Your Resource Connection August 2020

Your Resource Connection

The needs of consumers and families can be complex and at times seem never ending.  Therapists, social workers and caregivers naturally find themselves in the role of helper.  Although we strive to do the best for those we support, it is unrealistic that this care will remain in place through the entirety of a person’s journey.  People must learn to access resources naturally occurring in their community in order successfully navigate life.  Within our newsletter series, we hope to share with you relevant community resources – everything from housing to transportation to make these challenges a little bit easier for you or someone you know.

If you have a resource you’d like featured in an upcoming newsletter, please email us details at resources@mindsmatterllc.com.

ONLINE CBIS Training Now Available

Self-paced online Certified Brain Injury Specialist training

communityworks, inc. is proud to announce that we have recently launched a self-paced online training platform for Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS) training.

Our online training allows individuals immediate access to all 12 training modules (for a year!), study guides, flash cards, and more. Trainees also have ongoing access to the trainer to answer questions and touch base throughout their training.

Why train through communityworks, inc? Our training is self-paced and training videos feature brain injury rehabilitation expert Erica Bates, MS, CCC-SLP, CBIST. Erica has over a decade of experience leading brain injury rehab teams to optimize functional outcomes in both inpatient and outpatient settings.  Erica is currently pursuing her PhD in Rehabilitation Science through the University of Kansas. Erica is Vice President of Services at Minds Matter, LLC. Minds Matter, LLC employs over 100 therapists and is the country’s leading agency on community based brain injury rehabilitation and has earned international recognition for its person centered approach and functional outcomes.

For more information click here

To celebrate this launch, we are giving our email subscribers an unbelievable discount – apply promo code CBIS2020 for a 40% discount on the price of training!
Act quickly – this promo code expires Saturday, September 19th.

Current Events

2020 SACK Online Conference

The Year of Adaptive Challenges
Sat, Sep 26, 2020 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM CDT

•    9:00 AM Opening and Welcome
•    9:30 – 10:30 AM Recycled Art as Therapy w/Anthony Frischenmeyer
•    11:00 AM – 12:30 PM Kansas Crip Camp Hippies Panel
•    1:30 – 3:00 PM Kansas Young Guns Panel
•    4:00 – 5:00 PM Closing Conversation – Ed O’Malley, KLC
•    8:00 – 9:00 PM Evening Energizer with Stephanie Sanford

There is NO COST to attend this online conference. But if you would like a package of materials shipped to you, you will need to register. Sales ends on Sep 26, 2020

Registration link.
https://tinyurl.com/yytl59rk
*Also available on the SACK Facebook event page

Going the Distance Run for Brain Injury is now a VIRTUAL event

Participate when and where you like, in a manner that is safe and
comfortable for you.
Help support the Brain Injury Association of Kansas & Greater Kansas City
and register for the virtual run: https://www.biarun.org/register. We
will mail you a colorful T-shirt, bib and finisher’s medal in September or upon
receipt of registration, if you register after September.
Going the Distance is the Brain Injury Association of Kansas and Greater Kansas City’s largest
fundraiser. Your support impacts the thousands of individuals who contact us each
year:
  •  By providing information, referrals and a sympathetic ear
  • By offering conferences/seminars for healthcare professionals, and individuals living with brain injuries, and their loved ones
  • By advocating for legislation that makes life better for the 21,000+ individuals living in our communities who have sustained brain injuries
  • If you prefer, you can donate to BIAKS-GKC by going to www.biaks.org and click on DONATE.
For more information, contact bjacobson@biaks.org
Resources

Going Virtual: A Tip Sheet Series Part 1

Effective Video Conferencing: Tips for Persons with Brain Injury
We’re all trying to adjust to video conferencing. Whether for support groups, appointments with doctors and therapist, or as a way to see your friends and family, we’re lucky to have this technology. But using it can be tricky, especially for people with brain injury who may struggle with processing delays, speech impairments, solving problems and being flexible. This cheat sheet is designed to provide hints and reminders about how to make the most out of your meetings. But remember: webinars or online support group formats and functionality may differ depending on the meeting type and platform used (GoTo Meeting, Zoom, WebEx, etc.).

