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Support Groups and Information

Our HELPLINE: 866-854-4246 


What is Brain Injury
Jody's Story
Video Library
Support Groups 
Conferences, Trainings and Education 
Speakers Bureau
Brain Injury Clubhouse

What is Brain Injury?

For the latest information, please visit the Living With Brain Injury pages on the national Brain Injury Association web site at

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Jody's Story - in Video Format

Jody is a brain injury survivor. She was working as a law enforcement officer when she sustained a traumatic injury in a motor vehicle accident in May, 1995. The video was made in collaboration with the Brain Injury Association of Indiana and through The TBI Planning and Implementation Grant for the primary purpose of providing education on brain injury. The video overviews causes and outcomes from a traumatic brain injury, and tells "Jody's Story" through her struggles and achievements as a brain injury survivor. Jody serves as a active member of the Board of Directors for the Brain Injury Association of Indiana (BIAI).

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Video Library

Click here for a full listing of our video library

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Support Groups

The Brain Injury Association of Indiana welcomes everyone to attend a local support group.

Please see the current list of support groups below. If you are interested in starting a support group in a city or region currently not listed, please contact Interested BIAI Support Group Co-Chairs, Deidre Moore or Mary Osting or call BIAI Central Office at 317-356-7722. 

Why Attend a Support Group Meeting?

The purpose of a support group is to learn more about brain injury and available services by meeting with others who are facing or have faced similar challenges. The essential elements of a support group are:

  • Gather information
  • Share common needs and strengths
  • Provide a place to meet new friends and find new connections in the community
  • Provide a safe place to find courage and take risks
  • Provide an opportunity to socialize
  • Provide and environment where positive and negative views can be expressed without being judged

Support Group Listings:

When: 1st Monday, 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Where: I.U. Dept. of Speech & Hearing, 200 S. Jordan Avenue, Bloomington
Contact: Rebecca Eberle, MA.., CCC-SLP, BC-NCD at or Laura Karcher, M.A., CCC-SLP, CBIS at  Ph. (812) 855-6251

When: 1st Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (March-Dec)
Where: Columbus Regional Hospital, 7 Tower Rehab Unit Dining room; 2400 E. 17th St., Columbus
Contact: Katie Novreske, Jewel Williams or Rebekah Robinson at Ph. (812) 376-5373

When: 2nd Thursday, 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Where: Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital, 4100 Covert Ave., Evansville
Contact: Dawn Westfall at  Ph. (812) 437-6157

Ft. Wayne-Lutheran
When: 3rd Monday, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Where: NeuroSpine and Pain Center (2nd Floor), Lutheran Hospital Campus, 7956 West Jefferson Blvd., Fort Wayne
Contact: Alan Nuenschwander at  Ph. (260) 715-0605
For teens and twenties group with the focus being on socialization and social skills for young brain injury survivors.

Special Ft. Wayne Support Group Event!
Event: Wednesday JULY 20 12noon - 1:30pm @ University of Saint Francis
Click here for the event FLYER (pdf) 
Click here for a MAP (pdf)
RSVP's to:

Ft. Wayne-Parkview Click here for the current FLYER (pdf)
When: 1st Monday, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Where: John F Young Center Located on E. State Street directly across from Parkview Hospital,
2200 Randalia Dr., Ft. Wayne
Contact: Kristin Smith at  Ph. (260) 373-9765 or Alan Nuenschwander at Ph. (260) 715-0605  

Indianapolis-Bridging the Gap
When: 4th Monday, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Where: Neuro Rehab Center, 9531 Valparaiso Ct., Indianapolis
Contact: Samantha Backhaus at or Heather McCann at  Ph. (317) 879-8940.
For adults (age 16 +) who have experienced a brain injury within the last year (or completed formal rehabilitation in the last year) and family members, friends, caregivers

When: 2nd Saturday, 9:00 a.m.
Where: location varies
Contact: Bryan and Janna Downer at  Ph. 317) 357-1567

Indianapolis—Southside/Beech Grove
When: 2nd Monday, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Faith Assembly of God Church, Community Room, 186 Royal Road, Beech Grove
Contact: Julia Pratt at  Ph. (317) 244-4463 or (317) 430-1701

Indianapolis-West side
When: 1st Monday, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Where: Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana, 4141 Shore Dr., Indianapolis
Contact: Elaine and Paul Howard at  Ph. (317) 299-6433

