In keeping with its history of establishing services and supports for people living with the disability of brain injury, The Jason Foundation has been a key initiator of two new projects in Virginia since this time last year.
Post-Secondary Education Program
A community college educational support program for students with brain injuries has been available for several years in California. Since such a program was not available in Virginia, early last year The Jason Foundation initiated talks with New River Community College (NRCC) to establish a similar program for the region. Foundation president, Fran Rooker, facilitated collaboration between NRCC and NeuroRestorative for program development. NRCC's Center for Disability Services is specifically designed for students with learning disabilities, making the partnership with NeuroRestorative, a provider of post-acute rehabilitation services for people with brain injuries, a natural fit. This past fall, the two teamed to begin providing program participants of NeuroRestorative in Blacksburg, Virginia, and other members of the regional community living with brain injury, the opportunity to pursue a college education. For more information, contact Jeananne Dixon, Coordinator, at 540-674-3600 ext. 4358 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Regional TBI Teams For Educational Support
For several years, The Jason Foundation has been aware of statewide public school educational support programs available in 5 other states, which serve students with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The programs provide resources for educators, students, and their parents. The foundation gathered information on these programs for the purpose of identifying an appropriate program to replicate in the Commonwealth.
In 2010, statistics on Virginia children and youth affected by TBI were compiled by the foundation from statewide resources including Virginia Health Information System, Statewide Trauma Registry, Virginia Dept. of Education (VDOE), as well as the Centers for Disease Control. The programmatic and statistical findings were presented at a VDOE meeting in January, 2011, where representatives of various state departments and the Brain Injury Association of Virginia brainstormed ideas for replicating the statewide ‘regional teams’ approach used elsewhere.
Statistical information compiled by The Jason Foundation was used by VDOE to support the need to initiate such a project. The foundation also facilitated communication between Dr. Deborah Pfeiffer, Specialist at VDOE, and program directors in other states. Dr. Pfeiffer solicited participants for 8 regional mini-teams from statewide school districts and the Technical Training and Assistance Centers system (TTAC), resulting in the first annual training workshop in July in Richmond.
The regional teams will serve as resources for educators, building their capacity to serve students with TBI, and provide informational support and advocacy for students and their parents as well. To connect with this project contact Dr. Deborah Pfeiffer at 804-371-4059