What is a brain injury?

Brain injuries can result from an accident, illness, exposure to a toxic substance, infection or a brain tumor. Having a brain injury could result in a wide range of disabilities including motor, sensory or regulatory impairments, intellectual and/or cognative issues, and/or behavioral and/or emotional problems. The effects of the brain injury are related to the area of the brain that was injured and usually strengths and capabilities of areas no injured are fully maintained. A brain injury may not be visible and difficult to identify.

Tips for Interaction in the Workplace:

  1. Remember that people with brain injuries are individuals first.
  2. Avoid over stimulation to reduce agitation and/or confusion.
  3. Reduce distractions and provide opportunities for breaks.
  4. Work together to set realistic timelines.
  5. Give step-by-step instructions.
  6. Provide written or pictoral directions for tasks with many steps.
  7. Give direction or instructions in more than one way.
  8. Have consistent routines. If the routine is going to change, let the individual know ahead of time.
  9. Try to incorporate frequent repetition of information and emphasize the use of memory cues such as daily logs or calendars.
  10. Maintain calm behaviour in stressful situations.
  11. Demonstrate new tasks.
  12. Give examples to go with new ideas and concepts.
  13. Recognize that individuals are particularly sensitive to stress after a brain injury.
  14. Be flexible about expectations and work towards maximizing opportunities for success.
  15. Be patient.
  16. Focus on achievements and progress.

Assistive Technology for Individuals with a Brain Injury

Disabilities gained as a result of a brain injury can take various forms. For example, a brain injury could result in a hearing, speech or learning disability. Therefore, the type of assistive technology will depend on the type of disability/individual.

There are several technological devices available to help individuals with disabilities maximize their strengths in the workplace. If you need more information please contact WORKink Alberta at 1-866-945-4633.