When: 3rd Monday, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Where: Howard Regional Hospital West Campus, Dining Room, 1008 N. Indiana Ave., Kokomo
Contact: Russ and Sue Ragland at  Ph. (317) 877-6807

When: 2nd Saturday at 11:00 a.m.
Where: Kathryn Weil Center, 4125 N. 26th Street, Ste. 400, Lafayette
Contact: Audra Sanders and Cathy Armstrong at or (765) 423-6885

When: 1st Tuesday, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Where: Family Practice Ctr. Dr. Reece, 221 N. Celia Ave., Muncie
Contact: Patt Webb (765) 287-1852

Northern Indiana/Michigan
When: 3rd Wednesday, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Brain Injury Support Group, 2929 Niles Rd., St. Joseph, MI
Contact: Jayne Daniel (269) 208-2862 or Sheryl Haufman (269) 208-1506

South Bend
When: 1st & 3rd Thursday, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Healthwin Hospital, 20531 Darden Rd., South Bend.
Contact: Mary Peachy at (574) 537-4438; Barb Baker (574) 654-8559; or Phyllis Herzog (574) 272-4995

Southeastern Indiana
When: 3rd Thursday, 7:00 p.m. -8:30 p.m.
Where: Southern Indiana Rehab Hospital, Theater, 3104 Blackiston Blvd., New Albany
Contact: Bob and Beverly Setree at Ph. (502) 452-9851 or (502) 819-2542

Terre Haute (Wabash Valley)
When: 3rd Thursday, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Vigo County Main Library (Rm. A downstairs), 7th & Popular Streets, Terre Haute
Contact: David Kuhn at  Ph. (812) 239-3319

When: 2nd Monday, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Good Samaritan Hospital, Eva Hill Auditorium, 520 S. 7th St., Vincennes
Contact: Mary Ann Cazel at  Ph. (812) 885-3011.

If you would like information on how to start a support group in your area, please contact the BIAI office at (317) 356-7722.

About Local Support Networks: 

Indiana is developing support and services related to traumatic brain injury (TBI) for professionals and survivors. A recent federal grant provides opportunity for those who want to be involved in a new step towards changing outcomes of individuals with a TBI.

LSNs will be the single point of entry for individuals dealing with TBI to access support through Brain Injury Association of Indiana support groups, through a directory of TBI providers, and Resource Facilitation. For more information on becoming involved in this collaborative initiative, please contact Christa Peters at

Download the LSN brochures for BloomingtonIndianapolis or  Fort Wayne 

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Conferences, Training and Education

The Brain Injury Association of Indiana provides 2 state-wide conferences each year as well as monthly regional workshops.

• In addition to reviewing the latest research, initiatives and services, topics include:
• Concussion awareness
• Substance Abuse and TBI
• Relationship and TBI

ACBIS: Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists

ACBIS: Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists
Mission: to improve the quality of care through best practices education; based on the belief that well trained staff are necessary to provide the wide array of care required in brain injury services.

History: ACBIS was established in 1996. In a 1990 survey of 565 acute, sub-acute and post acute programs, 75% of the respondents indicated that specialized training is needed for licensed staff and 84% indicated specialized training is needed for non-licensed staff who works with the acquired brain injury population.

Program Overview: Certified Brain Injury Trainer – CBIT – professionals who satisfy the required eligibility criteria, have completed self study of the ACBIS Manual and have passed a national written examination. These individuals provide ACBIS training to CBIS candidates and administer the CBIS exams.

Certified Brain Injury Specialist – CBIS – Professionals or paraprofessionals who have completed the required work experience, attended CBIS training sessions or completed self study of the ACBIS Manual and have passed a national written examination.

Contact our office for trainings and testing schedule.

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TBI Education Training Modules

  • Traumatic Brain Injury  - A training Program for School Personnel in Indiana (large Presentation)
  • Module I : Brain Injury Association of Indiana -Traumatic Brain Injury: A Training Program for School Personnel in Indiana PRE-TEST
  • Module I : Brain Injury Association of Indiana -Traumatic Brain Injury: A Training Program for School Personnel in Indiana PRE-TEST ANSWERS
  • Module II : Understanding TBI
  • Module III : Educational Definitions of TBI
  • Module IV : Returning to School
  • Module V : Planning to Meet the Needs of Students with TBI
  • Module VI : Providing Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support
  • Module VII : Supporting Students with Mild Brain Injury
  • Module VII : Brain Injury Association of Indiana - Traumatic Brain Injury: A Training Program for School Personnel in Indiana POST-TEST ANSWERS
  • References and Resources  

Upcoming Conferences & Training:

BIAI Spring Break Education Conference, March 19, 2011. (9:00a.m. – 4:30p.m.). Clarion Waterfront Hotel and Conference Center. The theme is Reward-Inspire-Educate! Registration and Hotel scholarships available.

