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10th Annual Stroll ‘N Roll Honors Abilities

April 30, 2015

Kessler Foundation’s 10th Annual Stroll ‘N Roll was different than any other year’s…and it wasn’t just the cooler weather. More than 300 people gathered to stroll, roll, run, or race a 5K or 8K around Branch Brook Park in Newark, NJ, on the brisk morning of October 16th. Guests were also treated to a glimpse into the future when they saw demonstrations of Ekso. All of the special guests watched in amazement, including actor and disability advocate Daryl “Chill” Mitchell, injured Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand, NJ Asw. Mila Jasey, and NJ Asm. Thomas Giblin.

Made by Ekso Bionics, Ekso is a wearable, robotic, battery-powered exoskeleton that allows wheelchair users to stand and walk. Amanda Boxtel, an ambassador of Ekso Bionics, transferred out of her


Disability Mentoring Day Leaves Imprints on Everyone

Disability Mentoring Day Leaves Imprints on Everyone

April 30, 2015

Kessler Foundation hosted three students from Horizon High School—Andre C., Samone I., and Timesha J.—for Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) on October 19, 2011. Since 1999, DMD has taken place on the third Wednesday of October as part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Goals of DMD include raising awareness of the need to hire people with disabilities, easing the fears of employers, giving individuals with disabilities job exposure, and increasing their confidence. But at Kessler Foundation, it means even more.

When the students arrived, Kessler Foundation “mentors” and guides introduced themselves and asked the students to tell them a little bit about themselves. Andre, a veteran of the process, was at the Foundation for the second year in a row. “This is the last


Eric LeGrand Makes History

Eric LeGrand Makes History

April 29, 2015

Kessler Foundation congratulates Eric LeGrand on earning a spot on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated. Voted on by the fans, it is the first time in the magazine's 50-year history that a Rutgers football player has appeared on the cover.

Eric LeGrand was paralyzed on a tackle that went wrong on October 16, 2010. As an outpatient at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, Eric recently started the locomotor training program as part of the Christopher and Dana Reeve


African Racers with Disabilities Featured in Sports 'N Spokes

Kessler Foundation Implements Ekso Bionics’ First Commercial Robotic Exoskeleton

April 28, 2015

Kessler Foundation partners with Ekso Bionics in testing the potential for Ekso through rehabilitation research

WEST ORANGE, N.J.—On Monday, Kessler Foundation became the second rehabilitation research center in the U.S. to implement Ekso, a wearable, robotic battery-powered exoskeleton that allows wheelchair users with lower-extremity weakness to stand and walk.

“Kessler Foundation makes strategic investments in innovative technology that have the potential to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities,” said Rodger DeRose, president and chief executive officer of Kessler Foundation. “Our partnership with Ekso


Kessler Foundation Remembers Rep. Donald Payne, Sr.

Kessler Foundation Remembers Rep. Donald Payne, Sr.

April 28, 2015

Payne understood that jobs are key

This week, we reflect on the many years of public service by Donald Payne (D-10 NJ), the first African American to represent New Jersey in the US House of Representatives. Of his many and varied contributions, one in particular resonates with the Foundation's mission. As a member of the Committee on Education and Workforce, Rep. Payne understood the pivotal role of education and job training. "Education and training get you jobs," said Payne. "Jobs get you your housing, healthcare, and other needs." Kessler Foundation shares Payne's vision of employment as fundamental to quality of life for all Americans, especially individuals with disabilities.  


Kessler Foundation funds BEST Internship Program for People with Disabilities

Kessler Foundation funds BEST Internship Program for People with Disabilities

April 28, 2015

Program provides experience at NJ credit unions for more than 50 interns

Madison, Wis. -- Over 54 million people and 19 percent of the United States population - or one out of every five Americans - have some type of disability and a large number of which are “unbanked” or “underbanked.” Credit unions in New Jersey are working to make a difference in this area with the Building Economic Strength Together (BEST) internship program. The BEST program is a collaborative project that provides internship opportunities for people with disabilities. The last cycle, Cycle VII, of the program is underway in New Jersey after being piloted two years ago in New Jersey.

