BIAV works with policy makers on the federal, state, and local levels to grow services for people affected by brain injury. We help persons with brain injury, family caregivers, and providers to stay informed about policy priorities and provide assistance with contacting legislators to ask for their support on crucial issues affecting the brain injury community.
At the close of the 2017 General Assembly session, the news was okay for brain injury. We didn’t really gain anything, but our biggest battle was not losing funding that had been given last year for new community based brain injury services. DARS had called for a 7% decrease in brain injury funding, in response to Governor McAuliffe’s Spending Reduction Plan of October 2016. Advocates were able to convince Governor McAuliffe that the money needed to be returned to the budget for 2018. Additionally, strong grass roots advocacy with members of the House and Senate facilitated the return of the money for this year!
Thanks to everyone who played a part in this victory. Our advocacy partners were critical to our success and included the Brain Injury Law Center, Brain Injury Services, Brain Injury Services of Southwest Virginia, the BridgeLine, Cantor Stoneburner Ford Grana Buckner, The Choice Group, Community Brain injury Services, Crossroads to Brain Injury Recovery, The Dashiell Foundation, Eggleston Services, No Limits Eastern Shore, and NeuroRestorative.
And a HUGE thanks to the hundreds of individual advocates who contacted their legislators and made a difference, not only for themselves, but for someone else they may not even know, and who in that moment experienced the joy that comes in service to something bigger than themselves.
We Need Your Help
Please remember that advocacy is a year-round activity and we hope you’ll consider contacting your legislators throughout the year to make sure that brain injury is at the front of their minds.
There are many ways you can support BIAV’s advocacy efforts:
- Sign up for the Advocacy list serve if you are not already on it. As a subscriber to the Advocacy list serve, if a call to action is needed you will be the first to hear!
- Tell your story! Whether you tell it to BIAV, to a local brain injury provider, to a member of the press or the General Assembly (we have provided a sample letter to help you get started), it is the real life day to day struggles and successes that make our needs known and compel people to action!
- Our year-round advocacy efforts take considerable resources. Your generosity will provide BIAV with the personnel to be present at important meetings; if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu!
Those with brain injury deserve better access to services and supports and you can be a part of changing a community’s destiny. Be informed, ask questions and decide to act; it’s not nearly as hard as you might think it is and your calls, emails and visits to legislators make a difference!
We are always available to discuss these issues with you or answer any questions you might have, so give us a call or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Useful Links
- Brain Injury: A Guide for Virginia’s Policy Makers
- 2013 Virginia Statewide Brain Injury Services and Needs Assessment Executive Summary (we have provided the executive summary as the full document is over 200 pages; if you would like a copy of the entire assessment, please contact the BIAV office)
- Virginia Brain Injury Council
- Brain Injury Association of America Advocacy and Government Affairs
- Virginia Board for People with Disabilities
- Disability Law Center of Virginia