WEST ORANGE, NJ--(Marketwired - Jan 23, 2014) - Kessler Foundation, a nonprofit organization that changes the lives of people with disabilities through research and employment initiatives, released a nationwide public service announcement (PSA), "Walk Away from No." The PSA features a man getting out of his wheelchair and walking with the help of robotics.
"'Walk Away from No' is a very powerful PSA that creates awareness of the research advances that Kessler Foundation is helping to bring to the market to increase independence for people with disabilities," said Rodger DeRose, president and chief executive officer of Kessler Foundation. "Viewers will be inspired to question their own perceived limits. People in wheelchairs will see that they, too, may walk away from 'no.' And the 56 million Americans living with disabilities will be reminded that discoveries are being made every day to improve their quality of life."
The individual featured in the PSA is Paul Thacker, a former professional snowmobile athlete who was paralyzed in a practice jump. He is walking in a device known as Ekso -- a robotic, battery-powered exoskeleton -- just one of the devices researched by Kessler Foundation.
The Foundation studies new ways to improve mobility and cognition in individuals with spinal cord injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury and other conditions. Robotics is just one of the techniques being tested by Foundation researchers to help individuals with spinal cord injury regain mobility. Research at the Foundation examines how walking with robotics, as opposed to sitting in a wheelchair, improves health so that individuals with paralysis will soon be able to stand and walk in their communities.
"People paralyzed by a traumatic injury are often told that they will never walk again and will have to learn how to adapt to life in a wheelchair," said DeRose. "They think that the days of looking others in the eye and reaching high shelves are over. But now, through this PSA, we can change the perception of what's possible. Robotic technology is proving that the impossible no longer exists."
"Walk Away from No," available in English and Spanish, is currently airing on television stations across the U.S.
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 KesslerFoundation.org.