Monthly Archives: September 2016

Our Updated Map of Our Outreach Work

Here is an updated map of our outreach work, see it on our Map page, too, updated with progress noted in a legend and links to details.

A Recap of HB 1338, A Texas Law for Brain Trauma Survivors

This image is me the day I testified to the Select Committee on Emerging Issues in Law Enforcement, for what became HB 1338, 84R Texas Legislature, Naishtat. This four minute speech sums up my life with brain trauma since 1994, my negative experience with law enforcement, and the ensuing work I did that became the catalyst for this law that protects and educates individuals with brain trauma and the peace officers for whom different sometimes needs to be understood.

Here is a link to the archived bill information, too. I have had many questions about it over the last few months and decided that making it available for people to watch would be good background for understanding our work:

link to committee video archive:

link to bill text, history and actions:

As we are working now outside of Texas, it is good to offer insight into how we began.

Friday, September 9

Hi, all, I have been quiet for awhile, and need to catch this blog up on the outreach I’ve done over the summer on brain trauma needs and resources. In June, I spent several days meeting with the Brain Injury Association folks in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine about our Texas law (HB 1338, Texas Legislature session 84R, Naishtat) that offers training to peace offers and first responders in recognizing brain trauma and trauma symptoms and constructive response in handling those, rather than misidentifying them as substance abuse issues. The response was enthusiastic and supportive and we are planning further national effort to keep the outreach of Texas new law to more individuals. My colleague, Bill Roof, did just that in Rhode Island after I came home to Texas and we added that state to our supporters. My next states to visit are in the west and I’m looking forward to October chats, details to come on that.

I also keep up with our efforts here in Texas and last month lunched with Gabi Teal and Linda Jones of the Office of Acquired Brain Injury to catch up on the teaching efforts. Gabi estimated that since February she has trained 535 law enforcement personnel on this topic. And many of those were requested trainings. I am thrilled to see the willingness of good officers in learning about the aspects of individuals so that we and they are better protected and served.

My own efforts right now are focused on adding an interactive map of the USA to this site that I can update with the states and entities we have engaged so that our national efforts and progress are here for every one to find. I’m trying to get the first draft of the map up here before I speak at the NASHIA (National Association of Head Injury Administrators) Conference on Wednesday, September 14, at 10:15 a.m. in Columbus, Ohio. Here is the link for that:

I also did a book talk in Camden Maine at the public library during my New England visit. Camden is beautiful and I had a great time discussing See Ya, my novel set on Cape Cod during WWII. On September 24, the Brain Injury Assn – Massachusetts group will hold a Walk and Roll for Brain Trauma in Bourne, MA. I went to high school there, and retraced my teenage paths during my June trip, too, which is part of the setting for my book.

We are talking about doing a brain trauma survivor and caretaker conference up there as a retreat and source of information, probably next fall. Please post here if you are interested in attending, and what topics would be useful to learn about.

I’ll update more of the site over the weekend, so please check back. I hope your Friday is great, and thank you for reading!