David O'Hara, PhD

Westchester Institute for Human Development
University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
in affiliation with New York Medical College
Cedarwood Hall
Valhalla, NY 10595
 
Phone: 914-493-8316
Email: dohara@wihd.org
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Last Updated: July 19, 2016

David O'Hara
 

Leadership Administrative Staff: Vice President for Programs
Specialty Resource Contacts: Smart Technology
 
Discipline(s): Social Work
 
AUCD Council Membership: No Council Membership

Vita/Bio

 Professional Experience

  • Co-UCEDD Director, Westchester Institute for Human Develpment 
  • Interim President and CEO, Westchester Institute for Human Development 
  • Interim Director, University of the Virgin Islands University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (Fall 2004)
  • Associate Director, Westchester Institute for Human Development, - UCEDD, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York (1987-2005)          
  • Associate Professor, School of Health Sciences and Practice, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York (1995-Present)      
  • Project Director, Preservice Training of Special Education and Related Services Personnel in Assistive Technology.  Graduate School of Health Sciences, New York Medical College(1993-1996)          
  • Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York (1988-1995)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics & Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York (1988-Present)      
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, University of Hawaii (1986-1987)
  • Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine (1986-1987)          
  • Instructor in Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine (1976-1986)
  • Director, Family Center, John F. Kennedy Institute (1983-1987)
  • Director, Department of Social Work, John F. Kennedy Institute (1982-1987)
  • Adjunct Lecturer, Catholic University of America, National Catholic School of Social Service (1978-1984)
  • Director of Training, Department of Social Work, John F. Kennedy Institute (1976-1982)
  • Instructor, School of Social Work and Community Planning, University of Maryland (1973-1976)
  • Senior Social Worker, Social Services Department, Essex County Council, England (1970-1972)
  • Social Worker, Children's Department, Essex County Council, England (1967-1970)

Research Support

  • Demonstration Strategy for the Prevention of Abuse, Neglect, and Possible Death of Children with Developmental Disabilities.  Funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, US Department of Health and Human Services, 1983-1985 ($170,000). Role: Principal Investigator.
  • Primary Health Care Demonstration Grant to Improve Developmental Outcomes of Children in Homeless Shelters.  Funded by New York State Department of Health, 1991-1994, ($1,500,000). Role: Principal Investigator.
  • Evaluating a Decision-Making System to Improve Outcomes of Child Welfare Services.  Funded by the Administration on Children and Families, United States Department of Health and Human Services, 1991  1994, ($375,000). Role: Principal Investigator.
  • A One-year Pilot Project to Explore the Potential of Using Assistive Technology on a Palmtop PC to Enhance Oral Health among 20 Adults with Mental Retardation.  The Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation, 2002-2003, ($46,000).  Role: Principal Investigator
  • The New York Project Launch  a project to improve school readiness for at risk children and families. Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, United States Department of Health and Human Services to the NYS Department of Health, 2009  2014 ($4,500,000): Role: Research Director & Project Evaluator
  • Assessment of effectiveness of iPad accessible survey technology for obtaining self-report data on choice and decision-making in daily life by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities National Training Initiative on Self-Determination, 2008-2013, ($500,000).  Role: Co-principal Investigator.
  • Evaluation of an accessible CAHPS medical- home patient satisfaction survey for use on iPad smart technologies to obtain direct responses on patient experience of the Westchester Institute for Human Development health clinic as their medical home by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities National Training Initiative on Self-Determination, 2008-2013, ($500,000).  Role: Co-principal Investigator.

