The Kessler Foundation, a nonprofit organization in the field of disability, commemorates October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month and continues to work to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities through education, research, grantmaking, expanding opportunities, and new partnerships. Roger DeRose, president and CEO of Kessler, says, "As we commemorate NDEAM, we remember that only abilities matter."
DeRose adds, "At Kessler Foundation, we are dedicated to expanding opportunities for employment for people with disabilities by funding sustainable and innovative employment initiatives around the nation." To raise awareness of the importance of hiring people with disabilities, the foundation signed on as a partner of the Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE), initiative of the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy.
As a partner, Kessler will promote the campaign while CDE shares the foundation's work to increase employment opportunities for persons with disabilities via social media, as indicated on the Kessler Foundation news release. In addition, the foundation has awarded more than $27 million in grant funding to employment initiatives across the country to create or expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
The Kessler Foundation news release notes that the grant funding has led to approximately 3,000 individuals receiving job training and/or finding a job and earning a paycheck. The foundation supports initiatives in a number of fields, including telecommuting, finance, the arts, social enterprise, and computer technology.
As indicated on the foundation news release, the Kessler Foundation also tracks the employment environment for people with disabilities with the University of New Hampshire's Institute on Disability. DeRose explains, "We track employment data to keep the issue of employment for people with disabilities on the radar of American business and economic leaders."
DeRose states, "By closely monitoring the numbers, more organizations can see the importance of devising solutions to provide employment opportunities for jobseekers with disabilities."
Source: Kessler Foundation