Get Ready Early

  • Test your hardware and internet connection before the meeting to make sure everything works; most video conferencing apps will help you test your microphone, webcam, and speakers to confirm that they’ll work during the meeting.
  • Make sure you have any passwords you might need.
  • Close tabs or applications you don’t need during the call to improve video performance, especially on older computers.
  • Position yourself in a quiet place with your light source in front of you, think about what’s behind you, and minimize distractions, like pets or other people.
Remember: Everyone Can See and Hear You
  • Make sure what you say and how you act is appropriate to the conversation and for the group.  Mute your microphone as a habit. That way you can cough, clear your throat, and avoid unexpected background noise like a dog barking. This tip is for video as well; if you need to do something, and you are just listening, better to mute the video than distract the audience.
  • Do your best to pay attention. It is pretty obvious to everyone on the call if you are distracted or start doing something else while someone else is talking.
  • Behave and dress for the call the same way you would for the in-person meeting.
Respect the Group and Use the Tools You Have to Contribute
Make introductions, and identify yourself when you start speaking.
  • Do your best to pay attention. It is pretty obvious to everyone on the call if you are distracted or start doing something else while someone else is talking.
  • If the video conference has a “chat” feature, you can use it to ask questions or make comments during the meeting without interrupting anyone who is speaking.
  • Don’t use the chat box to goof off with anybody or send messages you wouldn’t want the whole group to see.
Good Communication on Video Calls
  • View the calls as an opportunity to sharpen your listening skills. Demonstrate active listening by using facial expressions and occasional head nods to let everyone know you are paying attention. Keep notes about points you might want to make later.
  • Eye contact is an important signal to the others that you see and hear them. It can be tricky with video calls to know where to look; but one thing’s for sure, don’t look at yourself.
  • Signal when you want to talk by raising your hand.
  • Speak clearly and watch how fast you speak, and don’t forget to unmute yourself! And speak at your normal volume — there’s no need to shout.
Get the Most Out of a Video Conference Call
  • Don’t say what comes to mind when it comes to mind.  Wait until it’s your turn, or until you have several things to say. Use the WAIT (why am I talking) tip to think about what you share and why. Ask yourself:
  • What is the purpose behind what I’m about to say?
  • Is there a question I could ask to help me better understand what’s being said?
  • Is it my turn to share?
  • Is this the time to share? Is what I want to share on topic?
  • Don’t divert the conversation away from what’s being talked about just because, “that reminds me of a time when…”
  • If you do speak up, don’t start rambling.   If you have a hard time self-monitoring that, watch for clues from others that you may be getting off topic.

Going Virtual: A Tip Sheet Series Part 2

Hosting a Video Conference: Tips for Support Group Leaders
We’re all trying to adjust to video conferencing. Whether for support groups, appointments with doctors and therapist, or as a way to see your friends and family, we’re lucky to have this technology. But using it can be tricky, especially for people with brain injury who may struggle with processing delays, speech impairments, solving problems and being flexible. This tip sheet is designed to provide hints and reminders about how to make the most out of your meetings.

Meeting Technology

  • Practice with whatever technology you use. Practice, practice, practice. The more familiar you are with it, the better prepared you will be to troubleshoot any technical issues that come up. They will arise because no technology is perfect.
  • Offer to help test/practice the technology. Send a link to the platform’s instructions for reference – most platforms offer this. Encourage participants to review this information in advance to help them feel more comfortable.
  • Whatever platform you use, send participants simple, clear instructions for accessing and participating in the meeting including date and start/end time.  E.g. review the bottom of your screen and click on the red microphone icon to mute or unmute yourself. Click on the video icon to start your video camera.
  • If possible, appoint someone as your tech back up – one person is the meeting facilitator, one person is tech support – troubleshooting, etc.
Getting Started
  • Provide an opportunity for everyone to introduce themselves verbally, and call on them one by one so they know who goes next. Give them some guidance about what to say. i.e., name, whether they are someone with a BI, or a family member and one other item, such as if this is their first time in an online meeting, a Ask people to mute their microphone if they’re not speaking.
  • Before the end of the group, ask if people came with something they hoped to get support for. If any urgent needs arise, save other topics for the future.
Holding the Meeting
  • Show and review the group’s ground rules, and remind participants about them when you need to.  For example, if someone appears to not be focusing on the group, make a general statement such as “There may be other things getting your attention right now, so remember one of our ground rules is staying present in the group while we’re together.”
  • Be prepared for some uncomfortable silence after asking a question; sometimes people forget they’re muted.
  • Remind and encourage people who are shy about speaking to use the chat box if they have something to say or ask, and make sure to monitor the chat box.
Wrapping It Up
  • Summarize the topics that were discussed and alternatives that were chosen. Highlight any positive observations or solutions that came up.
  • Ask those who have been quiet if they have any thoughts or observations to offer the group. Sometimes all it takes is an invitation to speak, but participation is voluntary and everyone can choose to just listen.
  • Before everyone leaves, offer a way to bring the group to closure. You might ask everyone to say a word or something they are feeling about attending the group. Be sure to invite people to come back and give the dates/times for next meeting.
Facilitator Tips
  • Keep the phone number and access for the meeting handy, in case you need to call in because of poor audio quality or an unstable internet connection.  If you call in while staying on the computer video, turn your computer ‘speakers’ off. This is different choosing ‘mute’. If you’re on both the computer and the phone there will be a loud echo that will make it impossible for people to hear each other.
  • As people introduce themselves, write down the name that goes with the identifier that is showing on the screen, since these might be phone numbers or something other than a name. This will you use people’s names and facilitate everyone getting a chance to speak.
  • If too many people are try speaking at the same time, mute all and ask people to raise their hand (virtually or by waving their hand) and unmute them one by one. Tell the members you are doing this.

Guide to Hosting

For more information from the Brain Injury Association on hosting an online group, meeting, or discussion visit www.bianc.net