The Kessler Foundation in West Orange, New Jersey, has announced grants totaling $2.1 million to create and expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
The foundation awarded grants totaling more than $1.2 million through its Signature Employment program, including one of $499,99 to the University of New Hampshire to conduct a national survey to assess the employment status of Americans with disabilities and identify effective strategies for boosting their employment outcomes; a grant of $378, 300 to 21 and Able, an initiative of the United Way of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania, to build the capacity of local businesses to employ and retain young people with disabilities; and a grant of $339,000 to ServiceSource in Clearwater, Florida, in support of its Warrior Bridge Brain Injury Demonstration Project, which works to increase community integration, self-sufficiency, and employment outcomes for veterans and other individuals who have suffered a brain injury.
The foundation also announced Community Employment Grants totaling $740,000 to expand job training and employment opportunities in New Jersey for adults, students, and veterans with disabilities, and Special Initiative Grants totaling $150,000 in support of exercise and recreational programs, access to museums and the arts, vocational activities, and a specialized sensory garden for people with disabilities.
"At Kessler Foundation, we believe in supporting unique initiatives that have the potential to support employment opportunities for large numbers of people with disabilities and can be replicated in other states," said Elaine Katz, the foundation’s senior vice president of grants and communications. "Our latest grantees not only focus on developing job skills, but they also remove barriers caused by 'fear of the unknown' by working with employers to match individuals to the appropriate jobs, coordinate accommodations, and educate staff. The national survey will also educate the disability field on best practices to improve employment outcomes for this talented population."
For a complete list of grant recipients, visit the Kessler Foundation website.