History

  • In the early 1980s, caregivers of adult survivors of acquired brain injury searched for local independent housing in Fairfax County, Virginia. Unable to find appropriate available housing, the caregivers began raising money to provide housing and other supportive services.

    Years of grassroots fundraising and awareness efforts produced $18,000; a sizable amount of money but a drop in the bucket compared to what would be needed by a group of individuals with brain injuries. Realizing these individuals also needed a range of therapeutic and social services, the caregivers were surprised to find that survivors of acquired brain injury were often referred only to services for the mentally ill.
  • Their advocacy work paid off. In 1988, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors commissioned a study to determine which services were available for Fairfax County residents with an acquired brain injury. The study concluded that little to nothing was.
  • Brain Injury Services (BIS), then called Head Injury Services Partnership, was officially founded in 1989 as a pilot program for Fairfax County. It went on to become the first community-based agency in Virginia to specialize in serving individuals with an acquired brain injury.

    With the support of the Virginia General Assembly and the passage of state budget amendments, BIS has been able to increase the scope and extent of its services to cover Northern Virginia and Fredericksburg.
  • In 1990, the Beyer Commission Report, led by Lieutenant Governor Donald S. Beyer, Jr., recommended creating a coordinated service delivery system that featured consumer choice, state investment, and community involvement. The report’s major outcome was the development of a legislative Commission that addressed people with brain injury and other related disabilities.

    Since then, the unmet service needs of individuals with physical and sensory disabilities have been addressed by the Disability Commission, a legislative commission, staffed by the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities. The Commission provides a vehicle for advancing budget proposals and addressing policy issues within a vision for a service system that is coordinated, community-based, and consumer-driven. It has been through the members of the Disability Commission’s support and many Virginia Legislators that BIS has been able to increase its funding for innovative services for survivors of brain injury.

Accreditation

Brain Injury Services has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) since 2001. CARF certification is an objective measure of a variety of fundamental assets including such basics as effective leadership, employee safety programs, and many other critical processes and resources.

Major Accolades

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    Added Veterans Integration Program in 2019
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    Selected for inclusion in the Greater Washington Area Catalogue for Philanthropy in 2016
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    Awarded the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce “Nonprofit of the Year” in 2014
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    Received the Civil Justice Foundation Award Winner of 20 years – “Years of Excellence” in 2010
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    Recognized by the House and Senate of Virginia’s General Assembly for 25 Years of Service to Citizens with Brain Injury and their Families