The BEST program was developed by a strategic partnership between the National Credit Union


DeRose Responds to WSJ Article on Legislation for the Employment of People with Disabilities

DeRose Responds to WSJ Article on Legislation for the Employment of People with Disabilities

April 28, 2015

Letter to the Editor, The Wall Street Journal 4.8.12

Re: "The Wrong Way to Help the Disabled" by James Bovard - The Wall Street Journal 4.8.12 

It’s clear that Americans want to help people with disabilities find employment but are often unsure of how to begin and fear the unknown. The section 503 federal mandate, while controversial in its approach, can potentially show employers the value that employees with disabilities add to the workplace while also easing their concerns.

In “The Wrong Way to Help the Disabled” (4.8.12), James Bovard highlighted the common employer fears when considering hiring people with disabilities—lower productivity and heightened costs from providing reasonable accommodations. These concerns are proven to be


Suburban News of Union reports on Kessler Foundation’s funding for affordable housing for people with disabilities

Suburban News of Union reports on Kessler Foundation’s funding for affordable housing for people with disabilities

April 28, 2015

Elaine Katz, VP, attends dedication of Apartments at St. Elizabeth

West Orange, NJ. Eleven units of affordable housing for persons with physical disabilities were created at the former Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Convent at 176 Hussa Street in Linden, NJ, thanks to awards from HUD, a grant from Kessler Foundation and partial funding from the County of Union.

Elaine Katz, VP of Grants and Special Initiatives represented Kessler Foundation at the dedication ceremony of The Apartments at St. Elizabeth’s on April 26. Also in attendance were Union County Freeholder Christopher Hudak, Union County Manager Alfred Faella, Charles Newman, President of New Jersey Connect, Linden Mayor Richard


Christie Administration Announces Grant from Kessler Foundation to Improve Access to NJ Food Pantries for People with Physical Disabilities

Christie Administration Announces Grant from Kessler Foundation to Improve Access to NJ Food Pantries for People with Physical Disabilities

April 28, 2015

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's administration announced that Kessler Foundation awarded the New Jersey Department of Human Services Divisision of Disability Services with a $15,000 Special Initiatives Grant to improve the accessibility of food pantries so that individuals with physical disabilities can independently navigate the pantries to receive needed services. According to the 2010 Survey of Americans with Disabilities, by Kessler Foundation and the National Organization on Disability, people with disabilities are twice as likely to live in poverty than those who are able bodied. Of the 54


7th Grader Develops App to Benefit Kessler Foundation

7th Grader Develops App to Benefit Kessler Foundation

April 24, 2015

Mohnish Sabhani is your typical 12 year old—a casual kid who loves technology and gaming. But when his Social Studies teacher, Ms. Gorton from Park Middle School in Scotch Plains, NJ, gave the class a service learning project, he took the opportunity to go above and beyond her expectations.

Ms. Gorton’s goal was twofold--to teach her students to be better citizens and make a difference in people’s lives. While most kids organize a bake sale or car wash, Mohnish’s idea was to develop a gaming app that would encourage  players to donate to a charity—Kessler Foundation, which improves the lives of people with disabilities by funding rehabilitation research in spinal cord injury, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and multiple sclerosis as well as employment programs. “I chose to work


We Remember

We Remember

April 24, 2015

West Orange, NJ. May 27, 2012. To honor those who have died in service to our nation, Kessler Foundation strives to better the lives of veterans with disabilities. Our research scientists are finding new ways to rehabilitate people with injuries to the brain and spinal cord. Through our grants program, we partner with organizations with innovative strategies for expanding employment for people with disabilities. For Kessler Foundation, the best way to memorialize our fallen heroes is to improve the lives of all people with disabilities, including our veterans.


Wrong Turn Gone Right

Wrong Turn Gone Right

April 24, 2015

Michael Rhode, from Monmouth Beach, NJ, sustained a spinal cord injury (SCI) in a skiing accident. Despite paralysis below the waist and limited upper body strength, he never stopped pursuing his passion for sports. He has also been an avid participant in Kessler Foundation’s mobility research. In October, Mike took his first steps since his injury in Ekso—a robotic, battery-powered exoskeleton being tested by Foundation researchers. Mike also participates in locomotor training at Kessler, which is part of the Reeve Foundation’s NeuroRecovery Network that is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. In April, Kessler Foundation sponsored his trip to Louisville, KY, to