Check out the Beyond Injury blog

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Today I want to highlight a cool blog and website I found recently. It’s called “Beyond Injury,” and it’s run by Scott Friedman. First, let me give you Scott’s description. And then I’ll wrap up with mine!

Scott told me this the other day: “The majority of Beyond Injury posts focus on activities to help people get beyond a medical adversity such as brain injury, stroke, seizure, autism, ataxia, post-traumatic stress disorder, disability, and special needs. The blog provides general tips and information, but I personally speak with survivors, caregivers, and groups of medical professionals (in Los Angeles, California and surrounding counties) about specific goals, decisions, plans, and actions pertaining to recovery, communication, employment, and volunteering.

I survived cancer and brain injury, I have visual and auditory impairments, and I walk with a cane. Nonetheless, I earned several post-graduate, post-injury certifications, and I am both happy and optimistic. If you or someone you love experienced a medical adversity, Beyond Injury is a great community for you. Feel free to visit www.beyondinjury.com.”

A pale room with a wide open door. Sunlight streams in through the doorway.

[Image description: A pale room with a wide open door. Sunlight streams in through the doorway.]

Overall, this site stands out from some other similar types of sites I’ve found. There are lots of reasons I think folks should check out this site. Here are just a few.

  1. They are super upfront about what makes an affirmative community to them. Like this statement on their About page: “Beyond Injury™ is a community of learning and sharing. Although inquisitiveness, disagreement, and friendly banter are welcome, there is absolutely no place on this blog, or in this world, for hateful, racist, discriminatory, harassing, or offensive comments.”

I can confidently say that everyone I associate with at this time in my life feels this way too. They definitely don’t ever intend to use or promote hateful, racist, discriminatory, harassing, or offensive comments. But I don’t personally see a lot of sites that display this rule so prominently. I think a lot of people take it for granted. I still believe it’s super important to state it.

Now, we’ll never all come to an agreement about everything that’s offensive or discriminatory. But when you skip the step of advertising it like this, then what? How can anyone really know it’s intended to be a safe space?

I’ve had experiences in the past few years with bullies. You know, the kind where they might bully only some people, but everyone else admits that they saw it. Because the organizations we were involved with hadn’t thought through or displayed this kind of statement, when I asked that they remove or discipline the bully, I was accused of discrimination. (Yes, even by the people who agreed that the bully had been bullying people.) After all, who am I to say someone can’t attend this event? Um. So you really gotta put it out there. State your community values. Make the case that we acknowledge that racism and other displays of hate are real. Name it or you likely won’t be able to tame it.

  1. The posts are short! I’m always in favor of blogs with short posts to restore the mind after having been thrown into long posts like mine.

But it’s not just that they’re short. Scott often lets you know about an article, video, concept, debate, or idea he found. He tells you why it intrigued him. He links to it. Boom!

In this way, you’re not only engaging with what Scott thinks you’ll find interesting, but he introduces you to other websites and venues to check out for more information. If you leave a comment at the end of his post, he’ll join you for a lively discussion of the post’s topic. You genuinely feel like he’s there.

  1. The blog is a cheerleader extraordinaire. There’s ongoing writing encouraging you to get involved in your community and in your own healing. Not just get out there and go. He gives pointers and steps as well. Scott is also consistently reminding readers to join in with other types of people and communities who have tools for how they overcame adversity that we could use, and who also may really benefit from our support as well. It’s a very nice blend of information and motivation for the brain injury community as well as a call to stay united in the larger community.

So yes, a neat site with cool blog posts and lots of links to resources. Scott’s a peer too. I value the first-hand knowledge and experience he brings to the table. Have a read, and start thinking about topics and life beyond injury.