Check out this great publication/brochure on disability etiquette.
Monday Kick-starter Quote of the Week: A simple, but powerful quote, as today marks the last day of Brain Injury Awareness month. Thank you all for everything you do and being a voice to create awareness, not just this special month, but every day going forward!
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.”
The definition of advocacy:
The act of pleading or arguing in favor of something, such as a cause, idea, or policy; active support.
Whether it is advocating for others or being a self-advocate, advocacy is key cornerstone of creating brain injury awareness. Check out the advocacy section at Brainline.org for some great and thorough articles.
One of the most important things that we can do to spread brain injury awareness, is to discuss brain injury prevention tips and information on brain injury symptoms. A good place to begin is with this article from the CDC outlining the basics. Check it out for yourselves and tell us what you’d add to the list.
Education matters for everyone.
Through educational experiences, we grow personally and professionally, are better able to connect with ourselves and our communities and we gain the tools and the skills we need to help us live our lives to the fullest potential.
Education also can take us places on life’s journey through learning new and developed skill sets. As we refine our skills and develop new ones, the classroom setting helps us achieve goals through encouragement, looking at possibilities, gaining support and comfort, creating a sense of empowerment and so much more.
That’s why education is one of the most critical parts of our mission and vision at the Brain Energy Support Team (BEST). We are passionate and excited about providing a robust series of classes aimed to support, energize and inspire individuals with brain injury and their families.
Beginning January 2014, our BEST Learning Center located in University Place, Washington, is ready to help BEST participants kick off the New Year with a wide variety of classroom programming. Led by experienced and supportive instructors, here’s a taste of just some of the educational experiences that we have available:
And that’s not all. Take advantage of the BEST Cyber Sale and save big! Register for classes beginning now and up until December 24, 2013 and receive 50% off all class registrations! Register between December 25, 2013 and January 5, 2014, and receive an early registration discount of 20% off for classes that are scheduled for or begin in January or February.
Now is the perfect time to take advantage of to giving the gift of education for yourself or a loved one.
Registration is a breeze through our handy online registration system right here on this website. To learn more, see full class descriptions, dates, times and prices, click HERE. Do you have questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help you with your educational needs and look forward to meeting you at our beautiful new learning facility.
Here’s to the New Year!