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Tammy and family

Living a Full Life Despite MS, Tammy Reclaims Her Power

May 27, 2020

Saturday, May 30, is World Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Day. With your generosity, you help people with MS like Tammy stay employed and live their
life to the fullest.

Tammy Quasius, a biologist, wife, and mother of two, started experiencing symptoms of fatigue, numbness, and trouble thinking and remembering.
She suspected MS, but it took three years before she was diagnosed. Then, she worried. "How will I take care of my kids? Will I be able to work?" 

Tammy set a goal of maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle. She learned about Kessler Foundation’s MS research and

People with their backs turned, listening to a lecture

Brain Injury Support Groups

May 15, 2020

By Andrea Trotta Gagliano, MS, CRC, LPC, Research Coordinator, Center for Traumatic Brain Injury Research, Kessler Foundation

Whether you are a brain injury survivor or a caregiver, your world has forever been changed. You likely face many challenges, have many concerns, and may be unsure how to navigate this “new normal.” You may also feel alone. Finding the right support and resources is critical. And one of the best resources for both survivors and caregivers is a support group.

Peer support groups bring together individuals who share a common condition or situation. More specifically, brain injury support groups focus on the scope of emotional, psychological, behavioral, and social consequences of injury. They provide a forum for

Helen and Anthony

This Mother's Day, Support, Heal, Inspire.

May 6, 2020

Happy Mother's Day! Now, more than ever, because of COVID-19 and the challenging and uncertain times in which we find ourselves, people with disabilities need our help. With your generosity, Dr. Helen Genova, Kessler Foundation researcher and mother, can seek ways to help young people with autism, like her son Anthony, land jobs.

When Helen’s son Anthony was four years old, he was diagnosed with autism. She and her husband found themselves travelling an unexpected path with no map to guide them. They learned that finding the right schools and programs was crucial to easing their journey. But Anthony is now thirteen and they worry about what his future holds. Will he find a

Collage of Kessler staff working from home

Kessler Staff Share Stories and Tips for Successfully Working from Home

May 1, 2020

By Nicky Miller and Sybrina Blissett 



With some changes and provided resources, Kessler Foundation employees have been very productive while sheltering at home from COVID-19. With short notice, employees responded by developing plans to adapt to a new routine and work environment.

Here are a few stories and tips from employees from different departments at Kessler Foundation who are currently working from home, and doing it successfully.


A woman peacefully sleeping

Optimizing Healthy Sleep Habits during the COVID-19 Pandemic

April 29, 2020

In this episode of Kessler Foundation's podcast, Anthony Lequerica, PhD and Erica Weber, PhD, share information about "Optimizing Healthy Sleep Habits during the COVID-19 Pandemic."  At the Center for Traumatic Brain Injury Research at Kessler Foundation, Dr. Lequerica is a senior research scientist and Dr. Weber is a research scientist. 


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

A woman and a man sitting side by side and smiling.

Ray Himber: The Healing Power of Family and Community

April 29, 2020

By Mallory Houston, Research Assistant, Center for Traumatic Brain Injury Research, Kessler Foundation

Snowmobiling was one of Ray Himber’s favorite sports. The former auto mechanic always enjoyed riding across the snow-covered terrain with his family and friends – until January 6, 1996, when a snowmobiling accident changed his life forever. He sustained a traumatic brain injury, was airlifted to Wilson Medical Center near Binghamton, N.Y., and remained in a coma for seven weeks. When he emerged, Ray was unable to walk or speak. He couldn’t swallow   and eat. His prognosis was poor. Ray’s mother and primary caregiver, Maria, described the experience in one word: “Devastating.”

Ray was eventually transferred to Children’s Specialized

Head-shot against a black background of Drs. Denise Krch, Nancy Chiaravalloti and Erica Weber

Caregiving for Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury while Sheltering in Place for COVID-19

April 17, 2020

In this episode of Kessler Foundation's podcast, Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, Denise Krch, PhD, and Erica Weber, PhD, share information about "Caregiving for Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury while Sheltering in Place for COVID-19." Dr. Chiaravalloti is the director of the Centers for Neuropsychology and Neuroscience Research and Traumatic Brain Injury Research at Kessler Foundation, Dr. Krch is a senior research scientist and Dr. Weber is a research scientist at the Center for Traumatic Brain Injury Research. 



