Shedding Light on a Hidden Disability

Patient doing rehabBrain injury (BI) is one of the leading causes of death and disability across the globe. Every year, an estimated 1.7 million Americans sustain a BI. And approximately 5.3 million are living with a disability caused by a brain injury.

As discussed in a previous Easterseals blog, a BI is “caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. The top three causes are car accidents, firearms and falls. As with most disabilities, brain injuries are unique to each individual.”

Earlier this fall, Easterseals Crossroads began a partnership with the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana (RHI) to offer a monthly support group aimed at improving the lives of people with brain injuries.

 

BITES Removes Barriers

This group, the Brain Injury Technology Education and Support (BITES) program, is made possible through a generous grant from the Comcast NBCUniversal Assistive Technology Grant Fund.

Patient with dog for rehabilitationEasterseals Crossroads was one of six local Easterseals programs across the country selected for the grant this year. Established in 2011, “the fund supports technology programs and services that benefit children and adults, including veterans living with developmental disabilities.”

Members of the BITES group have access to the most cutting-edge equipment and assistive technology, along with expert guidance to help them cope with the cognitive challenges they face.

“Hopefully, group members will not only incorporate what they learn into their everyday lives, but they will also appreciate these group meetings as social outings,” said Wendy Waldman, the local support network leader at RHI. She will be consulting with Easterseals Crossroads as the BITES program continues.

The support group is a safe environment to practice skills and challenge’s one abilities with the goal of all BITES participants being able to regain as much independence as possible.

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