Request for Proposals Now Open for Kessler Foundation's Signature Employment Grants

WEST ORANGE, N.J., Jan. 15, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kessler Foundation's Signature Employment Grant Request for Proposals is now open. Signature grants are awarded yearly to nonprofit organizations to support non-traditional solutions that increase employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities striving toward employment. Funds range from $250,000 to $500,000, given over a two-year period, and support innovative initiatives that create or expand job training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Awarded programs include pilot initiatives, demonstration projects or social ventures that lead to the generation of new ideas that solve the high underemployment and unemployment rate of people with disabilities. Preferred ideas include interventions that overcome specific employment barriers related to long-term dependence on public assistance, advance competitive employment in a cost-effective manner or launch a social enterprise.

Grant Concepts are due by February 13, 2015 at 5pm EST. Notification of accepted Grant Concepts will be issued on April 15; Full proposals will be due on June 5th at 5pm EST. Organizations with approved grants will be notified on December 11, 2015.

According to the 2014 Current Population Survey, the income gap between working-age people with and without disabilities is 16.3 percent. "Financial struggles affect where an individual with a disability can live, what social activities he or she can take part in, access to transportation and technology and overall quality of life," said Elaine Katz, senior vice president of Grants and Communications at Kessler Foundation. "These factors impact educational and employment opportunities that are available to these individuals. Through our grants program, we are looking for innovative strategies that will lead to many Americans with disabilities finding work and becoming financially self-sufficient."

As July 2015 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Kessler Foundation is encouraging any organization with a focus on employment and disability to apply for funding.

For more information on eligibility criteria and key dates, visit To submit a Grant Concept, visit

CONTACT: Lauren Scrivo, 973.768.6583, Carolann Murphy, 973.324.8382,

Source:Kessler Foundation