).

We also sponsored the inaugural Stroke Special Topics Session titled, “Translating Research into Clinical Practice,” featuring Janice Eng and colleagues discussing their GRASP program. This symposium is now an annual event dedicated to the presentation and discussion of integrated efforts to implementing research findings in real-world clinical practice.

An extra bonus for the STROKE ISIG  during the Vancouver conference was the Deborah L. Wilkerson Early Career Award Winner presentation by Elizabeth Skidmore (“Closing the Gap: Early Intervention for Cognitive Disability after Stroke”).

To learn more about membership and activities of the STROKE ISIG, contact the chair, Stephen Page, PhD, OTR/L FAHA, FACRM.

Stroke ISIG Resources

  • The Member Guide to Product Development describes ACRM products, i.e., fact sheets, journal articles, manuals, and the procedure used by ACRM groups and committees to develop them. The guide includes a Product Development Worksheet and how to request a Product Review.