Publications

  • Schwartz, A., Bacon, A., OHara, D., Brown, M., Davies, D., Stock, S. Using cognitively accessible survey software on a tablet computer to promote self-determination among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In Press.
  • OHara, D. (September, 2012). Self-determination and health. In Self-determination and health.  (Schwartz, Bacon, OHara, & Clark, Eds.). National Training Initiative on Self-Determination and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities: Silver Spring, MD.
  • OHara, D. (September, 2012). The role of self-determination in reducing health disparities among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In Self-determination and health.  (Schwartz, Bacon, OHara, & Clark, Eds.). National Training Initiative on Self-Determination and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities: Silver Spring, MD.
  • Seagriff-Curtin, P., & OHara, D. (September, 2012). Promoting self-determination in oral health. In Self-determination and health.  (Schwartz, Bacon, OHara, & Clark, Eds.). National Training Initiative on Self-Determination and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities: Silver Spring, MD.
  • Stock, S., Davies, D., & OHara, D. (September, 2012). Self-determination, technology and health. In Self-determination and health.  (Schwartz, Bacon, OHara, & Clark, Eds.). National Training Initiative on Self-Determination and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities: Silver Spring, MD.
  • Schwartz, A., Bacon, A., OHara, D., & Clark, D. (Eds.). (September, 2012). Self-determination and health.  National Training Initiative on Self-Determination and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities: Silver Spring, MD.
  • Bacon, A., Walker, H., Schwartz, A., OHara, D., Calkins, C., & Wehmeyer, M. (2011). Lessons learned in scaling up effective practices: Implications for promoting self-determination within developmental disabilities. Exceptionality, 46-60. 
  • Ouellette-Kunz, H., Brown, H., Baur, L., Davis, R., Emerson, E., Kerr, M., Meijer, M., OHara, D., Proulx, R., Perry, J., Small, J., Lantman-de Valk, H., (2010). Using a knowledge translation lens to develop international collaborations to improve the health of people with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 7(4), 278-282.
  • OHara, D. & Bacon, A. (2010). Enhancing Self-Determination in Health Care and Improving Health Outcomes for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities. In V. Prasher (Ed.) Contemporary Issues in Intellectual Disabilities. Nova Publishers, New York.
  • OHara, D. (2009). Innovations in accessible health care supports for people with intellectual disabilities. Frontline, 74: 22-24.
  • OHara, D. (December, 2008). Invited commentary on Wallace & Beange (2008): On the need for a specialist service within the generic hospital setting. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 33(4), 362-364.
  • OHara, D., Seagriff-Curtin, P., Levitz, M., Davies, D., & Stock, S. (2008). Using personal digital assistants to improve self-care in oral health. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 14: 150-151.
  • Shogren, K., Wehmeyer, M., Reese, R., & OHara, D. ( June, 2006).  Promoting Self-Determination in Health and Medical Care: A Critical Component of Addressing Health Disparities in People with Intellectual Disabilities.   Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 3(2), 105113.                   
  • Scheepers, M., Kerr, M., OHara, D, Bainbridge, D., Cooper, S-A., Davis, R., Fujiura, G., Heller, T., Holland, A., Krahn, G., Lennox, N., Meaney, J., & Wehmeyer, M. (September/December 2005). Reducing health disparity in people with learning disabilities: A Report from the health issues special interest research group of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities.  Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 2(3/4), 249-255.
  • OHara, D., Scheepers, M., & Kerr, M. (2005).  A Report from an international conference on health disparities among individuals with developmental disabilities: An agenda for change.  Westchester Institute for Human Development, Valhalla, NY.
    Member, District II Task Force, American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on the Health of Children in Foster Care (2002).  Fostering health:  Health care standards for children in foster care.   American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • OHara, D. (1998, Summer).  Access to the world wide web for people with disabilities.  Alive Magazine, p. 9.
  • Slobogin, P., & OHara, D. (Summer, 1997).   Early intervention with assistive technology.   Alive, 4,13.
  • Towle, P., & O'Hara, D. (1995).  Workbook and videotape on best practices in infant and toddler screening, assessment and evaluation.  Westchester Institute for Human Development, Valhalla, N.Y.
  • Towle, P. & O'Hara, D. (1994).  Best practices in infant and toddler assessment and evaluation.  Westchester Institute for Human Development, Valhalla, N.Y.
  • O'Hara, D. & Towle, P.  (1994). Developing integrated summaries of early intervention multidisciplinary team evaluations and assessments.  Common Ground, 2,3.
  • O'Hara, D. (1993).  Assistive technology and early intervention:  What are we waiting for? Common Ground, 1(2), 4.
  • O'Hara, D. (1988).  Interdisciplinary Teamwork in Genetic Counseling.  In S. Ball (Ed.) Strategies in Genetic Counseling:  The Challenge of the Future, Vol. 1, Human Sciences Press, New York.
  • O'Hara, D. & Levy, J. (1988) Family Adaptation to Learning Disability.  In M. Bender (Ed.) Handbook of Learning Disabilities, Vol. 2, College Hill Press, San Diego.
  • O'Hara, D., & Levy, J. (1988).  Family Intervention.  In K. Kavale, S. Forness and M. Bendes (Eds.) Handbook of Learning Disabilities, College Hill Press, San Diego.
  • Chaiklin, H., O'Hara, D., & Mosher, B. (1985).  The social and emotional in the etiology of childhood lead poisoning.  Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, XII, 62 78.
  • O'Hara, D., & Levy, J. (1984).  Family adaptation to learning disability:  A framework for understanding and treatment.  Learning Disabilities, III, 63 77.
  • Chisolm, J., & OHara, D. (Eds.) (1982). Lead absorption in children: Management, clinical and environmental aspects.  Urban & Schwarzenberg, Baltimore, MD.
  • OHara, D. (1982). Social factors in the recurrence of lead poisoning in children.  In Lead absorption in children: Management, clinical and environmental aspects.  (Chisolm & OHara, Eds.). Urban & Schwarzenberg, Baltimore, MD.
  • OHara, D., Mosher, B., Heisner, L. & Burgdorf, M. (1980). Advocacy and service provision to the developmentally disabled and their families.  John F. Kennedy Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.
  • McGrath, F., OHara, D. & Thomas, D. (Eds.), (1978). Instruction manual and evaluation guide: Graduate social work education in the University-Affiliated Facility.  U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Rockville, MD. DHEW Publication No. (HSA) 78-5226.
  • Kumabe, K., Nishida, C., OHara, D., & Woodruff, C. (1977). A handbook for social work education in community health settings. University of Hawaii, Manoa, HI
  • OHara, D. (1977, April).  An overview of training for social work in maternal and child health.  In The incorporation of maternal and child health content into health concentrations in Schools of Social Work (Appel, Y. Ed.). Conference proceedings, School of Social Work. Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.

