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Mayor Mac Café Trains Special Needs Students for Workforce

November 11, 2019

By Nicky Miller

In October, Woodbridge, NJ mayor John E. McCormac and township officials, gathered at the newly renovated Cypress Recreation Center for the grand opening of Mayor Mac Café. They welcomed guests and students from R.I.S.E (Reaching Individual Student Excellence), part of Woodbridge Township School District’s special services program. The café, housed inside the Cypress Recreation Center, is unique. It was designed to train young adults with special needs for careers in the food service industry while serving as a place for the public to purchase food during activities at the center. The students learn cooking and customer


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Targeting Financial Stability for Jobseekers with Disabilities

November 10, 2019

By Carolann Murphy, PA

In the current climate of full employment, people with disabilities have achieved some success in finding their place in the labor market. As job gains begin to slow, however, the underlying problem looms large–the wide and persistent gap in employment between people with disabilities and without disabilities. This gap underlies the association between disability and poverty in the U.S.; 40% of people with disabilities live in poverty. The grip of poverty is difficult to elude, even for those who succeed in finding jobs.

According to


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Returning to Work After Spinal Cord Injury: Research Raises Expectations for Newly Injured

November 10, 2019

By Carolann Murphy, PA

For people with disabilities, the value of being employed goes beyond the financial gains afforded by salary and benefits. They view employment as important to their personal identity and self-esteem, and as a pathway to inclusion in society as well as the workplace. The majority are striving to work, according to Kessler Foundation's 2015 National Employment and Disability Survey, including people disabled by spinal cord injury, a group with employment rates


Justin Constantine and his wife, Dahlia

You'll Be Inspired By This Wounded Warrior

November 8, 2019

On Veterans Day, we are proud to share how your support of Kessler Foundation helps our veterans with disabilities transition to the civilian workforce and gain meaningful employment. Imagine the frustration of serving your country, then returning home to find that you can’t get a job. This is a reality for many veterans, and the challenge is even greater for veterans with disabilities.

Thanks to friends like you, Kessler Foundation is a sponsor of the Jackson Drysdale Veterans Center, New Jersey’s first one-stop center offering assistance with employment and entrepreneurship. The Center


Movie poster for Joey Travolta film Carol of the Bells

The Right Talent, Right Now: Expanding Opportunities in Filmmaking for People with Disabilities

October 31, 2019

By Carolann Murphy

October is Disability Employment Awareness Month, and the theme for 2019, "The Right Talent, Right Now," is a fitting one for industries fueled by the creative arts. Every year, the disparities in hiring in the entertainment industry take the spotlight during the Hollywood awards season, and the film industry’s lack of diversity makes the headlines. There is interest in stories involving disability, however, and support for inclusion of people with disabilities in casts and crews is growing. To provide that talent, programs such as Joey Travolta’s Inclusion Films are helping people with disabilities take advantage of the broad range of opportunities in creative


Robert Vroeginday Research Participant, Stroke Survivor

Do You Know A Stroke Survivor?

October 28, 2019

In honor of World Stroke Day (October 29) we are sharing this video about spatial neglect, and how Robert Vroeginday overcame his neglect thanks to Kessler Foundation's research made possible by our donors.

Every year, more than 650,000 Americans face the challenges of recovering from stroke. As many as 30% to 50% of stroke survivors experience spatial neglect, a hidden disability that complicates rehabilitation, hinders recovery, and increases the risks for injury and prolonged hospitalization.

 


Thanks to our supporters, people with stroke and spatial neglect like Robert receive the help they need to accelerate their recovery. 

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Helping Brain Injury Survivors Live Better Lives

October 28, 2019

By Lee Anne Mincolelli, Senior Nursing Assistant, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, West Orange

My journey as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) began in 2012 on the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Unit at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation (KIR). After managing a catering company for 20 years, I felt a calling to do something that would make a real difference in people's lives. Upon completion of my certification, my CNA instructor, who happened to be a registered nurse at KIR, recommended that I apply for a position on the TBI Unit.

To be honest, I was nervous. I had studied brain injuries, but to physically care for these patients was a whole different story. But I was an open book, ready to write a new


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Cancer-Related Fatigue a Research Perspective

October 7, 2019

In this episode of Kessler Foundation's podcast, Didier Allexandre, PhD, research scientist at the Center for Mobility and Rehabilitation Engineering Research at Kessler Foundation, presented, “Cancer-Related Fatigue: A Research Perspective.”

This is part five, and the final podcast from the series. Listen to the playlist.

 

 

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


Michaele at work

Exploring Brain and Muscle Connection in MS

October 7, 2019 Your Support Helps People with MS Stay Employed, Live to the Fullest

Three days after turning 25, while a student at Seton Hall University, Michaele Clayborne-Crosby, lost vision in her right eye. Years of unexplained symptoms suddenly came into focus.

Doctors diagnosed multiple sclerosis. After graduating, Michaele held challenging positions at several large companies while receiving treatment. Later in her career, though, she lost her job due to a flare-up of symptoms. “I had difficulty processing information,” she recalls, “and that made it very hard to do my job.”

Michaele looked for opportunities to participate in research. “Everyone told me to go to Kessler Foundation because they


Eliza Cooper

Celebrate Inclusion

October 7, 2019

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. In celebration, I share a story to demonstrate how your support helps people with disabilities, like Eliza Cooper, live fuller, more engaged lives through employment.

Eliza Cooper earned a master’s degree in social-organizational psychology from Columbia University in 2016. Highly motivated and an award-winning triathlete, she was an employer’s dream, but had trouble finding a job. The problem? Eliza is blind.

Access to a competitive job is an essential component to living independently. But for people with disabilities like Eliza, employment opportunities can be scarce.