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People with Disabilities Want to Contribute to the Workforce

Here's a Labor Day story that captures how the work Kessler Foundation does helps people with disabilities contribute their talents in the workforce. Released by Reuter’s international news service, “Disabled workers chase 'dream jobs' in tight U.S. labor market,” focuses on upward trends in disability employment, as reported by national Trends in Disability Employment, a joint project of Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability, funded by the National Institute on Disability Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research.

Sharing their stories about their dream jobs are Megan Helsel and T’Angelo Magee - two people with spinal cord injuries who participate in Kessler’s successful Vocational Resource Facilitation project funded by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. This return-to-work project, implemented at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, is significantly increasing the employment rates of individuals like Megan and T’Angelo, largely due to the efforts of Adria De Simone, the project’s vocational resource facilitator.

Listen to a podcast with Megan Helsel talking about getting back to work.

Drs. John O’Neill, Trevor Dyson-Hudson, and Steven Kirshblum collaborate on this project with the New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services and United Spinal Association. Because of its successful implementation at Kessler, other rehabilitation facilities are interested in adopting this model, to help their patients return to work and lead independent and productive lives.