Letter From The Editor

A picture of Madelaine Sayko.

Dear colleagues, fellow advocates, and friends;

In my years of advocacy for people with brain injury, several things have become apparent;

  • After acute care services are no longer needed, there is still a gap when it comes to helping people re-integrate into their homes and communities, when it comes to helping them rebuild their lives.
  • Many people with brain injuries can work, and want to work.  Indeed the people who go back to work often say it is a positive factor in their continued healing.
  • Brain injury is both an acquired spectrum disorder and a dynamic condition.  This means that there is no one-size-fits all solution to helping people rebuild their lives.
  • The workplace continues to lack knowledge of, and understanding about, brain injury, creating the consequence that people with brain injury remain marginalized.
  • People with brain injury are intelligent, tenacious, creative, and committed, and have a broad range of valuable skills.

Individuals with cognitive disabilities comprise a group that has some of the highest rates of unemployment and poverty in the country.  The annual cost of brain injury exceeds $70 billion, and there is an estimated 80% unemployment rate 5 years after injury.  Clearly, we still need to do a lot of something.

We formed Cognitive Compass in response to this problem, because sometimes even the smallest changes can have the biggest results.  We know that businesses need to be productive and make a profit.  We also believe it is time to see past the stigma of brain injury, and recognize people with cognitive challenges for all of their talents.

In a Forbes Insight report from October 2012, 85% of survey respondents agreed that a diverse and inclusive workforce brings into play the different perspectives a company needs in order to drive innovation. Over 95% of the companies saw inclusion as a competitive advantage.

The leadership of Cognitive Compass understands the issues of cognitive challenge; some as doctors, some as healers, some as advocates, and others as individuals who live with brain injuries and who have returned to the workplace.  Our team is multi-disciplined, with backgrounds in technology, business, engineering, human services, and healthcare. We understand the bottom line of business and, we understand the challenge for the individual with a brain injury when he or she is trying to navigate the system.  And, while we know about the difficulties we also know about those who have been successful.

We believe that with the right tools, knowledge, and supports, it is possible for many individuals with brain injury or PTSD to re-acquire the value and quality of life inherent in being an active and working member of their community.  Because of this, we are dedicated to helping individuals with brain injury become empowered and capable of self-determination as they chart their own course in life.

We thank you for making us a part of your life and look forward to working with all of the amazing and talented people that we get to meet.

Warm regards,

Madelaine Sayko, President
Cognitive Compass