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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

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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

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Tune In - Watch the Opening of the Tim and Caroline Reynolds Center for Spinal Stimulation

March 23, 2020

During the challenging and uncertain times in which we find ourselves, please know that all of us at Kessler Foundation express our deep concern for you and your family and wish you peace and good health.

We are truly grateful for your commitment to rehabilitation research and employment for people with disabilities. You can learn about the impact of your support by tuning in tomorrow, March 25, for a half-hour special on One-on-One with Steve Adubato at 7 PM on NJTV, and at 12:30 AM on WNET/Thirteen, which was recorded at the January 24 opening of the Tim and Caroline Reynolds Center for Spinal Stimulation at Kessler Foundation.

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You, Kessler Foundation, and COVID-19

March 19, 2020

During the challenging and uncertain times in which we find ourselves, please know that all of us at Kessler Foundation express our deep concern for you and your family and wish you peace and good health. The health and safety of our employees and research participants are of paramount importance. Therefore, in response to COVID-19, all Kessler Foundation employees are encouraged to work remotely, focusing on work that does not require physical contact with research participants, many of whom may be at greater risk for complications associated with coronavirus.

We are truly grateful for your commitment to rehabilitation research and employment for people with disabilities. You can learn more about the impact

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Clinical Mentorship Program for Psychology and Graduate Students

March 4, 2020

About the Mentorship 

In collaboration with Kessler Foundation, the National MS Society offers a three-week clinical mentorship
experience for a psychology graduate student who has completed at least one year of their graduate program. The program will introduce
diagnosis and comprehensive management of patients with multiple sclerosis and focus on neurocognitive, mood and other psychosocial issues.

The mentorship is available in June 2020. The selected student will receive a $2000 award.


How to Apply

Application deadline: April 1, 2020

Jane and Joe Concato

3 Ways You Can Build A Legacy

March 2, 2020

Did you know that there are three ways you can make a big difference today and drive the future of rehabilitation research and employment for people with disabilities?

By including Kessler Foundation in your estate plans today, you can make a lasting impact and build a legacy of helping people with disabilities live to the fullest in the future.

Legacy giving may have important financial advantages for you and your heirs, and often costs nothing during your lifetime.

Here are three ways to build your legacy of helping people with disabilities:

Include a bequest to Kessler Foundation in your will or living trust: Your estate will earn a federal

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Nurse’s Corner: Stay in the Know About H2O

February 28, 2020

By Daryl Blewett, MSN, RN, CRRN, and Bonnie Tillman, BSN, RN, CRRN

Often, we do not think about water until we feel like we ran a marathon and have an unquenchable thirst. What happens next? We chug a few glasses of water as if it’s the last time we may ever see water again.

There are many excuses we use as to why we do not drink enough water. We have all said them:

“I just don’t have enough time.” “I just don’t like the taste of water.” “I’m not thirsty.” “It’s hard drinking the recommended amount of water each day.”

Did you know that when we are thirsty, it is our body telling us it is dehydrated? Waiting for our body to tell us when we are thirsty only increases the chances of having severe

Tyler Brown

Healing After Traumatic Brain Injury

February 19, 2020

With your support, 15 year old Tyler Brown walks again—one (robotic exoskeleton) step at a time.

One day after school, Tyler Brown and his twin brother, Kevin, were walking along a busy street when they were struck by a car. Though Kevin was hit first, his injuries were not as grave as Tyler’s. Tyler sustained multiple broken bones, severe internal bleeding, organ damage, and a traumatic brain injury.

“The trauma team wasn’t sure Tyler would make it,” recalls Liz Brown, the twins’ mother.  “If you told me he would walk again, I wouldn’t have believed it,” says Liz. But thanks to donors like you, Tyler experienced the powerful combination of one-on-one physical therapy and the latest robotic exoskeleton technology as part of a Kessler Foundation research study. By walking

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Breast Cancer Resources

February 18, 2020

By Nicky Miller

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. Adding to the range of research, Kessler Foundation is actively researching a breast cancer study to find treatment, and rehabilitation techniques to help individuals with breast cancer.

