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On the Anniversary of the ADA, People with Disabilities Remind us that Only Abilities Matter

July 26, 2012

On July 26, 2012, the nation commemorates the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). When President George H. W. Bush signed the bill into law 22 years ago, the ADA was the first piece of legislation to ensure equal rights and opportunities to people with disabilities. In other words, they now had a chance to achieve their American Dream.

Throughout the years, we’ve seen great advancements in access to education, community, and transportation. In fact, the 2010 Kessler Foundation/National Organization on Disability Survey of Americans with Disabilities revealed that less than a 10 percent gap remains between individuals with and without disabilities who are graduating high school,

white house

Kessler Foundation Participates in ADA Anniversary Roundtable for Leaders in Disability Employment

July 26, 2012 ADA Anniversary Roundtable on Disability Employment

West Orange, NJ. July 26, 2012. On July 26, Kessler Foundation‘s Rodger DeRose and Elaine Katz attended Senator Harkin’s ADA Anniversary Roundtable on Disability Employment.  Invitees included Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Delaware Governor Jack Markell, Rep. Cathy Rodgers, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner and leaders in government, the disability community, business and philanthropy.   

The roundtable focused on Senator Harkin’s new  report  “Unfinished Business: Making Employment for People with Disabilities a National Priority.”  Harkin chairs the US Senate Committee on Health, Education,

Rodger DeRose with his hand on his chin

DeRose Op-Ed Published by Congressional Daily 'The Hill'

July 19, 2012 Disability should not be deterrent to job market

July 19, 2012. An op-ed by Rodger DeRose entitled ”Disability should not be deterrent to job market” appeared in The Hill's Congressional Blog on July 18. DeRose illustrates his position with his experiences as an employer and as president and CEO of Kessler Foundation, which focuses its grant funding on expanding employment initiatives for people with disabilities. DeRose references the recent news stories on Jack Osbourne, a celebrity who lost his job after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

July 26 marks the 22nd anniversary of

wheel blazeers

Raymond Martin Ready for First Paralympics

June 2, 2012

Raymond Martin has participated in wheelchair sports since he was 5 years old and always had one goal in mind—to reach the Paralympics. Now at 18 years old, his dream will be realized as he will compete in the 2012 Paralympics in London. 

“Making the US Paralympics’ team is an amazing feeling because it's the pinnacle of sport,” Ray declared. “I'm really looking forward to just getting out there and competing to the best of my abilities. This is my first games and I'm really excited to just get some experience under my belt.”

Ray has spent the last year training extremely hard in the hopes of qualifying for the Paralympics. Despite the demands of senior year preparing to move to Illinois for college, he kept a very strict 6-day per week training schedule. All of his hard

wheel blazeers

Galli Races into Fourth Paralympics

May 30, 2012

Jessica Galli started racing at 8 years old. After being paralyzed in a car accident, she used wheelchair racing as a form of rehabilitation. She stuck with it to become one of the fastest female racers in the world, which has led her to qualifying for her fourth Paralympic games in London.

“It's a huge honor to have qualified and to be able to represent my country at a fourth Paralympic Games,” exclaimed Jessica. “I am very excited and think this will be a great Games!”

At age 28, Jessica continues to break national and world records. Her latest was at the US Paralympic Track & Field Trials as she set a world record in the 200 meter with a time of 28.93 seconds. Through the Sydney, Athens, and


National Leaders support broadening scope of federal support for traumatic brain injury programs

May 29, 2012 Changes to the TBI Act of 2005 will make treatment available to more Americans

National Leaders  support broadening scope of federal support for traumatic brain injury programs

Changes to the TBI Act of 2005 will make treatment available to more Americans

May 29, 2012. SADDLE BROOK, N.J. – National leaders in health policy, advocacy, research, rehabilitation and treatment of traumatic brain injury will hold a news conference at Kessler Institute's Saddle Brook Campus about legislation to better serve the millions of Americans who have sustained traumatic brain injury.  

WHEN:       Wednesday, May 30, 11:30 a.m. 

WHERE:  Kessler Institute For Rehabilitation, 300 Market Street, Saddle Brook, N.J.

WHO:   U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell

Remembering Robert E. Dillon, Treasured Trustee of Kessler Foundation

Remembering Robert E. Dillon, Treasured Trustee of Kessler Foundation

May 14, 2012

West Orange, NJ. May 14, 2012. Kessler Foundation remembers trustee Robert Dillon who passed away on May 9. For more than two decades, Bob served the Foundation with caring, dedication, determination and wisdom.  Rodger DeRose, president and chief executive officer of Kessler Foundation, recalled, "Bob brought a quiet confidence, integrity, passion for the mission, and the ability to facilitate a wide range of opinions. He was a strong ambassador for Kessler Foundation and a source of encouragement to all who worked with him.”

Soft-spoken and kind-hearted, Bob was the perfect leader. He chaired the Executive, Finance, and Affiliate Oversight Committees. His stewardship kept the Foundation stable and growing throughout the worst economic downturn of recent history. As Vice

nj navigators

North Jersey Navigators Earn Award for Enhancing the Lives of Individuals with Disabilities through Recreation and Sports

April 30, 2012

On April 30th, the North Jersey Navigators—an adaptive sports team for junior athletes with disabilities—won the Ted Kaplan Exemplary Recreation Group Award for providing unique opportunities that enhance the leisure lifestyle of people with disabilities through recreation and sports. Kessler Foundation nominated the team for the award, which was given by the New Jersey Commission on Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities (NJCRID).