Also special track for Support Group Leaders: Review new Support Group materials and resources in an extended workshop.

Click here for brochure and registration form

Fall Research and Education Conference: October 13-14, 2011

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Speakers Bureau

Check back for a Speakers Bureau listing. If you are interested in being listed in our Speakers Bureau, please contact BIAI at (317) 356-7722 or 

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Brain Injury Clubhouse

Brain Injury Clubhouse Logo

For Sharing, Rebuilding and Healing

A Huge Thanks to our Generous Sponsors:


What is a brain injury clubhouse?

A clubhouse is a place where people who have a brain injury come to rebuild their lives. The participants are called members, not patients and the focus is on their strengths not their limitations. Work in the clubhouse, whether it is clerical, data input, meal preparation or reaching out to their fellow members, provides the core healing process. Every opportunity provided is the result of the efforts of the members and staff, who work side by side, in a unique partnership.

For more information on the clubhouse model and please visit 

How is the Central Indiana Brain Injury Clubhouse getting started?

With origins through the Brain Injury Association of Indiana, we have established a task force to begin the process of creating a TBI clubhouse for Indiana. This task force is comprised of professionals from the community, brain injury survivors, and family members of brain injury survivors. The goals of the task force are to conduct a needs assessment, secure funding and location, establish the clubhouse program, and hire a clubhouse director.

Mission Statement

The Central Indiana Brain Injury Clubhouse is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and providing services to empower individuals affected by brain injury through addressing their social and vocational needs.

External Vision Statement

We envision individuals affected by brain injury with enhanced self esteem, self advocacy, personal growth, independence, community involvement, and fellowship.

Internal Vision Statement

We envision the Central Indiana Brain Injury Clubhouse being an effective, accessible, and fiscally responsible organization that will develop premiere programs and services for individuals affected by brain injury.


The Central Indiana Brain Injury Clubhouse develops and provides cognitive support and enhancement programs and services for individuals with brain injury who are unable to return to competitive or full-time employment following the completion of rehabilitation services. 

How can I help or find out more information?

We are currently establishing committees and need your help. You do not need to be a member of the task force to assist on a committee. We are also looking for donations and funding assistance. If you can help or desire more information please contact: Kendra Pierson at

Central Indiana Brain Injury Clubhouse Task Force Members

Dan Chamberlain
Amy Horter
Joe Jacoby
Ed Lay
Karen May
Stacy Payne
Kendra Pierson, President
Michelle McClelland
Elizabeth Samuelson, Vice President
Bonnie Weaver, Secretary

Central Indiana Brain Injury Clubhouse Conceptual Plan

Clubhouse Model Overview

The Clubhouse is a cognitive rehabilitation service of two hours or more in duration, provided for individuals with acquired brain injury who cannot return to competitive employment or full time employment following the completion of their inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services. The Clubhouse offers a variety of rehabilitation opportunities that assist individuals with acquired brain injury to achieve maximum reduction of their disability and restoration to the best functioning level possible. Clubhouse assists individuals in obtaining the supports necessary to function in their living, learning, and working environments. The focus is on helping individuals reach their highest potential individually and within the community. Clubhouse helps to provide monitoring and improvement of deficits, functioning, and performance as it would occur in normalized community settings by simulating a “like community setting.”

The work-ordered day is the heart of the Clubhouse community. Work in and of itself is considered therapeutic. The Clubhouse consists of a series of work units (business, kitchen, and outreach) wherein Clubhouse consumers (called members) and staff work as partners to complete the duties of the unit. Work has profound meaning in the lives of all humans. It gives people a sense of who they are, and it pushes people to identify their own gifts. This is especially important for individuals with acquired brain injury as they often find themselves dealing with cognitive, behavioral, and physical deficits as a result of their injury that prevent them from returning to employment and other activities they previously enjoyed. Clubhouse activities are work-ordered in nature but not work dominated. Work is a means to an end, not an end itself (the end being the goals of treatment, i.e. increasing cognitive skills for community living and work, improved social behaviors for work and home environments, etc). The rehabilitation process is a team effort of members and peer supports, rather than dependence on staff. By working together with staff, members increase independence by learning to make decisions and solve problems.

