Joseph Pellerito, Jr., PhD, OTR/L, CDI

Director & Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy


Dr. Joseph Michael Pellerito Jr’s career includes working as an administrator, scholar, professor, entrepreneur, and therapy practitioner. He subscribes to the notion that effective administration, fundraising, education, scholarship, and service can lead to transformational ways of thinking and doing to make a positive impact in the lives of the people he is privileged to serve.

Dr. Pellerito has held administrative, therapist, and consultant positions in the academic and corporate sectors including the following: Professor/OTA Program Director at Brown Mackie College – South Bend; Associate Professor/Director, TAO Applied Research Center at The University of Toledo; Department Chair/Program Director, and Associate Professor at Western Michigan University; Department Chair/Program Director, Associate Professor, and Director, Driving Simulation & Research Center at Wayne State University (WSU); and Administrator and Practice Manager at Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM) in The Detroit Medical Center (DMC).

He also provided expert consultative services as Vice President of Online Education, Research, and Consumer Technology for iCan! Online, Inc., the first online community for people with disabilities and their caregivers; and Cofounder of the Open Journal for Occupational Therapy (OJOT), the first-ever open-access occupational therapy journal with readers in more than 100 countries.

Dr. Pellerito has secured major funded research projects that have advanced knowledge and informed professional practice; secured in-kind and record-setting cash donations; published the first textbook on driver rehabilitation and community mobility and four other textbooks on topics important to people with disabilities and the professionals serving them; published scholarly and consumer oriented articles in refereed journals and online; is frequently invited to speak throughout North America on topics relevant to the disability community.


  • PhD Medical Sociology, Wayne State University
  • MS Technology in Special Education & Rehabilitation, The Johns Hopkins University
  • BS Occupational Therapy, Western Michigan University
  • Minor Social Science

Certifications and Memberships:

  • Licensed and Registered Occupational Therapist (1985 – present) State of Michigan
  • Nationally Certified and Registered Occupational Therapist (1985 – present) National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)
  • American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
  • Pi Theta Epsilon Honors Fraternity (PTE)
  • National Search and Rescue Association (NASAR)
  • Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA)
  • American Sociological Association (ASA)
  • American Hippotherapy Association (AHA)
  • Michigan Occupational Therapy Association (MiOTA)

Research Interests

  • Animal assisted therapy
  • Driver rehabilitation and community mobility
  • Childhood obesity and service animals
  • Visual ethnography and phenomenology


Room: 109 Colaccino Center for Health Sciences

Site map

© 2019 American International College