“Kessler Foundation has partnered with the North Jersey Navigators for more than a decade,” said

NJBIZ Honors Kessler Foundation as a 2012 Best Places to Work in New Jersey!

NJBIZ Honors Kessler Foundation as a 2012 Best Places to Work in New Jersey!

April 28, 2012

WEST ORANGE, N.J.—Kessler Foundation has been named one of the Best Places to Work in New Jersey by NJBIZ in the medium category (15-249 employees). This survey and award program identifies, recognizes and honors the top places of employment in New Jersey that benefit the state's economy, its workforce and businesses. The Best Places to Work in New Jersey program is made up of 100 companies split into two groups: 52 small/medium-sized companies and 48 large-sized companies.

“Kessler Foundation is honored to be recognized as one of the best places to work in New Jersey,” said Rodger DeRose, president and chief executive officer of Kessler

Kessler Foundation lands in top 50 Best Places to Work in NJ

Kessler Foundation lands in top 50 Best Places to Work in NJ

April 28, 2012 Rodger DeRose and trustee Liz Lowenstein accept award at NJBIZ award dinner on April 25

Kessler Foundation placed 47 out of 100 of the 2012 Best Places to Work in New Jersey. Rodger DeRose, president and CEO and Liz Lowenstein, Foundation trustee, accepted the award for Kessler Foundaton. This is the first year that the Foundation was named to the list. The rankings were announced at the NJBIZ awards dinner at the Hilton in New Brunswick on Aprill 25. NJBIZ hosted 850 guests representing 100 companies, including small/medium and large and for profit and nonprofit.


edison awards

Ekso Wins GOLD at Edison Awards

April 27, 2012 Edison Awards honor Ekso Bionics for innovation in assistive technology

West Orange, NJ 04/27/12. The Edison Awards, celebrating 25 years of honoring the successful development and launch of game-changing new products and services, announced its 2012 winners last night. Hundreds of executives representing world-recognized brands as well as up and coming companies gathered to celebrate exceptional innovation in 15 categories and industries. Ekso Bionics' Ekso, which is undergoing clinical testing at Kessler Foundation, took the GOLD in the category of Assistive Devices:
GOLD-Ekso Bionics
SILVER-Starkey Hearing Technologies AMP®
BRONZE-GEAR4 Renew SleepClock
BRONZE-Midmark SleepView® Monitor and Portal

Rodger DeRose, president and CEO of Kessler Foundation

nj navigators

North Jersey Navigators Earn 2012 Amazing Sport Club Award

April 21, 2012

The U.S. Olympic Committee announced that the North Jersey Navigators—an adaptive sports team for junior athletes with disabilities—received the 2012 Amazing Sport Club Award, one of seven recipients of the 2013 Paralympic Amazing Awards. Navigators’ Head Coach Jim Cuevas was also awarded the 2012 National Coach of the Year Award for Paralympics Track & Field.

The Navigators provide opportunities for young athletes with disabilities to train in sports, including track and field, road racing, archery, swimming and table tennis. Based in Jersey City, N

governor christy

'Employment First' Policy for People with Disabilities

April 20, 2012 DeRose responds to Star-Ledger article on Gov. Christie's announcement of 'Employment First' policy

Re: “Gov. Christie touts ‘Employment First’ policy, removes employment barriers for people with disabilities” by Susan K. Livio on 4.20.12

Eliminating employment barriers should be done for the betterment of society as well as for the largest minority group in the US—people with disabilities. This group represents 20 percent of the population but only 3 percent of the workforce. Because of barriers to employment, people with disabilities are twice as likely to live in poverty. Once employed, their reliance on governmental benefits decreases, they achieve financial stability, pay taxes and contribute to the economy.

The endorsement of Employment First by Governor Christie

John DeLuca sitting in front of a window

John DeLuca, PhD, moderates new MS educational program by Projects in Knowledge

March 30, 2012 Journal Insights is based on Langdon et al’s “Recommendations for a Brief International Cognitive Assessment for Multiple Sclerosis” published in Multiple Sclerosis Journal

West Orange, NJ. March 30, 2012. A new ‘Journal Insights’ continuing education program, moderated by John DeLuca, PhD, has been released by Projects in Knowledge, a New Jersey –based medical education firm.  ‘Journal Insights’ highlight noteworthy articles from the literature that have practical significance for clinicians. Entitled “Recommendations for a Brief International Cognitive Assessment for Multiple Sclerosis (BICAMS),” this program is based on a

jordan grafman

Jordan Grafman comments on Afghan massacre on Discovery News online

March 21, 2012 Director of TBI Research at Kessler Foundation discusses impact of TBI on behavior

West Orange, NJ. March 13, 2012.  Kessler Foundation's director of TBI research is quoted in Sheila Eldred's article in Discovery News, "Did brain injury play a role in Afghan massacre?" Jordan Grafman, an expert in brain function and behavior, was asked to comment on the possible role of traumatic brain injury in the recent tragic shootings by a US Army sergeant in Afghanistan. As chief of the Vietnam Veterans Head Injury Study, Grafman has studied the development of