Service 

  • OHara, D. (August 8, 2013). Smart technologies to improve self-direction and health management for people with intellectual disability. Invited presentation at the Health and Intellectual Disability Symposium and Seminar Series, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
  • OHara, D. (August 5, 2013). Barriers to effective chronic disease/ health care among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Invited presentation at the Health and Intellectual Disability Symposium and Seminar Series, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
  • OHara, D. (May 22, 2013). Using smart technology and the cloud to make telehealth accessible for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Invited webinar delivered as part the ARC USA and the American Association on Developmental Disabilities Health Meet national webinar series.
  • White, A., Liberatos, P., & OHara, D. (October, 2012). Developing an innovative strategy for improving health communication with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Poster session presented at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, October 27-31, 2012, San Francisco, CA.
  • OHara, D. (September 18, 2012). Using interactive smart technologies to improve patient care and health care outcomes for people with intellectual disability. Invited presentation to the annual meeting of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Bethel, CT.
  • OHara, D. (September 10, 2012). Designing and using cloud-based interactive patient experience surveys to assess the effectiveness of accessible Telecare strategies for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Invited presentation to the Agency for Health Care Quality and Research Annual Conference, Bethesda, MD.
  • OHara, D. (September 6, 2012). Innovation in knowledge translation: How smart, touch-screen, technologies are changing patient satisfaction/ experience surveys to make them directly accessible  to people with varying cognitive, communication or language abilities. International Conference on Evidence-based Policy in Long Term Care, London School of Economics, UK.
  • OHara, D., Davies, D., & Stock, S. (July 10, 2012). Designing and using cloud-based patient experience surveys for efficacy studies of Telecare for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.   International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability World Congress, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
  • Bacon, A., Schwartz, A., OHara, D., Davies, D., & Stock, S. (July 10, 2012). Creating iPad-based applications for direct response survey options by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability World Congress, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
  • OHara, D. (June 20, 2012). Using smart technologies and the cloud to make telehealth accessible for people with intellectual disability.  American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Annual Meeting, Charlotte, NC.
  • OHara, D. (May 18, 2012). Using interactive smart technology to improve patient care and health outcomes.  Invited presentation to the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry Annual Meeting, Mesa, AZ.
  • OHara, D., Davies, D., & Stock, S. (November 28, 2011). Designing and using cloud  based interactive patient satisfaction, symptom report and care management surveys to support efficacy studies of new patient care pathways. Royal Society of Medicine eHealth and Telemed Annual Conference, London, UK.
  • OHara, D., Davies, D., & Stock, S. (November 8, 2011). Innovative health promotion and personal electronic health record applications for use on the iPad and other smart touch screen technologies.  Annual meeting of the Association of University Centers on Disability, Crystal City, VA.
  • OHara, D., Maltby, J., & Schwartz, A. (December 13, 2010). Using eHealth and Telemedicine and to reduce health disparities among people with learning/intellectual disabilities through enhanced self-care, choice and decision support. Royal Society of Medicine eHealth and Telemed Annual Conference, London, UK.
  • OHara, D. (November 14, 2008). Moving the playing field for individuals with intellectual disabilities: Self-determination, Technology and Nursing. Invited presentation to the 4th All Ireland Conference of the Northern Ireland Learning Disability Nursing Professional Development Forum, Dundalk, Ireland.
  • OHara, D. (November 13, 2008). Innovative services for people with intellectual disability and mental health problems. Invited presentation, University of Ulster at Jordanstown.
  • OHara, D. (November 12, 2008). Innovations in accessible supports for people with intellectual disabilities. Invited presentation, University College, Dublin.
  • OHara, D., Vitale, M., & Levitz, M. (October 7, 2008). Promoting self-determination in health for individuals with Developmental Disabilities. NACDD Annual Conference, Milwaukee.
  • OHara, D., & Bacon, A. (August 26, 2008). Enhancing self-determination in health care and improving outcomes for individuals with intellectual disabilities.  IASSID World Congress, Capetown.
  • OHara, D., Vitale, M., & Levitz, M. (2008, March). Promoting self-determination in health.  Invited presentation to the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, Albany, NY.
  • OHara, D. (May, 2007). Developing models of health care for chronic medical illness among individuals with intellectual disabilities.  Keynote presentation to the Conference on Chronic Health Care, Special Interest Research Group on Health, International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability, Prato, IT. 
  • OHara, D. (September, 2005). The structure of medical services in New York for individuals with intellectual disabilities.  Paper presented at the combined health and mental health special interest research group meeting of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability, Melbourne, Australia, September 28-30, 2005
  • OHara, D. & Bacon, A.  (September, 2005).  Combing public health and clinical strategies to reduce health disparities among persons with intellectual disabilities. Paper presented at the combined health and mental health special interest research group meeting of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability, Melbourne, Australia, September 28-30, 2005