Didier Allexandre, PhD, research scientist at the Center for Mobility and Rehabilitation Engineering Research at Kessler Foundation, is the principal investigator of the study “Effect of Exercise Training on Breast Cancer-related Weakness.”

The study aims to improve the quality of life for breast cancer survivors, by testing interventions that reduce cancer-related symptoms of weakness and fatigue.

Check this website for updates

Natalie and Bryan

Give Natalie the Ultimate Valentine's Day Gift

February 13, 2020


Happy Valentine's Day! Today, I share how, with your support of Kessler Foundation, you help couples like Natalie and Bryan overcome disabling injury and jumpstart their future.

Four years ago, Natalie was driving to Newark Airport with her dog, Dutchess, when her car was struck from behind. She was paralyzed from the waist down. Dutchess, her loving companion, was put in foster care. 

Determined to get her life back, Natalie began participating in spinal cord injury research led by Gail Forrest, PhD, director of the


Transitioning Youth with Disabilities to the Workplace: An Innovative Approach to Independent Living

February 13, 2020

By Carolann Murphy, PA

The political activism of the 1960s fueled grassroots movements for societal change, including the Independent Living Movement, aimed at the inclusion of people with disabilities in American life. This movement influenced important legislation, such as the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, and contributed to the formation of the first Center for Independent Living in Berkeley, California. Today, more than 400 nonprofit consumer-directed Centers for Independent Living (CILs) provide consumer-driven community-based programs and services centered on information and referral, peer support, advocacy, and independent living skills. To ensure that the interests of their

Photo collage of Kessler scientists at INS 2020

Kessler Scientists at INS 2020

February 7, 2020

By Nicky Miller

A group of scientists from the Centers for Traumatic Brain Injury Research and Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Research at Kessler Foundation, is attending the International Neuropsychological Society 2020 in Denver, Colorado, February 5-8. This year’s theme is neuropsychology in the era of precision medicine.

The event brings together scietists from around the world to promote the international and interdisciplinary study of brain-behavioral relationships, with an emphasis on science and education.

Photo of Nicky Miller and Mindy Scheier posing together

Fashion for All: Adaptive Clothing for People with Disabilities

February 5, 2020


By Nicky Miller 

Often, when we think of people with disabilities, the word fashion, is far from our minds.

Recently, I was fortunate to meet the amazing Mindy Scheier, a fellow fashionista, entrepreneur, and designer. She has designed and styled for many big fashion houses in the industry, from Saks Fifth Avenue to INC and Bloomingdale's.

She’s the founder and CEO of Runway of Dreams. Scheier works with mainstream brands on adaptive modifications to their existing clothing lines for people with disabilities. For some people with disabilities, buttons and zippers are hard to adjust, while wheelchair users struggle with clothes getting stuck in the wheels.


Cancer ribbon

World Cancer Day

February 3, 2020

February 4 is World Cancer Day.

In the U.S., 3.1 million women have a history of breast cancer.

Many report experiencing weakness and fatigue long after their treatment has ended, diminishing quality of life and interfering with daily activities.

“Exercise is demonstrated to have tremendous benefits for cancer survivors, including improved fitness, strength, self-esteem, and quality of life,” says Dr. Michael Stubblefield, director of Cancer Rehabilitation at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. However, many have difficulty participating in a traditional exercise program because of weakness and fatigue.

Researchers at Kessler Foundation, led by Guang Yue, PhD, director of

Photo of Capitol Hill in Washington, DC

Academic Internships Expand Career Options for College Students with Disabilities: The Washington Center Experience

January 30, 2020

By Carolann Murphy, PA

Transitioning to the workplace is challenging for college students, especially those with disabilities. Internships that provide opportunities for networking and exploring career options, as well as work experience and academic credit, are important options for students with disabilities. To connect students with a range of experiences in government and the nonprofit and private sectors, The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars (TWC) offers summer and semester internships.

Founded in 1975, TWC has helped more than 60,000 young people, including students with disabilities, start on the