Membership is an important component of the Clubhouse program. Membership helps to promote a sense of belonging and empowerment. Member ownership, planning, and governance are key program concepts. Members realize that they are depended upon to run the Clubhouse program. The single most significant way to provide rehabilitation for a member is for him/her to experience being needed.

The Clubhouse model focuses on member strengths, talents, and abilities rather than their deficits. This focus, within the context of the work-ordered day, helps members regain self-confidence, self-esteem and responsibility. The Clubhouse is a “no fail” environment where members are allowed to progress at a rate based on their individual level of functioning, while building on each previous success. The Clubhouse is an intentional community, designed to create a restorative environment. The program believes in the potential and productivity of all persons, regardless of disability, and in their right to the pursuit of full citizenship. The Clubhouse provides an environment of support and hope for the enhancement of social, cognitive, and physical skills to help members break the cycle of social isolation and lack of productivity that is so common among adults with severe acquired brain injury.

Clubhouse is also about establishing evolving interpersonal relationships. Everyone forms relationships for the same basic reason: to make the work load a little lighter by working together, and by helping each other to become more tomorrow than we are today. This is ultimately what a Clubhouse is all about. It is true both for members and staff. The mutuality of the relationship is what makes a Clubhouse work.

The Clubhouse model paves the road for employment pursuits, and decreases social isolation. The Clubhouse model is designed to respond directly to the high risks that individuals with acquired brain injury experience including: legal/substance abuse problems, unemployment, depression, and isolation. Outcomes for the Clubhouse model include higher levels of members’ life satisfaction, higher rates of employment than before involvement in the program, and higher levels of functioning at home and within the community. Individuals in the Clubhouse program are typically more severe in terms of level of disability (moderate to severe level of impairment in interpersonal functioning, daily living skills, cognitive abilities, and ability to live, learn, and work in the community), and duration (often require extensive intervention over 1-3 years).

Conceptual Plan at Full Development

Structure of the Work Day

The Clubhouse will be open five days per week from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. Members will begin arriving at the Clubhouse at 8:30 am for coffee and socialization time. A daily community meeting will be held from 9:30 am to 10:00 am where decisions concerning rules for the clubhouse will be made, community outings will be planned, and any other member issues will be discussed. This meeting will be run by a Clubhouse member with all staff and members attending and participating. After this the members and staff, will divide into work units meetings and organize and plan work tasks for the day. Clubhouse members will then complete work within their units until noon. Lunch will be served at 12:00 pm for Clubhouse staff and members for a nominal fee. Work unit tasks will resume at 1:00 pm and commence at 3:00 pm. The Clubhouse will close for the day at 4:00 pm. 

Work Units

Work units include business, kitchen, and outreach. Job tasks in the business unit will include photocopying, faxing, typing, orienting new members, contacting members who have been absent, answering phones, creating and distributing a newsletter, computer work, correspondence, and managing the member database. Kitchen unit tasks will include menu planning, grocery shopping, stocking and clerking a snack bar, cleaning, inventory/purchasing, stocking supplies, and food safety and handling. The outreach unit will consist of environmental maintenance, education, transitional employment, fundraising events, community outings, wellness programs, and parties.

The work done in the Clubhouse is exclusively the work generated by the Clubhouse in the operation and enhancement of the community. No work for outside individuals or agencies, whether paid or not, is acceptable in the Clubhouse. Members are not paid for any Clubhouse work, nor are there any artificial reward systems. All work within the Clubhouse is designed to increase cognition, social skills, generic job skills (arriving on time, thoroughness of job tasks, etc), and to regain self confidence not as training for specific job skills.

Community Growth Opportunities

Additional opportunities for growth and learning will be provided as the Clubhouse community deems appropriate. These may include community reintegration outings, job club, living skills club (eg. money management, time management, and medication management), exercise class, social communication club, arts and crafts, and computer skills. Other possibilities include an advocacy club providing education about brain injury throughout the community and educational opportunities such as a study group for the GED. As funding and staffing allows, the Clubhouse will provide social and recreational programs during weekends and evenings.


