Improving Quality of Life for Veterans with Disabilities
By Nicky Miller
Kessler Foundation highlights how funding and studies in veterans research help improve their quality of life and create employment opportunities.
GI Go Fund
Kessler Foundation funds organizations that help veterans find employment. One organization in particular is GI Go Fund. Our sponsorship assisted in the opening of its Jackson Drysdale Veterans Center, in Newark, NJ in December 2018. The center specializes in employment training for veterans and offers incubator space for veteran owned businesses.
The newest technology at the Center for Mobility and Rehabilitation Engineering Research at Kessler Foundation is enabling veterans to get treatment and use the exoskeleton, a device that assists with walking, to help people who sustained a spinal cord injury.
“The exoskeletons are becoming lighter, they are becoming cheaper, the technology is improving, the controllers, the mechanism, the software that is driving the movement is changing,” says Gail Forrest, PhD, associate director of the Center for Mobility and Rehabilitation Engineering Research and director of the Center for Spinal Stimulation, “the growth potentially is very exciting."
Spinal Cord Injury Research
At the Center for Spinal Cord Injury Research and the Center for Outcomes and Assessment Research, Denise Fyffe, PhD, senior research scientist, is one of the leading investigators working with veterans with spinal cord injury. Fyffe has built a relationship with the East Orange VA Medical Center which assist veterans with resources in healthcare and other areas that can be costly, such as purchasing a wheelchair and having an aid for extra support. She’s also teamed-up with John O’Neill, PhD, director of the Center for Employment and Disability Research and the Center for Grantmaking, to help create better employment opportunities for veterans. They research employment challenges and barriers that veterans struggle with, including employer bias.
“Veterans have the energy and the motivation to get back to work,” says Fyffe, in spite of the challenges they are facing.”
Glenn Wylie, DPhil, director of the Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center, is the leading investigator in cognitive fatigue, the condition where a person’s brain has to work harder to concentrate on simple tasks. Wylie has researched the neural correlates of fatigue in clinical samples such as multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, and veterans with Gulf War illness.
Wylie’s recent work with other investigators involves research on Gulf War Veterans to study the effects of exercise. The research will determine if exercising worsens symptoms of Gulf War illness.
Kessler Foundation values the service of veterans. We take great pride when the expertise offered by our team of researchers in mobility, cognitive, and employment studies, is able to help veterans transition into the workforce and their communities.
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