Kessler Foundation Awards $500,000 to University of New Hampshire for National Disability Employment Survey

WEST ORANGE, N.J., Jan. 28, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kessler Foundation awarded a $499,999 Signature Employment Grant to the University of New Hampshire to conduct the "Kessler Foundation National Employment Survey on the Status of Americans with Disabilities." The grant is part of more than $2.1 million in funds distributed by the Foundation to organizations across the U.S. to create or expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

The University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability (UNH-IOD) and the University of New Hampshire Survey Center (UNH-SC) will conduct a household telephone survey using landline and cell phone random digit dial of 3,000 adults, ages 18-64, with disabilities who live in the U.S. The Kessler Foundation Survey will identify the strategies that current and former workers with disabilities and employers used and did not use to obtain and maintain employment. The survey will also address factors that contributed to individuals with disabilities never working and what potential supports would help them strive for employment. Other points of inquiry include job-seeking strategies, personal accommodations, employer practices, experience dealing with barriers and the use and effectiveness of support services.

"As we approach the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in July, it is important to establish a credible benchmark of the employment environment for people with disabilities," said Elaine Katz, senior vice president of Grants and Communications. "This new survey will help us gain insight into what strategies work and do not work for improving employment outcomes for this talented population. Survey results will inform the disability field as it strives to develop innovative and sustainable approaches to improving employment opportunities."

UNH-SC is responsible for field testing, making the calls, collecting data and providing data tables. UNH-IOD will analyze the results—including descriptive statistics, confidence intervals and subgroup and hypothesis tests—and produce the final report. The sample size will allow for a national-level estimate with a margin of error of +/-1.8% and allow for analyses of subgroups based on demographics, region, disability type and employment status. The survey information will be available to individuals, families, service providers and employers and will educate research and advocacy efforts toward new employment approaches.

Survey results are expected to be announced by Kessler Foundation and UNH on Capitol Hill in June 2015.

About Kessler Foundation

Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. For more information, visit

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

Source:Kessler Foundation