It would be interesting to learn how many people living with brain injuries are in management positions in the companies providing services to people with brain injuries living in the community. Not many. I can think of one provider that has an individual with a brain injury in a management slot.
The last company I was affiliated with was the Belvedere Brain Injury Program in Albany, New York, and, sadly, in Syracuse too. In the end, not a pleasant experience. Once their substance abuse program got underway and a plethora of survivors began to complain they were being denied their right to choice, I began advocating for them. I was soon told to leave. I have no reason to believe conditions have changed and no one running the show has a brain injury. But this affront aside, the larger picture begs the question, how many people with brain injuries are in management positions in companies like Belvedere? Given that the answer is hardly any, the next question is,Why not?
Is one of the reasons why not may be that many still cling to the belief that those who live with brain injuries can’t do the work? Not so. Bob Woodruff, as good and decent a man as God ever created, lives with a brain injury and is back at ABC News dazzling in his work as always. Is another reason that some companies know that someone with a brain injury might not take kindly to the way survivors are treated by the company? It’s kind of like creating a group of companies to provide services for veterans and not having any veterans on staff.
Keep in mind, there is such a thing as warehousing in some community-based programs.
Wouldn’t you think that any company providing services to people living with brain injuries would work hard to get people with brain injuries on staff because, deep breath now, they might be well suited to tell you what it is like living with a brain injury and thus help you design a more effective program?
Perhaps I’m not the one to ask. After all, I have a brain injury.