The West Orange, NJ-based Kessler Foundation recently appointed John C. O’Neill, PhD, CRC, (pictured right) as vocational rehabilitation researcher, an inaugural position within its rehabilitation research team. O’Neill is slated to assume his new position in July 2012. A Kessler Foundation news release notes that O’Neill’s expertise will help broaden the Foundation’s scope of rehabilitation research in mobility and cognition to include employment outcomes.

A 2010 survey conducted by Kessler Foundation and the National Organization on Disability indicates that individuals with disabilities are one of the largest minorities in the US.

“The addition of Dr. O’Neill will further integrate employment considerations in the Foundation’s rehabilitation research. Restoring function is important but getting individuals with disabilities back to employment is crucial to self-sufficiency and community integration,” Rodger DeRose, Kessler Foundation president and CEO, says.

According to the release, O’Neill formerly served as professor of counselor education programs for Hunter College of the City University of New York and brings more than 30 years experience in vocational rehabilitation to his position at the Foundation. O’Neill’s research also reportedly focuses on how physical and cognitive function, government assistance benefits, and healthcare coverage impact the utilization of vocational services and job seeking by individuals with disabilities. 

O’Neill emphasizes his excitement in joining the Foundation’s research efforts, “I’m eager to contribute my knowledge and skills related to employment and disability to the Foundation’s philantrophic work and ongoing research on human performance, stroke, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injury.”

O’Neill also holds academic affiliations with the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School, Kessler Foundation adds. O’Neill’s professional affiliations include National Rehabilitation Association, American Counseling Association, American School Counseling Association and American Association for Mental Deficiency.

Source: Kessler Foundation