Traumatic Brain Injuries
We envision a society where all people with Traumatic Brain Injuries, live free from abuse, neglect and exploitation and are empowered through self-determination and self-advocacy.
What We Do
- Provide information and referral services on disability-related issues to people with TBI or their families and friends.
- Provide assistance and self-advocacy skill training to people with TBI to assist them in addressing disability rights issues.
- Provide representation to protect the rights of people with TBI and their families in certain disability rights issues.
- Investigate disability-based complaints of service providers or other organizations providing services to people with TBI.
- Identify and address systemic issues within the TBI service system.
- Provide education, training, and outreach to the community about the disability rights of people with TBIs.
What is a TBI
A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is defined as a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain. The severity of such injury may range from “mild,” meaning a brief change in mental status or consciousness, to “severe,” meaning an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury. A TBI may impact balance, coordination, attention span, short or long term memory, stamina, ability to speak clearly and the ability to control emotions.
When We Can Help
- You are being discriminated against because of a TBI.
- Your child has a TBI and is not doing well at school.
- You are having difficulty finding or keeping a job, or being discriminated against at work, because of a TBI.
- You were denied Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, or other public benefits.
- You are being discriminated against by your housing provider because of your disability.
- You are having problems getting Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Independent Living Services
- You are having problems getting Assistive Technology (like medical equipment, wheelchairs, etc.)
- You have a TBI and want to live more independently.
- You need housing, assistive technology, or other types of services.
- You (or someone you know) is in prison, jail, or other facility and you are not getting medical or other needed services due to your TBI.
Words to Know
Abuse is inappropriate treatment of an individual. It includes physical, psychological, emotional, and sexual abuse. Neglect is the refusal or failure of a caregiver to provide for the needs of a child or vulnerable adult. Neglect includes not providing adequate food, housing, or medical care. Exploitation is taking improper advantage of an individual. It can involve finances, material, labor, or activity.
Assistive technology includes any technology that could help you be more successful in school or work, live more independently, improve your health, drive, or otherwise address needs related to your disability. Examples include adapted eating utensils, picture communication boards, radios with special switch devices, screen readers, wheelchairs, electric van lifts, software programs and communication devices.
Disability rights refers to the rights that exist in multiple laws that protect people with disabilities from certain kinds of discrimination. Disability laws cover areas such as employment, housing, education, and access to public services. There are multiple federal and state laws that apply.
Discrimination is the unfair or prejudicial treatment of people and groups based on characteristics such as race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or disability.
Independent Living Services (ILS) provides skills and programs based on the belief that adults who have developmental disabilities may be able to live independently in a home of their choosing if they learn independent living skills. There are multiple Centers for Independent Living in South Carolina that provide services free of charge.
Self-advocacy is the ability to speak-up for yourself and the things that are important to you.
Supported decision making (SDM) is a tool that allows people with disabilities to retain their decision- making capacity by choosing supporters to help them make choices. A person using SDM selects trusted advisors, such as friends, family members, or professionals, to serve as supporters.
Vocational rehabilitation services help people with disabilities return to work by helping them gain the skills, training and credentials they need to meet the workforce requirements of employers. In South Carolina, this service is provided by the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department.