This week is Action for Brain Injury Week (#abiweek) which started us thinking about the nature of disability and how we often have learners who sign up to our courses telling us of their “primary” disability.
According to the charity Headway there is an estimated 500,000 people (aged 16 – 74) living with long term disabilities as a result of traumatic brain injury. Many of these people have had a stroke and are battling with both physical and cognitive issues.
From our point of view as we work with individuals we have to learn how they deal with these issues and how we can best adapt our training to their needs. It is impossible to gauge how they will react to learning or how much information they can absorb. As well as the physical considerations we need to take into consideration the possibility of impaired memory, the effects of prescribed drugs and sometimes also the ability to communicate.
There are also the secondary effects from surgery or trauma. For instance Steve (pictured) was diagnosed with a brain tumour and during the operation to remove the tumour he lost his sight. He has been registered blind ever since. We taught him to use a screen reader.
When Steve expressed a wish to return to work we introduced him to more comprehensive software that would help him in the workplace.
We should always remember that every person with a disability is individual and the help and skills we can offer them should always reflect this.