Today’s hero is an innovator and forward-thinker who sees a bright technological future for not only
individuals with brain injury, but for an entire community of people who could use extra support for
their life and work endeavors.
In fact, she thinks we’ve really only just begun.
Meet Kathy Moeller, founder of Cognitive Harmonics, Inc., an organization that offers robust life and
work management systems specifically designed for people with brain injury. The BRAIN BOOK ©
System and My Bionic Brain © is a specially customized life/manager/day planner that provides tools
and resources to meet the needs of individuals with brain injury. Both of these entities are considered
learning systems that teaches specific skills that compensate for issues that are most commonly involved
in brain injury. These skills and tools have a real world, real life, day-to-day application that creates
confidence, empowerment and success.
According to Moeller, in essence, her systems can be seen as a cognitive prosthetic. Whether the device
is electronic or on paper, it functions like an external memory, customizable to each person’s experience
Moeller created the programs after her own brain injury 24 years ago in a seriousl car accident.
Moeller’s vehicle collided head on with a bus. Moeller obtained a traumatic brain injury, broken
bones and other injuries as a result. When she emerged from a coma, Moeller was instantly met with
“I lost my reading ability, I couldn’t dress myself and I was angry and agitated,” shares Moeller. “I was
horribly confused and disoriented.”
After her hospitalization, Moeller went to a brain injury rehabilitation center in Concord, California,
where she received five months of extensive residential care and support, 24/7. Nine more months
followed of outpatient treatment. Post-treatment, Moeller, a marketing executive from New York prior
to her injury, decided to return to work.
“I assumed I could go back to work. I started back as a receptionist. That didn’t work very well,” says
More jobs followed as well as more increasing frustration. While in the midst of her journey, she spent
one year putting a personal brain book together to help her balance, manage and support her work and personal
“It was a like a daytimer on steroids,” says Moeller. “It had memory notes, recommendations and
problem identification, like noise and light. The brain book helped to clarify and verify my experience
and gave supportive tools to help.
Moeller shared her brain book with various organizations; the system was met with enthusiasm, intrigue
and huge support. Moeller’s peers reached out to her to help them create their own brain books, using
her model. Her methods have been shared with hundreds of people and has been formally taught since
the early 1990’s.
In the mid-nineties, Moeller formed Cognitive Harmonics, Inc., to make her system available to those
who needed support; in 2010, along several key collaborative partners, her system is now a robust and
sophisticated iPad app.
Through books, software and the app, Moeller’s products maintain a similar and important thread—all
are individually driven and applicable to each person’s unique and/or complex needs.
Moeller is also a proponent of the peer support network in using the products. She’s noticed that people
who are using the tools are calling one another peer for assistance or support. Moeller sees this kind of
connection amongst peers instrumental in creating success and empowerment.
Moeller’s products have been used by vocational rehabilitation centers in multiple states along with
a number of VA groups and centers. It’s also available to individuals in the private sector. As Moeller
presses on with growing the products technologically and creating even more innovation, she is finding
that the system is applicable to the autism community as well as other conditions.
To Moeller, it’s just the start.
“With technology improving exponentially, we have in all of our futures the ability to solve unsolvable
problems,” explains Moeller. “It is within our grasp; we just haven’t put all of the pieces together yet.
We need to keep pushing forward, based on what individuals need and want.”
“Anything is possible. It is going to happen.”