Trending at Kessler Foundation


Person drinking coffee and reading a book about entrepreneurship

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 with disabilities. Our researchers also investigate how disabilities affect employment and ways to optimize outcomes. And

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.

Poster frame with written graphics

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 

Dr. Nancy Chiaravalloti smiling against a burgundy background

Tireless Efforts in Meaningful Brain Injury Research - 2020 BIANJ Honoree Dr. Nancy Chiaravalloti

August 20, 2020

In this episode of Kessler Foundation's podcast, Dr. Nancy Chiaravalloti, director of the Centers for Neuropsychology and Neuroscience Research and Traumatic Brain Injury Research, discusses her efforts in brain injury research. 

Dr. Chiaravalloti was this year's 2020 Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey's honoree. She was designated Research Innovation Champion for her tireless efforts in meaningful brain injury research. 



Listen to the podcast, 

A man and two women posing together, and dressed in winter coats

Caregiver Corner: Finding Hope after TBI

August 18, 2020

By Angela Smith, Senior Research Coordinator, Center for Neuropsychology and Neuroscience Research, Kessler Foundation

On July 3, 2011, Joan Enker’s life as a busy wife, mother, grandmother and caregiver to her aging parents changed in an instant. During a family trip to upstate New York, a young driver struck her husband Warren while he was on an errand to purchase additional folding chairs for his family to watch the holiday fireworks display. The trauma was compounded by the fact she had no idea what happened until he failed to return. After several desperate hours of searching, Joan learned Warren had been medevacked to a local facility, but because of the severity of his injuries and the increasing fog, he had been taken by ambulance to Westchester Medical Center

Screenshot of a webinar meeting with the faces of many participants

Kessler Staff Honored at Rutgers Medical School Graduation and Awards Ceremony

July 15, 2020

By Nicky Miller


This year’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School graduation and award ceremony was held virtually, honoring several Kessler Foundation staff members for their work in rehabilitation research. The “Class of 2020 Graduation Celebration” was held in June and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program was moved online.

Diplomas were given to five Kessler postdoctoral fellows:

• Fatma Eren, MD, Centers for Spinal Cord Injury Research and
   Outcomes and Assessment Research

• Nathan Hogaboom, PhD, Centers for

A graduate in a wheelchair on stage, receiving her diploma and shaking hands with a man

Voices of the ADA Generation: The College-to-Work Story of Victoria Queyquep

June 22, 2020


By Nicky Miller 

In conjunction with the launch of our newest survey, the 2020 Kessler Foundation National Employment and Disability Survey: Recent College Graduates, I chatted with Victoria Queyquep, Kessler’s donor engagement specialist on the Development team, and a member of the first generation to come of age after the Americans with Disabilities Act became law in 1990. We talked about her education, her aspirations, and her career path, and I asked her to reflect on her journey as a person with a disability seeking work after college.

Our survey dispelled many long held myths about people with disabilities and higher education. Young people and their families were often told that college would be a waste of time, they would be unable to

Jimmy Brown

Your Support Fuels Jimmy's Competitive Drive and Gives Him Hope

June 17, 2020

Happy Father's Day! Your generosity makes all the difference for fathers like Jimmy Brown, who live with spinal cord injury. You advance groundbreaking rehabilitation research to help Jimmy and others overcome their disabilities and live fuller, more engaged lives with their families.

Sustaining a spinal cord injury in 2004 at age 24 didn’t change athlete Jimmy Brown’s competitive personality. Jimmy approaches his post-injury rehabilitation with the same drive he exhibited on the playing field as a pitcher for St. Peter’s University—a Division I school.

“My ability to play competitive sports may have disappeared,” says Jimmy, “but my competitive drive remains. Over the years, I’ve joined many Kessler Foundation research studies, always pushing

Head-shot of Dr. Jeanne Zanca

Enabling Optimal Care After Spinal Cord Injury - An Online Curriculum for Personal Care Assistants

June 17, 2020

In this episode of Kessler Foundation's podcast, Dr. Jeanne Zanca, senior research scientist in the Center for Spinal Cord Injury Research and Center for Outcomes and Assessment Research at Kessler Foundation, discusses "Enabling Optimal Care After Spinal Cord Injury - An Online Curriculum for Personal Care Assistants." 



Listen to the podcast or read the transcript. Download this episode and others for free on 

Jack Fanous, GI Go Fund CEO and co-founder

Helping Veterans Adapt in the COVID Economy: The GI Go Fund Focus on Employment

June 8, 2020

By Carolann Murphy, PA


Transition from military service to the civilian sector presents challenges for veterans, especially for those with disabilities. With recent shocks to the economy caused by the spread of COVID-19, these challenges are magnified. Among the organizations dedicated to helping veterans is the Newark-based GI Go Fund, a nonprofit that assists veterans with finding employment, accessing housing, and claiming their educational and medical benefits.

Employment initiatives, implemented with community partnerships, are a major focus of the GI Go Fund, according to CEO and co-founder Jack Fanous. One initiative, Disabled Veterans to Work, enabled veterans with disabilities to work from home, providing customer

Wallet with credit cards, money and receipts scattered

The COVID Economy: Challenges and Opportunities for People with Disabilities

June 8, 2020

By Carolann Murphy, PA

Both people with and without disabilities are being negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of both absence from work and layoffs. At this point in time, the effects seem to be proportionately similar for both groups, with greater numbers of people being absent from work and laid off than during the Great Recession of 2008-2009.

The implications are profound for organizations that provide direct services for people with disabilities, such as state vocational rehabilitation agencies, community-based employment programs, and independent living services. These service providers are adapting to the situation, assisting clients with acute needs for

FAIR’s program director Libby Whiteside at Disability Rights Louisiana.

Transitioning from the Criminal Justice System in the COVID Economy: the FAIR project

June 8, 2020

By Carolann Murphy, PA

Finding a job and maintaining employment are challenges for everyone today, and people with disabilities who are striving to work face mounting challenges to reaching their goal of financial independence. Individuals with disabilities who are re-entering the community from jail or prison have even greater needs for comprehensive services and supports. The pandemic has promoted early release of inmates to reduce exposure in crowded facilities, increasing the need for vocational support for this population.

In Louisiana, which has the highest incarceration rate in the nation, efforts were already underway to improve employment outcomes and financial security of formerly incarcerated individuals with disabilities, with an ultimate goal of