  • OHara, D. (2004, June). Finding the common ground: A comparison of international trends in policy development to address health disparities among individuals with intellectual disabilities. Paper presented at the 12th quadrennial conference of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities, Montpellier, France.
  • OHara, D., & Bacon, A. (2004, June).  An experiential approach to medical education in intellectual disabilities.  Paper presented at the 12th quadrennial conference of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities, Montpellier, France.
  • Kerr, M. & OHara, D. (2004, June).  Health disparities among individuals with intellectual disabililties.  Paper presented at the 12th quadrennial conference of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities, Montpellier, France.
  • Vitale, M., Levitz, M., OHara, D., Bacon, A. & Crimmins, D. (2004, May).  Best Buddies for Health.  Paper presented at the annual conference on health promotion of the New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY.
  • OHara, D., Seagriff-Curtin, P., Ryan, M.E., Levitz, M.P., Davies, D., & Stock, S. (2002, September). Using PDAs to improve the oral health in adults with disabilities.  Paper presented at the joint conference of the Physical Health and Mental Health Special Interest Research Groups of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability, Glasgow, Scotland.
  • Crimmins, D.B., Farrell, A.F. Bacon, A., & OHara, D. (2001, November).  Project Cope: Providing information on supporting individuals with disabilities in coping with the September 11th disaster.  Presentation at the annual meeting of the Association for University Centers on Disabilities, Bethesda, MD.
  • Bacon, A., OHara, D., Levitz, B., & Fowler, J.  (2000, Aug.).  Promoting parent and consumer partnerships in a UAP.  Poster presentation at the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability, Seattle, WA.
  • OHara, D. (2000, Aug.). Assistive technology in community health programs for individuals with developmental disabilities.  Presented to New Dimensions in Health Care, Saratoga Springs, NY.
  • OHara, D. (1997 & 1998). The role of the local early intervention coordinating council in early intervention.   A continuing series of workshops held throughout New York State as part of the New York State Department of Health Early Intervention Training Initiative.
  • OHara, D. (1997).  The responsibilities of primary referral sources in early intervention.  A series of four workshops held throughout New York State as part of the New York State Department of Health Early Intervention Training Initiative.
  • Derrickson, J., & OHara, D.  (June, 1996).    A competency based graduate program in assistive technology.  Technology Special Interest Section Newsletter, 6 (2), 2-3.  American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
  • O'Hara, D. & Levitz, B. (1994, April - June).  Family assessment in early intervention.  A series of eight workshops held throughout New York State, a part of the New York State Department of Health Early Intervention Training Initiative.
  • O'Hara, D. (1993, January - September).  Parent and professional collaboration in early intervention. A series of eight workshops held throughout New York State, a part of the New York State Department of Health Early Intervention Training Initiative and co-sponsored by the New York State Association of Counties.
  • O'Hara, D. (1992, March - December).  Service coordination in early intervention.  A series of eight workshops held throughout New York State, a part of the New York State Department of Health Early Intervention Training Initiative.
  • O'Hara, D. (1991, April).  Respite care for families with technologically dependent, medically fragile children.  Invited presentation to a workshop on Technologically Dependent, Medically Fragile Children and their Families, Thiels, New York.
  • O'Hara, D. (1990, February).  Developing family supports for families with a member with a head injury.  Invited presentation to the NYS Head Injury Services Coordinating Council meeting on Family supports, Albany, New York.
  • O'Hara, D. (1988, Aug.).  Case management services to persons who are developmentally disabled and their families.  Presentation at the 8th International Congress of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Mental Deficiency, Dublin, Ireland.
  • OHara, D. (1987, Oct.). Ethical issues in the care of the chronically handicapped. Presentation to the Catholic physicians guild, New York City.
  • OHara, D. (1987, May).  A life-cycle perspective on the use of case-management services.  Presentation at the Conference on Case Management in Human Services, University of Hawaii, Manoa, HI.
  • OHara, D. (1984, March). Forming partnerships: Public and private agencies working together. Invited presentation to the Annual Meeting of the Maternal and Child Health Crippled Childrens Program, Washington, DC.
  • OHara, D., & Weber, G. (1982, March). Curriculum for creating practice skills in working with families with a disabled child.  Presentation to the Annual Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education, New York.  
  • OHara, D. (1980, May). Legal rights of handicapped persons and legal basis for use of similar benefits by vocational rehabilitation agencies.  Keynote address to the Bi-Regional Training Conference for state vocational rehabilitation agencies.
  • OHara, D. (1980, March). Family health behaviors: Partners on the team. Invited presentation to the National Conference for Interdisciplinary Staff of the Hemophilia Diagnostic and Treatment Centers, Washington, DC.
  • OHara, D., Mosher, B,. McNeil, A. (1980, April).  Adolescent mothers and their children: Training in high risk management for staffs of public welfare agencies. Presentation to the Annual First-Born Project Symposium, University of Pittsburgh.
  • OHara, D., & Mosher, B. (1979, April). Improving screening outcomes for developmental delay using child welfare personnel.  Presentation at the Annual First-Born Project Symposium, University of Pittsburgh.