The clubhouse will offer its own Transitional Employment program, which will provide members the opportunity to work on job placements in business and industry. As a defining component of the program, the Clubhouse guarantees coverage on all placements during member absences. Placement opportunities will continue to be available to members regardless of their performance. Members will work at the employer’s place of business and are paid the prevailing wage rate, but at least minimum wage, directly by the employer. Placements are part-time and time-limited, generally 15 to 20 hours per week and from six to nine months in duration. The Clubhouse staff trains members for the placement and provides reports concerning the member’s performance. The Clubhouse will also assist and support members to secure and sustain independent and supported employment through the services of a vocational counselor. 

Clubhouse Staff

The Clubhouse will be run by an executive director who will lead the Clubhouse community, manage day to day operations, supervise all staff, and assist with securing funding. The executive director will report to the board of directors and must have a solid commitment to carry out the Clubhouse values and principles. In addition, the director needs to have experience in working with the complex needs of the brain injury population and attend a three-week training program on the Clubhouse model. Additional staff will include work unit coordinators with social service backgrounds. Work unit coordinators will be trained by the executive director on Clubhouse principles and the needs of the brain injury population. Vocational counselors and a transitional employment job coach will also be employed for members to explore community job opportunities as they desire.

The Clubhouse will be staffed to sufficiently engage the members, yet few enough to make carrying out their responsibilities impossible without member contribution. Although Clubhouse staff will be assigned to specific areas, they will all have a generalist role to complete whatever tasks are needed. The Clubhouse community will have one staff person for every seven clubhouse members. It is anticipated that 20 Clubhouse members will be the maximum on a given day that receive services.

Clubhouse Membership Requirements

To be eligible for membership, an individual must have history of an acquired brain injury, be able to participate within the Clubhouse community, handle their own medications, manage personal needs independently, get along with others within the Clubhouse, and be able to stay within the Clubhouse. Behavior contracts will be used as needed. Members cannot be a threat to themselves, others, or the Clubhouse community or they will be asked to leave until their behavior is appropriate. Potential members must have insurance benefits or private pay for services. A sliding pay scale based on the Federal Poverty Guidelines will be used for individuals at or below the poverty level. As funding allows, a scholarship program may be available for members. 

Clubhouse Building and Location

The Clubhouse building will have 100 feet per member (anticipated 2,000 feet needed), available parking, handicapped accessibility, separate male and female bathrooms, a reception area, a dining room and kitchen area, and locked office spaces to protect private member information. The Clubhouse will have its’ own physical space and own identity, including name, mailing address, and phone number. A top priority in selecting a location for the clubhouse will be accessibility to public transportation.


Members of the Clubhouse have the choice of how many days to attend the program each week and the activities they chose to participate in. All members have equal access to every clubhouse opportunity regardless of ability. Members are involved in all written records concerning their clubhouse participation and will sign these documents along with staff members. Immediate re-entry into the clubhouse will be granted after any length of absence unless the member poses a threat to the clubhouse community. All meetings and space within the clubhouse will be accessible to all members and staff. Members have the opportunity to participate in all the work of the Clubhouse, including administration, research, intake and orientation, outreach, hiring, training and evaluation of staff, public relations, advocacy and evaluation of Clubhouse effectiveness.

Family involvement

Family members are not allowed in the Clubhouse. Opportunities for family members to participate may include family member support groups, fundraising, and community outings. If an individual needs a care attendant, the preference is for them to be a non-family member and this person will wait in the reception area until the member requires assistance.

Phase One

Prior to opening the clubhouse to members, the executive director will need three to six months to attend the three week training, set up the physical space, purchase and obtain needed supplies, write policies, create all needed forms for documentation and running the Clubhouse, and develop the specific programs for the Clubhouse. After this start up period, the Clubhouse will open 3 days per week with the additional staff of a part time unit coordinator. The two days the clubhouse is closed the executive director will be recruiting members, evaluating program effectiveness, billing for clubhouse services, obtaining insurance approval, enhancing existing programs, creating new programs, and securing funding. At this time, the clubhouse will be limited to 10-14 members per day. Services offered will be the work ordered day with 1-2 work units (tasks may be combined across units). Members will have the opportunity during this time to participate in the development and help prioritize the growth of clubhouse services.

Phase Two

As the clubhouse grows, the next phase will include opening the clubhouse five days per week and employing three full time work unit coordinators. At this time the clubhouse will be able to provide services to 20 members per day and will have all three above mentioned work units. Employment programs and community growth opportunities discussed above will be added as the community decides and as funding allows. Program development will always be driven by member’s needs and their desires for how they want the clubhouse to expand and grow. As additional services are added employment of a part time vocational counselor and transitional employment job coach will be required.

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