Center for Grantmaking

individual in a wheelchair working

Center for Grantmaking

All people with disabilities have a right to pursue competitive-integrated employment, and live with dignity within our communities. Kessler Foundation focuses its grantmaking on expanding employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Our three grant programs address employment and improving quality of life for individuals living with disabilities.



Our Philosophy

Employment is fundamental to achieving independence and economic security, as well as personal fulfillment. In our society, work often defines who we are, and how we are perceived by others. Because participating in the workplace has many benefits, tangible and intangible, Kessler Foundation focuses its grant making on expanding employment opportunities for people with disabilities, and addresses employment outcomes through its rehabilitation research.  

What We Fund

Our three grant programs address employment and improving quality of life for individuals living with disabilities.


Signature Employment Grants

Creating innovative ideas to increase competitive-integrated employment.

Learn More Closed

Community Employment Grants

Enabling non-profit organizations to support and maintain employment services.

Learn More Apply Now

Our Community Employment grantmaking program is temporarily suspended.

Special Initiative Grants

Community integration through arts, sports, recreation and other programs.
See Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Learn More


Center for Employment and Disability Research

The Center seeks new ways to expand employment for individuals with disabilities, including veterans, through collaborative research with medical rehabilitation centers and vocational services. Learn more about the research!


  • 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.

  • PODCAST: Larry Bram and Nathaniel Corbin from Easter Seals presents at our Board of Trustees meeting on Friday, May 13, 2016 and share how funding from Kessler Foundation impacts US veterans and their families.

  • PODCAST: 2016 Employer Recognition Breakfast-Elaine Katz, MS Senior VP of Grants and Communications at Kessler Foundation, Keynote speaker at the Employer Recognition Breakfast Hosted by The Essex County & Newark Workforce Development Boards’ Disability Issues Committee

  • VIDEO: Seed funding from Kessler Foundation combined with business planning has led to success for Hudson Community Enterprises (, a successful social enterprise in Jersey City. HCE employs people with disabilities in revenue-generating businesses that serve the community, including document management services.
2020 Grantee Symposium

Fall through the Cracks: Implications of Artificial Intelligence on Employment for individuals with Disabilities


The 2020 Kessler Foundation Virtual Grantee Symposium taught how employers use artificial intelligence (AI) in the employment process for streamlining resume screening, interviewing candidates, and onboarding new hires. Increasingly, this machine learning process is reshaping the world of work. It is important for disability professionals working in job search, placement, and support to understand how disability is defined and understood in the context of AI, and the perils of bias in these systems.

Learn more about the 2020 Symposium