Skip to content

Friendship Programs

These programs build one-to-one friendships between adult survivors of brain injury who are BIS clients and community volunteers.

Individuals are matched based on geographic location and similar interests. The programs offer participation in social activities and interactions, improving the quality of life and level of inclusion of BIS clients.

PALS (Providing a Link for Survivors)
PALS is a one-to-one friendship program for survivors of brain injury. The goal is to provide opportunities for survivors to connect with people and socialize in the community. PALS see one another one-on-one at least once a month (community outings, at each other’s homes, etc.) and communicate weekly by phone, email, or text.

Person-Centered program
The PC (Person-Centered) program allows BIS clients to build friendships with volunteers through goal-oriented activities. BIS helps clients to identify a goal that may be reached within six months. Depending on the goal, BIS finds appropriate volunteers who meet with clients every week or every other week. Goals could include gardening, cooking, exercise, or any activity that has been difficult for the client due to their brain injury. Friendship and connection are established through the shared experience of working toward reaching the goal.

All volunteers complete the BIS application process. A completed application, interview, background check, confidentiality contract, and training are all mandatory. BIS staff maintain regular contact with PALS/PC program participants to ensure the quality of matched pairs.

Speaker’s Bureau
The mission of the Brain Injury Services Speaker’s Bureau is to educate and inspire audiences through sharing survivor stories. The program provides an opportunity for BIS clients who are eligible to experience the cathartic, therapeutic experience of developing and delivering their recovery story to help others. The group collectively helps to edit and provide feedback on stories and participates in presentations throughout the DC metro area. The bureau partners with local universities to speak to students who will be future practitioners in the fields of clinical psychology, neurology, social work, and nursing. Additionally, the group presents to rehab facilities, advocacy groups, support groups, and many others. For more information on the speaker’s bureau, please contact Michelle Thyen at  or 703-451-8881.