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Addressing Racial Disparities through Rehabilitation Research

February 24, 2021



By Nicky Miller

February is Black History Month, a time to renew our commitment to address the persistent racial disparities that affect the health and well-being of people of color in our society.

Black Americans with disabilities often face triple jeopardy, because of their race, gender and disability. The National Disability Institute states that “African Americans are not only more likely to have a disability, but it appears that the impact of that disability on their lives may be greater than it is on their white counterparts.”

At Kessler Foundation,

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2021 Kessler Foundation Virtual Grantee Symposium

February 17, 2021

Hiring on Autopilot: How to Prepare Yourself and
People with Disabilities for AI Employment Practices

Tuesday, March 16, 2021
12pm - 1:15pm ET

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

Register Now


Join us at our 2nd virtual symposium to continue our discussion on how artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the world of work for people with disabilities. As recent advances in AI streamline the hiring and onboarding process for employers, these tools are becoming more popular in

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Resource Refresh: Support for Life at Home after Brain Injury

February 11, 2021


Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey Support Services Team
Brain injury recovery is a process that continues long after treatment and formal therapies end. People with brain injury often create a "new normal" in which they must re-establish routines and re-learn how to complete everyday tasks at home. Help might be needed with bills, meal planning, appointments and household tasks. But where do you turn when you've graduated from therapy programs, yet still have difficulty making the pieces fit together? There are services available that can improve independence and quality of life. 

Contacting the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey’s helpline to explore available resources is a good first step. A trained professional can walk you

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Kessler Foundation Top Stories of 2020

February 9, 2021

Throughout a most unusual and interesting year, Kessler Foundation found many ways to connect you and your families with important information and resources. Below are our most popular blogs and news releases of 2020.

As we start a new year, make sure you haven’t missed any of our most read stories. 

Top Visited Blogs



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

A high proportion of the United States population could become infected with the virus that causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). People with disabilities such as 

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Celebrating Women in Science

February 9, 2021

By Nicky Miller 

February 11 commemorates International Day of Women and Girls in Science, a day that is pivotal in raising awareness about gender equality and empowerment of women and girls in the field of science. Although many efforts have been made to support women in STEM careers, according to the United Nations, “long-standing biases and gender stereotypes are steering girls and women away from science-related fields.” Statistics for women show that just 30 percent are researchers, and only 35 percent are students enrolled in STEM-related fields of study.


Stroll 'N Roll logo on purple

Save the Date for Stroll 'N Roll 2021

January 29, 2021


Mark your calendar!

We are looking forward to the best Stroll ‘N Roll ever on Sunday, September 26, 2021 from 10 AM to 1 PM.

This family event, chaired once again by Alyce Halchak, Esq., brings together people of all ages and abilities to raise vital funds to advance rehabilitation research and employment initiatives that return people with disabilities to their homes, their communities, and the workplace.

We thank everyone who made our first-ever virtual Stroll ‘N Roll in 2020 a great success, and we are grateful for the support from our community of champions—local and international.

Given the situation in which we continue to find ourselves, this year’s Stroll ‘N Roll will be both in

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Celebrating Martin Luther King Day

January 18, 2021

On this Martin Luther King Day, may we all celebrate and strive toward Dr. King’s vision of equality and justice.

With your support, Kessler Foundation researchers Amanda Botticello, PhD, MPH, assistant director, and Denise Fyffe, PhD, senior research scientist, in the Centers for Spinal Cord Injury Research and Outcomes and Assessment Research, investigate health equity and social determinants of health—the demographic, socioeconomic, cultural, and clinical

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Maddi Niebanck: The Fully Recovered Mindset

December 30, 2020

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

On May 30, 2017, just one week after graduating from Georgetown University, Maddi Niebanck was scheduled for surgery to remove an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), a tangle of abnormal blood vessels in the right occipital lobe of her brain. While undergoing pre-operative procedures, she developed a blood clot in her brain that burst, leading to a massive stroke. Maddi spent 15 days in ICU at New York Presbyterian before transferring to Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, NJ.  Upon admission, she was unable to walk or use her left arm. By the time she was discharged, she had

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Shaholly Ayers, Model With a Disability Talks About Her Experience in the Fashion Industry

December 15, 2020


By Nicky Miller

In this episode of Kessler Foundation's podcast, model Shaholly Ayers shares insight about her experience in the fashion industry. Ayers, has been featured in Nordstrom, the Today Show, BBC News, Glamour, and People Magazine. Listen-in as she discusses disability and inclusion in the fashion industry.


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

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Falling through the Cracks: Implications of AI on Employment for Individuals with Disabilities

December 15, 2020

Guest speakers are Betsy Beaumon, CEO of Benetech 
and Jonathan Kaufman, President of J. Kaufman Consulting. 


In this Kessler Foundation podcast, 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 reshaping the world of work. It is important for disability professionals working in job search, placement, and support to understand how disability is defined and understood in the context of AI, and the perils of bias in these systems.

Listen to the podcast, view the 

AmazonSmile 2020

Love to Shop and Give Back?

December 7, 2020

Skip the lines and give back when you shop online with AmazonSmile this holiday season! With every eligible purchase you make, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the sales to Kessler Foundation. Score deals on gifts for everyone on your list while changing lives for people with disabilities—a win-win!

All you need to do is:

Visit Log in or sign up When prompted to choose a charitable organization, search "Kessler Foundation" Shop for what you need and champion rehabilitation research and employment for people with disabilities

Remember to log in from 

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‘A Little Something Extra’ with Big Benefits for Young Adults with Disabilities

December 7, 2020

By Carolann Murphy

Families with children with disabilities often face challenges while planning for the future. Many times the family’s ultimate goal is to help their child gain maximal independence and optimal quality of life. Some families choose the pathway to entrepreneurship, opting to start a business centered on their child’s skills and interests. The impact of these enterprises can extend beyond the family and the individual with disabilities, reaching local communities and beyond. One example of a successful family enterprise is ‘A Little Something Extra’ in rural Dawson, Alabama.

Founded by the Norwood family, ‘A Little Something Extra’ is an ice cream truck that has become a familiar sight at local events. The truck is staffed by CEO

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Fast Takes - Research that Changes Lives

November 23, 2020

Kessler Foundation researchers are working tirelessly to conduct rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord.

In the "Fast Takes - Research that Changes Lives" podcast series, scientists from different Centers at Kessler Foundation will discuss their latest research that help change the lives of people with disabilities. 

Listen to the podcast series below, click on each podcast to view the transcripts on our SoundCloud channel and download this episode and others for free on Apple Podcasts