The Brain Injury Association of Windsor and Essex County (BIAWE) received a grant of $38,500 from the Government of Canada and United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County to hire a Virtual Support Coordinator and provide technology as part of its “Brain Connect” program; to support those with an acquired brain injury through this Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. This is part of the federal government’s Emergency Community Support Fund.
Many people with an acquired brain injury (ABI) are socially isolated due to low income, lack of family and social support, cognitive barriers and few opportunities for social interaction with those who understand their unique needs.
Practical tools are needed to support this vulnerable population. This program invests in technology, training and remote support to allow clients to access services during a time when face-to-face contact is discouraged. Staff will focus on the safe use of social media tools. Providing practical strategies will increase their functionality, improve long term health outcomes and reduce the need for face-to-face service during this pandemic.
BIAWE will do this by both providing equipment, in-house technology and educating participants on the use of tablets and smartphones. BIAWE will encourage the use of home assistant technology (Google Home, Alexa, etc.) to help overcome barriers created by ABI, particularly as it relates to memory.
Staff will be responsible for providing education and support. They will assist in establishing needs/goals, purchasing devices, teaching skills, and supporting the person in using technology as a tool to function independently. BIAWE has hired a Virtual Support Coordinator who will be responsible for the administration of this project.