Organizations and Other Professional Activities

  • Member, American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disability
  • Member, American Public Health Association
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Medicine, London
  • Co-Chair, International Committee, American Association of University Affiliated Programs, 1987-Present
  • Member, Coleman Institute workgroup on the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to technology and information, 2010  present.
  • Member, Task Force on the Health of Children in Foster Care (2001-2003)
  • Co- author: Fostering health:  Health care standards for children in foster care. District II, New York State Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Member, Advisory Panel on Promoting Health, Supporting Inclusion for the Scottish Executive, 2003
  • Treasurer, Special Interest Research Group on Physical Health, International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability, 2002  present.
  • Member, Board of Directors, American Association of University Affiliated Programs, 1989 - 1991 & 1985 -  1987.
  • Chairperson, Interdisciplinary Council, American Association of University Affiliated Programs, 1985 - 1986.
  • Secretary, New York State Head Injury Association, 1993 - 1994, Treasurer, 1994 - 1996.
  • Chairman, Crisis Nursery and Respite Care Grant Review Panel, Administration on Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services, 1991 - 1993.
  • Member, Consumer and Family Advisory Committee, New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, 1991 - 1993.
  • Co-chair, Advisory Council for Children with Special Health Care Needs, New York State Department of Health, 1988 - 1990.
  • Consultant, Office of Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of Hawaii, 1987 - 1989.
  • Consultant, Oklahoma State Department of Health, 1982 - 1989.
  • Vice-Chairman, Foster Care Review Board, Baltimore County, Maryland, 1981 - 1986.

Education                                                                                                                                              

  • University of Maryland, Ph.D. Social Work (1986)
  • University of Liverpool, D.A.A.S. Social Work (1970)
  • University of Manchester, B.Sc. Chemistry (1966)