Thanks for visiting the consumer resource page developed by the Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center at Kessler Foundation. Here you will find a compilation of important facts and information about traumatic brain injury (TBI) research, quality of life and employment after injury, newsletters, and other resources for people with TBI and their families. We dedicate a great deal of time to communicating with researchers, clinicians (including doctors, nurses, and therapists), patients, and families on the progress we make on TBI rehabilitation discoveries every day.
Share Your Stories
We value your views, impressions, and stories. Please reach out and become an active member of our TBI network. We welcome you to send your comments or suggestions via email: [email protected].
Our News Sources
To read about our latest research discoveries, upcoming conferences or presentations, and other announcements, follow these links:
- Webpage: Center for Traumatic Brain Injury Research at Kessler Foundation
- Facebook Page: Find new studies and breakthroughs from our researchers here
- TBI News & Views: Kessler Foundation and the NNJTBIS distribute a semiannual newsletter for people with TBI and their families. Now published also en espanol.
- Real-Life Science: Short, easy-to-read summaries of our published research studies
- Social Media Hub: A one-stop site for all Kessler Foundation social channels
- Soundcloud: Podcasts and videos of our research scientists and staff
Ongoing research at Kessler Foundation investigates how to help individuals recover from many common effects of TBI, such as cognitive decline, fatigue, mobility, and challenges in performing complex tasks and social interactions. We also equip families and caregivers with the long-term support they need to adjust to living with TBI.
Our focus is directed at improving thinking, learning, and memory, as well as daily function. Our goal is to help individuals with TBI recover and reintegrate into the community, as well as improve employment outcomes through our rehabilitation research.
Research also helps improve our ability to evaluate quality of life and factors influencing employment after TBI in all populations. We have discovered that age of injury, level of independence, and employment status one year after injury are some of the biggest factors influencing quality of life. Pre-injury education and employment, cause of the injury, vocational status, and days spent in rehabilitative care have also been shown to affect employment outcomes post-injury.
The TBI research team is breaking new ground with exploratory interventions using virtual reality technology, neuroimaging techniques, and learning strategies in treatment protocols. Researchers are taking initial steps to develop process-specific treatment strategies. Meanwhile, to enhance quality of life for both caregivers and patients, the research team is pioneering a group-based coping and adaptation course. Its goal is to teach long-lasting management skills to each patient and caregiver pair.
Reader-Friendly Research Summaries
Real-Life Science shares easy-to-understand summaries of our research studies that have been published in academic journals. Each summary has been developed and vetted by a team of stakeholders and researchers to ensure that we’re sharing information that’s most relevant to you and your daily life. Want to keep up with the latest scientific results from Kessler Foundation researchers? We’ve got you covered!
If you would like to participate in one or more of our research studies, Kessler Foundation is recruiting volunteers with or without TBI.
Getting Back to Work
Kessler Foundation’s Center for Grantmaking focuses its grantmaking on expanding employment opportunities for people with disabilities. It supports organizations that offer job skill training, placements, and a range of options for people with TBI seeking employment.
Kessler Foundation’s Center for Employment and Disability Research performed several groundbreaking surveys to obtain details on the ways people with disabilities gain inclusion in the workplace. The 2015 survey identified strategies used to search for work and navigate barriers, helpful accommodations, and factors that contribute to unemployment. The 2017 survey was the first to highlight workplace practices from the supervisor perspective. The 2020 survey tells the inside story comparing the college experiences and work lives of graduates with and without disabilities. Surveys were conducted by the University of New Hampshire, Institute on Disability. The 2022 survey shares firsthand knowledge of the profound effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on workplace processes, procedures, and the ways employers recruit, hire, train, and retain people with disabilities in the workforce.
Northern New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury System
Kessler Foundation and the Northern New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury System (NNJTBIS) are committed to improving the quality of life for individuals with brain injury and their families. The NNJTBIS is designated as a federally funded TBI Model System (TBIMS), one of only 16 in the U.S.
The TBIMS is a national network focusing on the continuum of care from the start of injury through rehabilitation to community reintegration and long-term follow-up. As a member of the TBIMS program, the NNJTBIS fosters collaborative research that addresses the lifelong needs of the traumatic brain injury (TBI) community. NNJTBIS translates findings into clinical care and provides resources for individuals with TBI and their caregivers.
Fact Sheets about TBI
The Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) is a great resource for individuals with TBI and their families. The MSKTC frequently publishes fact sheets on common questions and issues that arise after TBI, including:
Brain Injury Resources in New Jersey
- Acoustic Neuroma Association
- Brain Injury Association of America Inc.
- Brain Trauma Foundation
- Family Caregiver Alliance
- National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC)
- National Stroke Association
Volunteer to Participate in TBI Trials
- DB 101 provides information on disability benefits for 10 states, including New Jersey
- Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits