Inclusion after Brain Injury

In September 2009 we launched an international project called “Transfer of good practices and knowledge in social inclusion of people with acquired brain injury” funded by European Social Fund through the Human Resources and Employment Operational Program.
The main objective of the project is to identify key deficiencies of system of care and rehabilitation after acquired brain injury (ABI) in the Czech Republic, find about availability of care and rehabilitation in regions and propose necessary system changes.

Basic information on the project

The main aim of the project is to identify key deficiencies of system of care and rehabilitation after acquired brain injury (ABI) in the Czech Republic, find about availability of care and rehabilitation in regions and propose necessary system changes.
Through the project we try to contribute to improving availability and quality of services for people with ABI by transfer of good practices and knowledge from European countries whose systems of care and inclusion of the target group are well elaborate and developed. For this purpose an expert team is going to attend international workshops – to transfer gained knowledge and practises to the Czech Republic.
Furthermore, we would even like to transfer practical knowledge and methods of cognitive rehabilitation to the Czech Republic, for cognitive functions are usually one of the most affected in the case of brain injury, and the therapy applies here only marginally. For this purpose a publication „How to do a Cognitive Rehabilitation“ – a practical handbook not only for  health care and social service workers, but also for domestic carers and families – is going to be translated to Czech and published later on.
Taking into account foreign experience we are going to organize informative and educative workshops and seminars for health care and social service, administration and self-government representatives. At the seminars we plan to inform on needs and uniqueness of social inclusion of people with ABI and on examples of good practises from abroad.
To extend awareness among broader public we are currently working on creating a new website about brain injury that would serve as a source of relevant information not only for experts, but also for people with ABI and their dependants.
An analysis of the present situation aiming to map availability of the rehabilitation, social services  and social inclusion of people with ABI in the Czech Republic overall is one of the key activities of the project.
Within this activity we addressed a group of experts that would work on creating a conception of care and neurorehabilitation for people with ABI. Two workshops with a foreign experts’ attendance are going to take place during 2010; these would be preceded by Working Group meetings at roundtable panel discussion.
Overall results of the analysis will be processed in “Report on good practices and system recommendations” and presented to broader public in a closing conference.

