History of the Brain Injury Association of Durham Region
A meeting of family members of young people who experienced brain injuries in October 1982 was the beginning of the Brain Injury Association of Durham Region. This first Caregivers’ Support Group continued to meet monthly; and in October 1983, the first Survivors’ Support Group meeting was held in conjunction with the Caregivers’ Group.
Much of the discussion at these meetings centred around the lack of services for people of Durham Region who had experienced brain injuries. Group members recognized the need to create a more formal arrangement if the Groups were to have a voice in the development of services. Thus began the incorporation process. In June 1987, the Head Injury Association of Durham Region was incorporated as a registered charitable, non-profit corporation in the Province of Ontario.
At the same time, other local Head Injury Associations were being formed across the province, including the Ontario Head Injury Association.
As the Support Groups continued to meet over the next few years, the Board and members of the Association developed a number of service proposals for presentation to government and other funders. These efforts paid off with the granting of an annual budget from the Ministry of Health in late 1990. This enabled the Association to hire its first employee in January 1991; and then to open its office at 459 Bond St. E., Oshawa Ontario, in March 1991. With the new office, the Association was then able to hire its Administrative Assistant and be able to respond to people’s needs on a daily basis. At that point in time, the Association was in contact with 150 people who had experienced brain injuries.
During the next few years, the Association conducted a number of Need Studies and submitted proposals for the further development of services. The contact list grew from 150 to more than 500 in 1999, the year in which the Ministry granted more funds for the creation of the Association’s Community Support Coordination service. The Association now had 4 full-time employees.
In 2006, more funds were granted to enable the development of a Day Service and the move of the Association to its current location at 850 King St. W., Oshawa Ontario. Both the Day Service and the Community Support Coordination service continue to provide much needed support to people of Durham Region who have experienced brain injuries. The Brain Injury Association of Durham Region also continues its work to learn more about people’s needs and how to address them.