As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, our mission is to be the statewide resource for those impacted by brain and/or spinal cord injuries. Because of our proven efforts in advocacy, awareness, education, prevention, and services, we are the organization that professionals, families, and individuals living with brain and/or spinal cord injuries turn to for help, hope, and healing. Proudly, we are the only organization of our kind statewide. In 2011, BIALA became affiliated with the Brain Injury Association of America, the country’s oldest and largest nationwide brain injury advocacy organization. In 2015, we became the state’s exclusive affiliate/ chapter of the United Spinal Association, a national organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of all people living with spinal cord injuries and/or disorders. These affiliations are meaningful because they broaden our commitment and ability to assist those impacted by brain and/or spinal cord injuries.
We are supported, in part, by the Traumatic Head and Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund Program, which was created by the Louisiana Legislature in 1993 with Act 654. This program was created to provide services in a flexible, individualized manner to Louisiana citizens who survive traumatic head or spinal cord injuries. Act 654 also authorizes the establishment of a resource center for persons with these disabilities. BIALA was selected as the state’s resource center.
Our traumatic brain injury/spinal cord injury organization connects individuals throughout Louisiana through the numerous programs and services we offer, while also providing a helpline for direct support, and a comprehensive online resource guide. Our Resource Center provides a wealth of knowledge, guidance, and compassion to individuals living with brain and/or spinal cord injuries, their families/caregivers, and medical/healthcare professionals.
After my husband suffered a spinal cord injury, I reached out to BIALA and found not only a wealth of information but an organization that gave me hope. At times, things seemed very bleak but I would call the resource center, and they were able to help me through those difficult moments. I will forever be grateful for the compassion and understanding that I received when I called the helpline.
On a day that everything seemed to be going against me, I reached out for some help and was surprised that they actually were there to help me. My wheelchair was broken, and they were able to find a place to fix it for me. They educated me about the trust fund for people with spinal cord injuries and sent me an application. When I had questions about the application, I called back and was given the time and help needed to complete the application. They made me feel important so I am very thankful.
Living with a spinal cord injury has been a challenge but the peer mentor program has definitely assisted me in adjusting to my new normal. Thank you for giving me hope.