August 2, 2019– BIND: Brain Injury Network of Dallas, a 501c3 nonprofit corporation based in Plano, Texas, is excited to announce the publication of “BIND Us Together: Restoring Purpose, Fueling Hope, and Connecting Brain Injury Survivors to the Community.”
About the Book– More than 30 members of the BIND program – survivors of stroke, traumatic brain injury and brain cancer – came together and wrote about the most challenging times of their lives. This book contains incredibly deep stories of perseverance and immeasurable strength. Each member has relived some of their worst days in order to reclaim power of their situation. The ultimate goal of publication is to help others understand the needs of people who have survived a brain injury, and in some way return the purpose and connection BIND members have found by joining this dynamic program. The book is available on Amazon for the Kindle and paperback. All proceeds will be donated directly to supporting BIND program expenses.
Inspired By– Without the drive and organizational leadership of BIND member Jenny T. and editing provided by BIND member Taylor S., “BIND Us Together” would not be possible. Further, the publication of the book was a team effort between more than 30 program members and BIND volunteers like traumatic brain injury survivor and author Donna Valentino, plus photography provided by stroke survivor and long-time BIND volunteer Dean Stone (Spectaveris Inc, owner/operator). Further, the book was created in honor of one of the program’s founding members, James “Jim” Goodman, “without him we may have never found each other.” Before his passing in early 2019, Jim contributed the first story in “BIND Us Together,” titled “Heart attacks, strokes, and cancer….whatever.” The forward was contributed by BIND Founder and Executive Director Valerie Gotcher and acknowledgements were written by Jenny T. The book was also inspired by participation in the Unmasking Brain Injury project, a profound and therapeutic mask-making activity aimed at increasing public awareness and advocacy for brain injury survivors across the globe.
About BIND– The Brain Injury Network of Dallas is a community center for people living with the effects of an acquired brain injury. BIND operates the first and only Brain Injury Clubhouse in the state of Texas, which is its primary tool used to serve survivors. At BIND, staff and program participants, called Members, work together to run all aspects of the program. The BIND Mission is to provide tools and a bridge of support to adult survivors of acquired brain injury so they can reconnect to work, life and the community. BIND is a proud member of IBICA: International Brain Injury Clubhouse Alliance.
To qualify for Membership– Members must be 18 years of age or older, have a documented acquired brain injury, be independent with self-care and use assistive devices independently, be willing to participate in a working community, not be a threat to self or others, and, have transportation to/from BIND in Plano, Texas.
“Monthly support groups have always been a mainstay for overcoming odds and finding solidarity with a community of people who can relate to your life challenges. But for Valerie Gotcher, that simply was not enough when it came to the brain injury survivors’ support group she facilitated for many years while working as a speech therapist. Something felt missing.”
December 4, 2018 – BIND: Brain Injury Network of Dallas, a 501c3 nonprofit corporation based in Plano, Texas, is excited to announce a grant award of $40,000 from The Meadows Foundation to support costs for the Work Readiness Program.
About the Work Readiness Program – Work Readiness is designed to transition individuals with acquired brain injury (including traumatic brain injury, stroke, or brain cancer) from rehabilitation to the workforce and is based on the concept of “Personal Social Adjustment Training” as described by the Texas Workforce Commission. Members in this program receive group training and vocational assessment in addition to participating in the typical work-ordered day at BIND. Work Readiness covers topics across 10-12 weeks related to growth and success in the workplace.
Each Work Readiness program participant will complete the series with a clear employment plan for the future. This includes fulfillment of a well-rounded skills, interests and strengths inventory that translates to the work setting. Additionally, participants will build physical and cognitive endurance and have the opportunity to identify and practice functional compensatory strategies in a true work environment. By engaging in productive work, BIND Members address appropriate social behaviors and develop skills needed to live and work more independently.
To qualify for Work Readiness: Members must be 18 years of age or older, have a documented acquired brain injury, be independent with self-care and use assistive devices independently, be willing to participate in a working community, not be a threat to self or others, commit to attend the program 2-3 days/week for 10-12 weeks, and, have transportation to/from BIND in Plano, Texas.
About BIND – The Brain Injury Network of Dallas is a community center for people living with the effects of an acquired brain injury. BIND operates the first and only Brain Injury Clubhouse in the state of Texas, which is its primary tool used to serve survivors. At BIND, staff and program participants, called Members, work together to run all aspects of the program. The BIND Mission is to provide tools and a bridge of support to adult survivors of acquired brain injury so they can reconnect to work, life and the community. BIND is a proud member of IBICA: International Brain Injury Clubhouse Alliance.