Listen to the podcast (47:

Two people practicing social distancing while wearing masks on their faces

Social Distancing with MS or a TbI: Difficulties with Being Too Close and Too Far

April 15, 2020

In this episode of Kessler Foundation's podcast, Helen Genova, PhD, and Erica Weber, PhD, share information about “Social distancing with MS or a TBI: Difficulties with being too close and too far.”


At the Center for Neuropsychology and Neuroscience Research at Kessler Foundation, Dr. Genova is the assistant director, who researches social cognition and emotion recognition in neurological disorders. Dr. Weber is a research scientist and clinical neuropsychologist in the Center for Traumatic Brain Injury. This podcast was hosted by our social media specialist Nicky Miller and Dr. Weber. 

Listen to the podcast, 

A woman and a man in an office setting, working together

COVID-19 Employment Resources

April 14, 2020

By Nicky Miller 

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a great economic impact, leaving millions of Americans unemployed. Throughout this challenging time, we understand the need and importance of helpful and reliable employment resources and information.

Below is a list of resources for various needs and assistance that may be useful to you, your employers or family members. Please know that you are not alone, we will get through this together.


Employment Benefits Resources

COVID-19 Scenarios and Benefits Available Unemployment Insurance

COVID-19 and Spinal Cord Injury: Minimizing Risks for Complications

COVID-19 and Spinal Cord Injury: Minimizing Risks for Complications

April 7, 2020

A high proportion of the United States population could become infected with the virus that causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). People with disabilities like spinal cord injury (SCI) may be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. A number of COVID-19 related resources are available for people with SCI and are provided below.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Unfortunately, due to paralysis of chest and abdominal muscles, many people with SCI have an impaired ability to take a deep breath and generate a strong cough. Furthermore, a weak cough may make it difficult to clear airway secretions, increasing the risk for respiratory complications if one becomes infected with COVID-19.


Dr. Genova homeschooling her son during COVID-19 pandemic.

Managing Children with Autism while Sheltering from COVID-19: Advice for Parents

April 2, 2020


In this episode of Kessler Foundation's podcast, Dr. Helen Genova, director of the Center for Neuropsychology and Neuroscience Research at Kessler Foundation and Dr. Regina Peter, director of Newmark Education, share practical tips to survive the COVID-19 pandemic to help educators and parents of children with autism. They spoke to Nicky Miller, the foundation’s social media specialist.

Audio Description

Practical Tips to Help Survive the COVID-19 Pandemic as a Parent of a Child with Autism


Listen to the podcast,

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Improving Economic Outcomes for Children with Disabilities and their Families: Preliminary Findings from the PROMISE Project

April 2, 2020

By Carolann Murphy, PA

Achieving independence is a complicated pathway for youth with disabilities, a group that has low graduation rates and difficulties transitioning to postsecondary education and the workforce. This is true especially for recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), who reach a crossroads at age 18 when their future eligibility is redetermined using adult criteria for gainful employment. More than 60% qualify for SSI as adults, leading to widespread long-term dependence on SSI, and contributing to the high poverty rates in this population.           

To improve socioeconomic outcomes among these high-risk youth and their families, a five-year, $236 million randomized controlled trial was launched in 2013, called PROMISE – Promoting Readiness of

Photo of a virus

How governments should maintain disability services during the pandemic

March 26, 2020

Blog credit: Ari Ne'eman - Spectrum News

COVID-19 has descended. To save lives and mitigate the burden on the U.S. healthcare system, we must shelter in place.

But where does that leave people with disabilities, especially the many who need special services and service providers to survive?

To contain the pandemic, governments have, for good reason, promoted containment measures such as sheltering in place and social distancing — staying away from other people to avoid spreading infection. But as Catalina Devandas Aguilar, the United Nations