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Bryce Stanley Rises to Success, Despite Educational Barriers and Discrimination Against His Disability

October 12, 2020

By Nicky Miller 

In this episode of Kessler Foundation's podcast, Nicky Miller spoke with Bryce Staley, a PhD candidate in economics at the University of New Hampshire, where he studies mental health policy and labor markets. They talked about his sleeping disorder and his experience at high school and college. Stanley, reflected on his experiences with skeptical high school teachers doubting he had a disability, and moving forward in his career, earning a BSBA degree from Bryant University, and an MA degree in Economics from the University of New Hampshire, before studying for his PhD. 



Listen to the podcast, view the

Dirk Hohenkirk

Dirk Wakes Up to Life and Helps Others Wake Up Too

October 8, 2020

As we continue to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we share a story to demonstrate the impact of your support on the lives of people with disabilities like Dirk Hohenkirk. Because of donors like you, Dirk lives a fuller, more engaged life by getting the help he needs to find meaningful employment.

Dirk Hohenkirk was 18 years old when he was shot and paralyzed from the neck down. In his hospital bed, unable to move, Dirk initially resisted a therapist’s attempts to discuss how he might move forward with his life. “But she never gave up,” remembers Dirk. “She asked if I was going to just sleep my life away. She encouraged me to wake up to life—to use my mind, go back to school, and find a job.”

Dirk followed every word of his

Jeff McMullen

Jeff Returns to the Job He Loves and a Life More Fulfilled

October 7, 2020

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. In celebration, we share a story to demonstrate how your support helps people with spinal cord injury, like Jeff McMullen, live fuller, more engaged lives through employment.

“What are your goals?” asked Jeff McMullen’s physical therapists. Jeff had no idea what his goals were or what he could hope to accomplish after a spinal cord injury left him unable to stand or walk. Before his injury, Jeff enjoyed working with visually impaired individuals and training Seeing Eye® dogs, but the job was physical. “My work required many hours of standing, walking, and practicing street traffic scenarios,” says Jeff. “I never imagined I’d be able to return.”

In time,

Stroll 'N Roll Logo

Thank You for an Amazing Virtual Stroll 'N Roll!

October 1, 2020

Many thanks for a successful and special day! People of all ages and abilities gathered in their own neighborhoods on September 27 for Kessler Foundation’s first-ever virtual Stroll ‘N Roll to prove that abilities are what matter.

Together we raised over $165,000 to advance rehabilitation research and employment initiatives that return people with disabilities to their homes, their communities, and the workplace. The generosity of champions like you made this happen.

Inspiring leaders created teams of champions to give back while making a lasting impact on the lives of people with disabilities. We selected three of the top winning fundraisers along with the person with the most posts about Stroll ‘N Roll on social media.

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A Woman with a Disability: Finds Strength, Conquers Barriers and Creates Success in the Workforce

September 30, 2020

By Nicky Miller

In this episode of Kessler Foundation's podcast, Nicky Miller, spoke with Annemarie Veira, MSEd, CRCC, a coordinator for Disability Resources at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and a certified rehabilitation counselor. They talked about her trials and triumphs of conquering barriers at college and the workforce, as a person with a disability.

Listen to the podcast, view the transcript and download this episode and others for free on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud,

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2020 Kessler Foundation Grantee Symposium

September 29, 2020 Falling through the Cracks: Implications of AI
for Employment of Individuals with Disabilities


Friday, November 13, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00pm EST 

Registration info:
Free and open to the public, pre-registration required

Register Now


Join us at our virtual grantee symposium to learn 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

nTIDE, COVID chart with unemployment statistics

August 2020 COVID Update: Shift to Actively Looking for Work May Signal Slowing Recovery

September 22, 2020

Following April’s sharp rise, unemployment has declined since May 2020 for people with and without disabilities, accompanied by a marked shift in
the proportion on temporary layoff/furlough to actively looking for work, as jobs are permanently lost. This shift may be a sign that economic recovery is slowing.    



