Brain Injury – Enhancing Self-Directed Choice and Control

A Resource for Centers for Independent Living

March 2023


Throughout the country, Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are providing employment-focused services at varying levels. Many CILs provide Pre-Employment Transition Services to youth with disabilities. Others facilitate community-based job shadowing, mentorship, and volunteer experiences. Many CILs have created in-house benefits planning specialization. Some CIL staff are contracted by Divisions of Vocational Rehabilitation to provide job development services, or they may fulfill an Employment Network role to assist Social Security Administration beneficiaries receiving Social Security Disability Insurance  and/or Supplemental Security Income  to become and stay employed. And finally, through information and referral processes, CILs regularly assist people with disabilities to become engaged with the public vocational rehabilitation system or a local workforce center.

Among the consumers interacting with CILs for employment supports are individuals with brain injury. Some of these individuals are aware of their injury and its associated symptoms, and they may be able to effectively self-advocate for their needs. Many others, however, may have experienced a brain injury but are unaware of its existence and therefore may not recognize how brain injury shows up in their day-to-day lives.

To understand the significance within the CIL consumer population, consider the prevalence of brain injuries within special populations, including those experiencing homelessness, behavioral health conditions, criminal justice involvement, and intimate partner violence.

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