About Us

Jean Lengenfelder, PhD, TBI researcher pictured with black background with brain scan displayed

About Us

With the support of our donors, Kessler Foundation drives positive change for people with disabilities. We conduct groundbreaking rehabilitation and disability employment research and fund innovative initiatives to provide access to job opportunities. The Foundation bears the name of Henry H. Kessler, MD, PhD, who founded Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation to help people with disabilities regain function and achieve maximum independence. Today, Dr. Kessler’s vision is reflected in the institutions that bear his name.

Scientist Brian Yao with DTI Scan

Our Research Helps People Live Better Lives

Kessler Foundation researchers seek new ways to improve mobility and cognition for people with disabilities caused by stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain and spinal cord injury, and chronic neurological and musculoskeletal conditions. Our researchers also investigate how disabilities affect employment and ways to optimize outcomes. We help people regain independence to lead full and productive lives. 

Grant program at work with individuals learning computer programs

What We Fund

Our grantmaking is grounded in the belief that all people with disabilities have a right to pursue competitive, integrated employment and live with dignity within our communities. Inclusion in the workplace is the primary focus of our grant funding, which helps people with disabilities find meaningful work and gain independence.

participant is independent after he is able to drive again after a stroke

The Impact

With the support of our donors, Kessler Foundation changes the lives of people with disabilities. The impact is profound. People with paralysis stand and walk for the first time. Stroke survivors drive again. People with multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injury improve their ability to learn and remember. Jobseekers with disabilities find satisfying employment and become self-sufficient.


  • Audio Description

    PODCAST: REBUILDING FUTURES FOR OUR NATION’S HEROES: Innovations in Research and Employment for Veterans - Moderator: Steve Adubato, PhD and our distinguished panel: Joe Bongon, Gail Forrest, PhDDenise Fyffe, PhDElaine Katz, MS, Christopher Scrufari, Glenn Wylie, DPhil.

  • Audio Description

    PODCAST: CarolAnn Murphy, PA talked with Kessler’s experts in the field exploring optimal ways to treat the most common breast cancer symptoms – fatigue and weakness. This team is studying new approaches to the problem of cancer-related weakness in women who have been treated for breast cancer. Panelist include: 
    Dr. Michael Stubblefield, Dr. Ashish Khanna, Tiffany Kendig, PT, Guang Yue, PhD, Didier Allexandre, PhD, Chaya Estin-Lebovic, Angela Smith

  • VIDEO: Changing the Lives of People with Disabilities through research in stroke, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injury, and by funding innovative programs that promote employment for people with disabilities Mission video.

  • VIDEO: Meet Michele Pignatello, Vice President and Chief Development Officer at Kessler Foundation

Mission statement

The mission of Kessler Foundation is to improve quality of life for people with disabilities through discovery, innovation, demonstration, application, and dissemination.


Vision statement

Kessler Foundation leads the way in linking science and grantsmanship so that people living with disabilities can lead more productive, independent, and fulfilling lives.