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Mitchell Batavia

Associate Professor of Physical Therapy (On Leave 2019-2020)

Physical Therapy


A Brother's Memoir --Celebrating the 29th ADA Anniversary in a personal essay with VOR published in 2019 in Disability & Society. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in DISABILITY & SOCIETY on July 24, 2019 available online:

Dr. Mitchell Zackery Batavia, Associate Professor in the Physical Therapy Program at New York University, holds a BS in Physical Therapy from the University of Delaware, an MA in Motor Learning from Columbia University, and a PhD in Pathokinesiology from New York University. a Robert Salant Post Doctoral Fellowship at NYU /NYU Medical Center (1998), and a Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) in Epidemiology from University of London (2008).

Dr. Batavia has authored over twenty publications including five books (one as a 2nd edition). His earlier books include The Wheelchair Evaluation: A Practical Guide (1998 Butterworth Heinemann; 2004 Korean Translation), a "nuts and bolts" textbook on wheelchair prescription and Clinical Research for Health Professionals: A user-friendly guide (2001, Butterworth Heinemann), an introduction to research/ scientific inquiry using metaphors to drive home challenging and often misunderstood concepts. In Spring 2002, Dr. Batavia received the Goddard Award to fund his research on testing functional rotation abilities in non-disabled adults and in persons with Parkinson's disease. In 2006, Batavia penned the comprehensive reference textbook Contraindications in Physical Rehabilitation: Doing No Harm, (2006, Saunders/ Elsevier Best Seller) aimed at informing practice and improving patient care by bringing variant physical rehabilitation safety guidelines/ concerns under "one roof."

In 2010, Dr. Batavia authored The Wheelchair Evaluation: a Clinician's Guide (Jones & Bartlett). In this second edition, he dedicated four new chapters to address timely prescriptive issues as funding for equipment becomes tighter and documentation comes under increasing Medicare scrutiny. He also created animation and video clips in an accompanying CD for the book to assist teachers and learners. (see sample at textbook has been adopted for use in accredited continuing education.

Later, in August of that year, Dr. Batavia was invited to serve on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy and in September of that year, he joined the Cochrane Collaboration, an international, not-for-profit, independent organization aimed at examining evidence for health care. He is a Cochrane member. He serves as a peer-reviewer refereeing for the Cochrane Injuries Group and worked on a protocol for the Working Group. In 2017/18, Batavia join a team to work on a Cochrane Airways Group review.

Dr. Batavia was appointed Department Chair in 2013 and held two terms (2013- 2019).

In academic year 15-16, Batavia embarked on a Memoir Project, co-authoring Wisdom From a Chair: Thirty Years of Quadriplegia, The Memoirs of Andrew I Batavia, which was published during the American's with Disabilities (ADA) 25th Anniversary year. The Book describes the life of an international disability activist and scholar with high level quadriplegia who wrote regulations for the ADA (title iii) and illustrates how modest accommodations at the work place can lead to historic output in the US. (forewords by Former US Attorney General and Former Governor of Pennsylvania Dick Thornburgh and Senator John McCain of Arizona)

Also see "A brother's memoir" (accepted manuscript version - at this site) celebrating the 29th ADA Anniversary in a personal essay and published as a VOR in Disability & Society, 2019. 

In Spring 2017, the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) selected Batavia to serve as an Item Writer for the National Physical Therapy Examinations (NPTE).

Dr. Batavia's broad research interests include evidence-based practice/risk guidelines, instrument development, augmented feedback and wheelchair/seating positioning.

In addition to his administrative, teaching and research responsibilities, he has served as a manuscript reviewer or referee for Perceptual Motor Skills, Butterworth Heinemann, the Cochrane Collaboration, and the Neurology Section of the American Physical Therapy Association (JNPT).

Selected Publications

  • Mitchell Batavia (2019): A brother’s memoir, Disability & Society, DOI: 10.1080/09687599.2019.1639665
  • Kim G, Hinojosa J, Rao A, Batavia M, O’Dell M, Randomized Trial on the Effects of Attentional Focus on Motor Training of the Upper Extremity Using Robotics with Individuals after Chronic Stroke, Arch Phy Med Rehabil (2018), doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2017.12.021. (Author Response)
  • Kim G, Hinojosa, J, Rao A, Batavia, M, O'Dell Effects of Attentional Focus on Motor Training of the Upper Extremity Using Robotics with Individuals after Chronic Stroke. Submitted/Accepted with revisions Arch Phy Med Rehabil. fall 2016.
  • Batavia A.I., Batavia M. Wisdom From a Chair: Thirty Years of Quadriplegia, Inc., Bradenton, Florida,2016. (link)
  • Batavia M. The Wheelchair Evaluation: A Clinician's Guide. 2nd Edition. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett, 2010 (link)
  • Batavia M. Contraindications in Physical Rehabilitation: Doing No Harm. St Louis MO: WB Saunders; 2006. (link)


Physical Therapy

NYU Steinhardt’s physical therapy program educates both aspiring PTs and licensed professionals seeking to specialize and advance their careers.