2022: Marcia Scherer, PhD, MPH

13th Annual Glen E. Gresham Visiting Professorship

professional headshot, Marcia Scherer, PhD, MPH.

Marcia J. Scherer, PhD, MPH

13th Annual Glen E. Gresham Visiting Professorship

"Technology is the Answer, But That's Not the Question"

Watch the full lecture.

Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Rochester Medical Center


Marcia J. Scherer is a rehabilitation psychologist and founding president of the Institute for Matching Person & Technology. She is also professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Rochester Medical Center where she received her PhD and MPH degrees. She is a past member of the National Advisory Board on Medical Rehabilitation Research, National Institutes of Health, and is editor of the journal Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology. She is co-editor of a book series for CRC Press, Rehabilitation Science in Practice Series. Scherer is fellow of the American Psychological Association, American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, and the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA). She has authored, edited or co-edited 12 book titles and published over 90 articles in peer-reviewed journals, 55 published proceedings papers, and 35 book chapters on disability and technology. Her research has been cited 7,500 times by others. She has received numerous awards for her groundbreaking work in the area of assistive technology.

Lecture summary

As helpful as assistive and rehabilitation technologies are, the people who use them want the primary focus in rehabilitation to be on their life quality and well-being, opportunities for participation and contribution, and freedom to choose what they use and do. The priorities of technology providers are to have the devices they recommend be successfully used, have the confidence they made the most appropriate choices, and have the opportunity to practice in the way they believe is most effective. While technologies offer many answers, they are not solutions in isolation. This lecture focuses on ways to achieve the realization of benefit from technology use by working as a provider-user team centered on both user and provider goal achievement, user well-being and provider satisfaction.