Not My First Rodeo: Brain injury and homelessness

Listen to this post: 

Can I just say how much I love my reliable access to the internet? It’s really a lot. I’m so grateful for my internet connection and for finding tons of material that’s accessible to me. While many people with reliable internet access take it for granted (especially if you don’t have dial up and a modem), so many in disability community don’t have computers, money for internet connections, a home to store a computer, accessible, adaptive devices, or access to websites that are accessible to meet their needs for their particular disability. For some, the internet is the great equalizer, providing endless streams of information. For others, it’s on the other side of an impenetrable wall whether because of economics, censorship, or inaccesibility.

Now as you know, houselessness, poverty, intimate partner violence, and the things that intersect painfully with brain injury are a passion of mine. I have a bottomless appetite for reading about and listening to stories on them that I find online. And sometimes there’s that magic moment when you’re online looking at something you’re passionate about, and then a new article pops up. At first you think maybe you’re dreaming, and you’re writing it in that dream because it’s so right up your alley. But nope. You remember that the magic of the internet is when you can access other people with the same interests who are doing work that motivates you.

What I found in that weird dreamy state is that I had just missed a symposium on head injury and homelessness by maybe about a week. It included research conducted by an actual brain injury survivor, Stephen Grant. (I can’t find that post now! Sorry.) I miss stuff a lot, but this time it was OK since the symposium was in the UK. I figure that’s understandable to miss from here in Portland. Shortly after the symposium, this article came out about research by the people who put on the symposium in The Guardian. It’s called “Homeless people with brain injuries are still invisible to the NHS” (National Health Service).

While the information in that article is so valuable on its own, there’s one other piece that speaks to me. It’s a uniquely creative, lovely short personal narrative film. A brain injury survivor who experiences homelessness in the UK tells pieces of his story, and it’s not to be missed. Here it is. And it has Closed Captions. “Not My First Rodeo” by Michael, produced by Deaf Pictures.