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Snow capped Mount Rainier on a cloudless day with forest of pine trees in the foreground. The words" Brain Network Washington Chapter"

BRAIN NETWORK
WASHINGTON CHAPTER

Brain Network was founded in California in 2022, and its first chapter was established in

Washington State in 2023.

 

The Washington State, chapter pilot aims to bridge the gap in support services for brain injury survivors, empowering them to lead more fulfilling and meaningful lives post-injury.  

 

Recognizing the need for regional targeted support for the

brain injury community, 

the goals we meet include:

  • Accessing the landscape of brain injury services and resources in Washington State. 

  • Identifying the gaps and barriers in survivors' access to support and rehab services. 

  • Establishing an online and in-person support network that enhances the quality of life, independence, and social integration for brain injury survivors.

  • Providing outreach and educational initiatives to increase awareness about brain injuries and available resources within local communities.

  • Launching community events and outreach campaigns to increase awareness about brain injuries, dispel myths, and provide information about available resources within the community.

  • Providing advocacy for legislative changes that positively impact the lives of survivors. 

Our pilot project in Washington State serves as a model for national replication, assisting individuals impacted by acquired brain injury in developing greater resilience, self-sufficiency, and community connections.

BRAIN NETWORK SUMMER FAIR

Chorus at Summer Fair 2023
Brain Network Summer Fair 2022
Fishing poles_edited
Adler Gersch Malisa Carter at Fair_edited

The annual Brain Network Summer Fair, a public awareness campaign, extends an invitation to the entire state of Washington. This event will feature expert-led educational talks, printed resources, and opportunities to connect with Washington state support groups for survivors of Acquired Brain Injuries (ABIs), their families, and the public with the goals of:
 

  • Educating the public to promote cultural and social change, acceptance, and understanding

  • Increasing awareness through education to prevent brain injuries

  • Engaging with the vast community of individuals living with brain injuries, as  well as their families and friends

  • Advocating for those whose lives have been impacted by brain injury

image of a man and a women standing behind a case of fishing poles with a house in the background

Larry Stamp, Founder of Rods And Reels and Brain Network
Advocacy Director, Michele Kauffman

logo of Rods and reels in need

Rods & Reels, a Washington-based 501(c)3 organization, generously contributed 50 fishing poles to the Brain Network. A significant number of these poles were distributed during the 2023 Summer Fair, with plans to provide more to members of our community at upcoming events.

Brain injury Awarenss Day Event

 Is dedicated to survivors and families impacted by brain injuries. This event aims to raise awareness, provide support, and foster a sense of community among individuals navigating the challenges of brain injury.

Event Highlights:

  • Inspirational survivor stories

  • Networking opportunities to connect with others in the brain injury community

  • Guest speakers sharing insights and expertise on brain injury awareness

Image of a sheet cake with white frosting, a rainbow and sun with the words Brain Networks Awareness Day

The Brain Network hosts
monthly and quarterly in-person events

 

​ Tailored for the brain injury community. These gatherings offer opportunities for education, socialization, making new connections,

and providing mutual support.

An image of a diverse group of people standing together on a path in a park with trees and a lake behind them
a room with round tables and people standing and sitting with a Christmas tree and informational papers on a table
A young man with red hair standing with his arm around an elder woman with white umbrellas in the background
Two men and a woman in the middle smiling in a large conference hall
A diverse group of people sitting at a picnic table under a wood shelter in a park with trees outside
A group of four women standing with a dog outside, smiling, one with a walker
image of a hand holding a book with the title Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury

Seattle Disabilty Commission

Our Advocacy Director and Treasurer, Michele Kauffman, has been confirmed as a Seattle Disability Commissioner in 2024.

 

The Commission advises city officials on disability issues, advocating for inclusivity and equality. Michele is leading efforts to provide free bus passes and two years of tuition for disabled community members, reflecting our organization's commitment to social justice. 

A woman and a young man with a red beard smiling, holding up labels with My Diffibility Does'nt Define Me", in front of a banner with "Brain Network" written on it.

Brain Network's participants:

Michele Kauffman, Advocacy Director and Treasurer with David Long, Art Director

Two women sitting behind a table with the signaage " Seattle Disability Commission

Celebrating Inclusion in Community: 50 years of the Rehabilitation Act

The Brain Network was both an exhibitor and an active participant in the planning of "Celebrating Inclusion in Community: 50 Years of the Rehabilitation Act" event at Magnuson Park. This event commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act and featured a diverse showcase of community resources.

World Affairs Council

Michele Kauffman, representing the Seattle Disability Commission and Brain Network, was invited by The World Affairs Council to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program.

 

This program focuses on "Women as Drivers of Social and Economic Change" in the Western Hemisphere, organized by the Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program and World Learning. Its objectives include understanding women's contributions to social and economic advancement, reviewing the roles of women leaders in addressing community needs, showcasing women-led initiatives, and examining trends empowering women to drive social change through leadership training and partnerships.

A diverse group of women and one man standing, waiving and smiling. The man and one woman are kneeling on the floor in front of the other people

WA State Advocacy

The Brain Network in Washington State advocates for the needs of the brain injury community by actively participating in legislative hearings and educating lawmakers.

 

Through these efforts, we aim to ensure that the voices and concerns of individuals with brain injuries are heard and considered in the legislative process.

 

By raising awareness and sharing personal experiences, the Brain Network strives to promote positive change and improve support services for the brain injury community.

2024 Accomplishments:

Nothing About Us Without Us Act, HB1541: 

After two years of testifying to state legislature, this landmark law was signed into law and ensures a percentage of disabled people participate on any government or NGO panel

Tommy Manning Act, - passed out of the house into appropriation where it was not selected to be heard this year

 

Brain Network joined Brain Injury Community Alliance, BICA to testify in support of HB2248 funding community support programs, particularly in-person programs, for the brain injury community in WA.

WA State Capital building with cherry blossoms on trees
Michele Kauffman  Testifying on behalf of WAHB1988. Image of two women speaking at a desk with microphones in a courtroom with an audeince in chairs behind them
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