David B. Gray, PhD
David B. Gray, Ph.D., associate professor of occupational therapy and neurology, is nationally recognized for his outstanding contributions to understanding and promoting engagement of people with disabilities in their communities.
Gray earned his master’s degree in experimental psychology from Western Michigan University in 1970 and his doctoral degree from the University of Minnesota in 1974 in psychology and behavioral genetics. He held teaching and research positions at academic institutions in Pennsylvania and New York before serving for 14 years in various high-level leadership roles at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Gray joined the Washington University faculty in 1995.
Gray’s work has made a major impact on promoting full inclusion of people with disabilities into their communities. While at the NICHD, he played a key role in advocating for the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and was present when President George H.W. Bush signed it into law. At Washington University, his community-based research has contributed to improving the engagement of people with disabilities in their communities and understanding the environmental features that facilitate participation.
Gray is the visionary behind the internationally recognized Enabling Mobility Center (EMC), a collaborative effort between Washington University and Paraquad, Inc., a community-based center for independent living. At the EMC, researchers and clinicians have served more than 1,400 people with disabilities, providing programs on mobility-device assessment and usage, health and wellness, and community access. The EMC has made a major impact in helping participants achieve the mobility and independence needed to access community programs and services that improve their quality of life.
Gray received the NIH Director’s Award and Paralyzed Veterans of America Career Achievement Award. He was appointed Director, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research by President Reagan in 1987.