Project Activities

Eight key activities in total have been implemented within the “Inclusion after brain injury” project. Herein a brief review.
1)    Current situation analysis – systemic recommendations and good practices
The availability of rehabilitation, social services and overall social inclusion programs for people with ABI in the Czech Republic is going to be illustrated within this activity. Both Czech and selected European legislative and methodical documents are going to be thoroughly investigated, those in a foreign language translated to Czech, intended to serve as a basis for a good practice transfer.
In addition, two international workshops are going to take place within this activity. The first will introduce the project purpose and single suggested steps of handling this issue and system recommendations. Next year, the contributions and system recommendations will be presented to broader professional public who will have an opportunity to comment on it.
Results from this activity will be processed in “Report on good practices and system recommendations – after brain injury.”
2)    Transfer of good practices: Danish Head House
The aim of this activity is a transfer of good practices and the functioning model presented by Danish project’s program EQUAL successful in the inclusion of people with different degree of acquired brain injury back to the labour market and society. The model was originally adopted from the American Club House Model of people with mental disorder inclusion and adapted on the needs of people with ABI.
For this purpose several visits and scholarships in Denmark and a workshop with our Danish partners in the Czech Republic are going to take place. A prepared and handed project called Head House in the Czech Republic and a information brochure about the purpose, principles and functioning of this type of service are the results of this activity.
3)    Transfer of good practices: practical use of Cognitive Rehabilitation
Within this activity a publication called “How to do Cognitive Rehabilitation” (Kit Malia and Anne Brannagan) is going to be translated and modified to fit Czech conditions. The publication is for therapists, carers and social workers and is to be used as a practical handbook. The publication is going to be distributed in printed form.
A workshop about using cognitive therapy during cognitive rehabilitation of brain injury consequences is also going to be part of this activity. This conception will be presented by our partners’ experts having a long-term concern about this issue in Great Britain, publishing practical handbooks and organizing trainings of cognitive rehabilitation in the whole of Europe.
4)    Information portal about brain damage
Within this activity an information portal in Czech offering detailed information about acquired brain damage is going to be created.
An interactive flash of brain, its functions and consequences of injury will enable clear and simple introduction also for people with more severe handicap. Limitations described will be accompanied with explanations of training possibilities and compensation strategies. The website will contain reference to available services and facilities that are going to be investigated step by step while the project will be taking place.
A part of this activity is also cooperation with BIF-EC on development of new web interface for European portal ESITE/BIF in Czech and English, where not only results of this project, but also the situation regarding care of people with ABI in the Czech Republic will be presented. ESITE/BIF is a new BIF/EC’s website to serve to share practices and knowledge of the individual member states about the issue of ABI
5)    Seminars
Based on acquired knowledge, scholarships, cooperation with foreign partners and produced informational materials 7 educational seminars focused on social service contracting authorities (administration and self-governments) and health care and social services workers about the issue of social inclusion of people with ABI, needs of this target group and examples of good practices from abroad are going to take place in individual regions of the Czech Republic.
6)    Closing conference
The results of the project, research outcomes, models of social inclusion, both here and abroad will be presented at the Closing Conference. This will be attended by Czech and foreign experts that are going to participate on the project. We expect around 200 participants from Health Care and Social Issues, administration and self-government.
7)    Mobility
As a transversal activity we will focus on gaining knowledge and increasing capacities of applicant and Czech partner through international scholarship programs and study tours referring to subjects of another project’s activities. Within this activity scholarships and study tours to foreign institutes specialized on the issue will take place. This concerns scholarships in Copenhagen in Danish Brain Injury Association, Centru HovetHuset (HeadHouse) and attending basic training in Cognitive Rehabilitation for people with ABI and scholarship in Great Britain. Both scholarships are enabled thanks to the partnership with the European Confederation BIF-EC.
8)    Project publicity; informing experts and lay public 
On top of the information portal about the issue of ABI another basic information materials will be compiled. We will keep communication with public through press release providing up-to-date information on the issue of ABI and project’s activities. Individual information materials, brochures, books and seminar papers will be produced, based on the details offered by the professional and research team. These will be sent directly to the target groups later on or available indirectly at the stands concerned about this issue. The information about the project will be also available on the European Confederation ESITE/BIF website.

Partners of the Project

Czech Alzheimer Society (CALS)
Czech Alzheimer Society (CALS)The Czech Alzheimer Society has a long lasting experience in both education and direct support of patients with dementia and their dependants. The society organizes trainings for medical and social workers, carers and Respite Carers.
Moreover, CALS participates on many research projects in cooperation with Gerontology Centre and Department of management and supervision at Faculty of Humanities at Charles University in Prague.
Among other activities the society organizes activities such as Days of Memory and Prague Gerontology Days.
The Czech Alzheimer Society is currently a respected member of renowned international organizations Alzheimer Europe and Alzheimer Disease International.

Brain Injured and Families - European Confederation (BIF-EC)
Brain Injured and Families - European Confederation (BIF-EC)Brain Injured and Families – European Confederation was founded by seven national associations in Brussels, 1999. At present, it brings together the most of the original EU members and new associations from the post-communist countries are joining gradually. BIF -  EC’s mission is to transfer good practices to individual members of the Confederation and support of the rights of the brain injured at the European level.
BIF - EC has been a member of the European Disability Forum since 2000; nowadays, they have two elected representatives at the Forum’s Management Board.
BIF – EC participates in many projects with individual national associations. Once in two years the Confederation organizes days of culture for people with ABI in one of the member states. It contributes to holding conferences and workshops in individual member states serving for the transfer of good practices from more experienced members to the new ones or less experienced. Individual member associations bring expertise in inclusion and rehabilitation for people with ABI.

Brain Tree Training - Cognitive Rehabilitation Services
Brain Tree Training - Cognitive Rehabilitation Services Experts from Brain Tree Training, these are English Clinic Neuropsychologists specialized in Cognitive Rehabilitation for people with ABI. They hand down their long lasting practical knowledge from the field through practical workshops that focus on individual aspects of the issue of brain injury with regard to Cognitive Rehabilitation. This training system turned out positive enough to move the experts to give lectures and organize workshops all over the Europe.
Publishing represents another significant activity of this association. They have published many titles concerning the issue of Cognitive Rehabilitation for people with ABI. Lecturing at the English Universities is shall not be omitted.