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Since 1982, we have helped to maximize the quality of life for individuals affected by brain injury through education, support, advocacy and increasing public awareness. The association consists of both community members and professionals, and we are continually growing and expanding our resources to better assist those affected by brain injury, and to prevent brain injury through education.
Individual, professional and organizational membership in the Association has grown over the years. Survivors and professionals work together to serve our catchment area which includes the counties of Middlesex, Oxford, Elgin, Huron and Perth. Research indicates there may be at least 3,000 people living with the effects of brain injury in this area, of whom about half are in the London area. From a prevention perspective, the total population of 740,000 must be considered as a target audience.
The services which have been developed to date include: public education and awareness, information resource library, The Monarch (quarterly journal), support groups, the Peer mentor program, an annual weekend camp for survivors, a bicycle helmet distribution program?, social events and referral to other community services. The Association continually looks for other ways to meet members' needs. Over the past ten years, the Association’s annual June conference has attracted an average attendance of almost 120 professionals and survivors.
On a broader level, we are very active members of the Ontario Brain Injury Association's Community Support Network. We have conducted advocacy at the provincial level. Examples include a presentation to the Cabinet Committee on Social Development at Queen's Park, two briefs to the Health Services Restructuring Commission, a presentation to hearings on the Automobile Insurance Rate Stability Act, a presentation on the Ontarians with Disabilities Act and a legal analysis on mandatory bicycle helmet use. Our objective in these activities is to keep the needs of persons with brain injuries in the minds of the elected officials as they seek ways to meet needs with the resources they have.
While support services to survivors and their families are a major part of our work, prevention and education are also important, and we promote safety wherever we can. In recognition of our work in bicycle helmet promotion, we received a Road Safety Award from the Ministry of Transportation for our role in organizing the largest helmet sale in Canada (according to published reports). We have participated with other agencies over the years to promote Safe Kids Week. We have conducted a head protection workshop in an industrial setting (a first for our agency), and continue to offer head protection sessions to groups around the area.
Over the years, there have been many changes the association, our overall purpose and goals, and to the services provided.
- peer and community support
- information about available services, resources and programs
- public awareness of the causes, impact and prevention of brain injury
- advocacy on behalf of those affected"
The Brain Injury Association of London & Region is managed by the 12 members of the Board of Directors as well as a number of standing committees.
There are new changes in membership options. Membership with our association and the OBIA is now linked. Information on how to become a member with this option is available on the membership page.
As an Association, we do not receive any public funding to do all of the work that we do. As such, the Association relies on volunteers, sponsorship, fundraising, donations, Monarch advertising and membership fees. We are in good standing with the Canada Revenue Agency.
Volunteers are essential to the effective functioning of the Association. They are board and committee members, office and library help, support group leaders, fundraisers, newsletter circulation workers or presenters at public events.
More information on volunteering, sponsorship or donating is available in the How To Help section.
We cooperate with other agencies in attempting to ensure an optimum level of service to persons with brain injuries in particular and to disabled persons in general. In London, we are members of the Interagency Coalition for the Disabled. In Southwestern Ontario, we have been members of the Acquired Brain Injury Network of Southwestern Ontario since its inception in 1997. We are also members of organizations relating to fundraising and volunteer management.
We have contacts with several professional schools at The University of Western Ontario: social work, nursing, occupational and physical therapy, medicine, law and communicative disorders. Our role with each school varies. At times we provide internships for students. We are also approached to provide research subjects. These valuable contacts provide students with a first hand opportunity to gain information about our Association and the problems faced by persons living with the effects of brain injury.
We have affiliation status with the Ontario Brain Injury Association. The OBIA has developed a new provincial survey to gather data on the status of people living with a brain injury. More information on the development of this confidential survey, or to acquire a copy to complete is available here.
The Ontario Brain Injury Association and participating community brain injury associations have formally linked their organizations to become the Community Support Network.
CSN's main purposes are to provide a stronger voice for people living with acquired brain injury and to develop and produce province-wide programs. To date, those programs include: Peer Support Mentoring Program for People Living With ABI; ABI Directory of Services; Biennial Provincial Conference (October 2009); Dual Membership.
All of these initiatives are developed by committees of the OBIA Advisory Council, which is made up of representatives from regional brain injury associations and OBIA
A full list of community associations and contact information can be found on our Affiliations page