nTIDE experts examine factors underlying the fluctuations in unemployment numbers for people with and without disabilities

East Hanover, NJ. September 22, 2020. While the number of unemployed people with disabilities has slowly declined since May 2020, there is more to this picture. “Looking at August’s numbers, we are also seeing a substantial decline in the unemployed who are waiting to

A woman and a man wearing face masks, while reviewing documents in a folder

Preventing Illness, Developing Preparedness, and Reaching Out During a Pandemic

September 21, 2020

By Kari Kaminski, RN, BSN, CRRN and Agata Buczek, RN, BSN, CRRN, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, Chester Campus

Although the spread of COVID-19 has begun to wane in many areas of the country, the importance of staying vigilant and following state and local precautions remains a high priority for all. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone in ways we never could have anticipated. These unprecedented times have added an extra burden to brain injury survivors and their caregivers. It’s important to prevent becoming infected, plan for what to do if you or someone in your family becomes ill, and know how to reach out for help to prevent increased stress, anxiety, and isolation.

As we receive new information

A striped colorful pair of shoes

Part 2 - Shifting the Culture in Fashion: Creating Adaptive Clothing for People with Disabilities

September 21, 2020

In episode two of Kessler Foundation's "Fashion meets Accessibility" podcast series, Nicky Miller, spoke with Mindy Scheier. Learn about how Scheier, a fashionista and entrepreneur is helping the fashion industry rethink the runway. Scheier, stopped by to talk about her partnership with Tommy Hilfiger and, she discusses inclusion, accessibility and adaptable clothing for people with disabilities.

Episode 2

Listen to the podcast, view the transcript and download this episode and others for free on 

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Entrepreneurs with Disability: Reframing Our View of Disability Employment

September 16, 2020

By Carolann Murphy, PA

As the nation continues to grapple with the effects of the ongoing pandemic, intense pressures are transforming every aspect of society, including education, government, health care, business, and employment. For all Americans, the world of work is changing rapidly, requiring workers to consider all the options for staying in the labor force. Starting one’s own business is an option that gains traction during periods of recession, according to Kate Caldwell, PhD, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Disability & Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Innovation is a necessity for people with disabilities, who are

Text KESSLER to 44-321 to give

Stroll 'N Roll Goes Virtual

September 4, 2020

Kessler Foundation will host our first-ever virtual Stroll 'N Roll on Sunday, September 27. Even though we can’t be together physically, the strength of our community working together will change lives. And virtual Stroll ‘N Roll means anyone, anywhere can get involved from home!

With the support of our donors, Kessler Foundation drives positive change for people with disabilities. Generous donors like you fund groundbreaking rehabilitation and disability employment research and fund innovative initiatives to provide access to job opportunities.

You help Kessler Foundation researchers seek new ways to improve mobility and cognition for people

Peter Hersh at Tim and Caroline Reynolds Center Opening

Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

August 27, 2020

September is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. You change lives with your generosity. When you support Kessler Foundation, you give the gift of independence to people with SCI like Peter, Chris, and Natalie, and for that we thank you.

Recovery from spinal cord injury, long considered impossible, is now on the horizon. The Tim and Caroline Reynolds Center for Spinal Stimulation is accelerating the pace of discoveries—Peter, Chris, and Natalie share how these discoveries are changing their lives.

Learn more.

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Volunteering Has Given Us Both a Purpose - 2020 BIANJ Honoree Jane and Joe Concato

August 21, 2020

In this episode of Kessler Foundation's podcast Dr. Erica Weber, chatted with Jane and Joe Concato, to learn about their volunteer work and how they are helping the community. At this years's Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey (BIANJ) Virtual Gala, the Concato's were recognized as Volunteer Service Champions to honor their service to the brain injury community in North Jersey.




Listen to the podcast, view the transcript and download this episode and others for free on