About The Meadows Foundation – The Meadows Foundation exists to assist people and institutions of Texas improve the quality and circumstances of life for themselves and future generations. The Meadows Foundation strives to exemplify the principles of its founder in addressing basic human needs by working toward the elimination of ignorance, hopelessness and suffering; protecting the environment; providing cultural enrichment; encouraging excellence; and promoting understanding and cooperation among people.
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We’re pleased to announce that Warrior Brain Training is coming to Plano in August & October! Through a collaborative effort between BIND, The Center for Brain Health and the Plano Public Library, this interactive brain performance training will be provided free of charge to Veterans and Active Duty Military Service Members.
UPDATE: The August Warrior Brain Training event is FULL. Registration is currently open for Veterans, Active Duty Military Service Members AND their caregivers for the October 10/11 session.
Register today – space is limited:
Getting to know Sierra Waddell: Today we welcome our new Program Director to BIND. Enjoy the Q & A, prepared by our Members!
How would your friends describe you in 3 words?
If you had a warning label, what would it say?
- Caution: Do not over-stimulate, or she will self-destruct
- Shane & Shane
Favorite songs to listen to while:
- Road trip = musicals (movie/Broadway)
- Cleaning House = Old Country (classic)
- Workout = 90s / early 2000s
Where did you go to school?
- Undergrad: University of Arkansas in Fayetteville Bachelors of Science Education
- Graduate: UT Southwestern Master of Clinical Rehabilitation Counselling
Where did you grow up?
- Lubbock, Texas
Do you have any siblings?
- I have 1 older sister
Are you married?
- Yes, to Adam for 3 ½ years and we currently live in Plano
- Milo was born 9/12/2017 – 7lbs 1oz and 21.5 inches long
- Lady a Sheppard mix, she was a wedding present to each other. We filled out the rescue application while on our honeymoon.
Where have you worked?
- I worked for Puzzle Pieced Kids as community outreach coordinator
What was your favorite thing about your last job?
- Watching kids discover language
What’s your favorite saying?
“Live to love, love to serve.”
~BLOG post completed by BIND Members
BIND was pleased to host 2 student interns from the World of Work program at UTD’s Career Center. Clearly a reflection of their dedication to learning, Aamna and Arjun elected to spend their Spring Break with our organization instead of taking a vacation. Here’s what they shared about us after their experience:
“I wanted to let you know I had a wonderful time at BIND, and wanted to thank you for giving me the opportunity to see what great work BIND is doing. I’m very grateful that you took time out of your busy schedule to accommodate us last week.
First of all, I would like to thank you and all the members for the lovely card. It was such a nice surprise and made my time spent at BIND more special. I would easily say getting to know the members and learning to play Rummikub will be something I’ll always look back on. Karl will be happy to hear that it has now become one of my favorite board games, as he was the one who first taught it to Arjun and I, on our first day.
Within those short three days, I became very easily acquainted with the members and the processes. Personally, for me, it was an eye-opening experience getting to know the members who went through some tough periods with their injuries, and after all that, they were reaching out to support others who have gone through the trauma of it all. The atmosphere at BIND was simply inspiring, and remarkable. It was interesting to see how the different setup was running so efficiently. It just proved that you don’t always need to follow the book, and sometimes make another path for yourself.
I would like to thank you again for allowing us to join you at BIND and letting us get involved in it. It was a wonderful opportunity, and I am glad I spent my spring break at BIND. Seeing how BIND is giving back to the community, I would love to come back again and volunteer if you would have me. I am eager to lend my hand.
My warm regards to all the members.”
“I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with you and the BIND this past week. I really appreciate the time you took out of your day to show me this amazing side of brain trauma that I did not know existed.
What struck me most about the BIND and its members was how much everyone operated like a family. The friendly banter and teasing between members and the overall friendliness and openness really made me feel welcome within the group. I was able to learn about the difficulties that come with TBI’s and how the organization and fellowship meant something different, but equally as important, to each member. It truly was an eye opening experience.
Thank you again for this incredible experience. I would love to come back to the BIND as a volunteer. Please let me know if I can in any way be of help to you and the organization.”