Traumatic Brain Injury


A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be a life-altering experience with long-term consequences. It may cause enduring physical, emotional, intellectual, and social changes for survivors and their families. It is not specific to anyone's socioeconomic, cultural, or ethnic class. It can happen to individuals of any gender and at any age.

ADRS is the state's lead agency for coordination of services for Alabamians with TBI. Through its comprehensive array of programs and partnerships, and its coordination with the Alabama Head and Spinal Injury Registry, ADRS services include information and referral, educational assistance, pre-vocational resources, employment assistance, extended support provision and more to meet the consumer’s individual and changing needs. Every effort is made to enhance current services for a higher quality of life.

For more information on traumatic brain injury, contact the State Head Injury Coordinator at 334-293-7116.


A 1993 study found that many individuals with TBI don't pursue much-needed services for an average of seven years after they are injured. The quicker services are provided, the quicker their recovery time.

A registry of all general trauma in the state is kept by the Alabama Department of Public Health, and AHSCIR is a registry maintained by ADRS that specifically links together all head and spinal cord trauma reported by hospitals statewide. The AHSCIR:

  • Connects trauma survivors with much-needed resources as soon as possible after they leave the hospital
  • Gathers data for mortality and morbidity rates statewide
  • Uses this data to implement safety and prevention programs

After hospitals submit trauma records to ADPH, the TBI and SCI records are transferred to the Registry and extensively reviewed to identify those with moderate and severe TBI and SCI who are then informed of the services available to them. If they are interested, the individual or the family contacts the Registry to identify his or her specific needs and is connected to the best resources for them.

The Alabama Head and Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund, administered by ADRS, is led by a board that works with legislators to secure needed funding for services such as case management, counseling, prevocational services, cognitive remediation, family education, community resource provision, respite care, and recreational supports.

Review the Trust Fund’s Annual Reports:

The Alabama Head Injury Task Force (AHITF) is the statewide advisory board for traumatic brain injury (TBI) in Alabama. Its mission is to develop the ideal service delivery system for Alabamians who experience TBI, and does this by:

  • Developing and monitoring the Statewide TBI Action Plan to address the needs of children, youth and adults with TBI and their families
  • Providing statewide coordination among agencies and organizations
  • Creating a forum for communication relative to TBI issues
  • Contributing to the development of awareness and training for professionals

Members of the Task Force bring their knowledge and experience in state policy and legislative issues, service delivery, advocacy, consumer and family issues, and other expertise that have enabled Alabama to develop this very effective System of Care for People with TBI.

AHITF has created five working priority groups that address areas involving:

  • Education and Awareness
  • Community Reintegration
  • Infrastructure
  • Service Access
  • Pediatrics

In 2021 the AHITF developed its first advisory council to the Task Force that includes majority individuals with lived TBI experience.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and acquired disability in the United States for children older than 1 year old. Families often feel overwhelmed and out of control following their child’s injury, experiencing shock and panic, and they are often unprepared to face the issues involved with their child’s re-entry into activities at home, in school, and in the community.

Children's Rehabilitation Service (CRS) has care coordinators prepared to work with families of children and youth with TBI through services that include:

  • Information and referral
  • Care coordination
  • Treatment
  • Other related services

Click here to find the TBI Care Coordinators near you.
Click here to download the PASSAGES program documentation.
Click here to download more information about Care Coordination for Children through the TBI Program.

Common issues following TBI that can impact successful employment include cognitive difficulties, behavioral issues, difficulties with social interaction and physical challenges. Without help, these issues can significantly diminish one’s quality of life and add economic stress.

But many individuals with TBI are able to return to school or work by developing their own strategies or working with employers to arrange appropriate accommodations. Others may require additional services, training and supports to obtain and/or maintain employment. ADRS’s TBI services are here to help individuals and families every step of the way.

The program is designed for those who:

  • Have sustained a traumatic brain injury as a result of a neurotrauma
  • Are less than two years post-injury
  • Are not best served through traditional vocational rehabilitation services at the time of referral
  • Can benefit from a cognitive and behavioral rehabilitation program
  • Are Alabama residents

Click here to download more information about Care Coordination for Adults through the TBI Program.

Brain injury is often invisible.; no two brain injuries are alike. The location and severity of the injury and other complicating factors -- including other injuries that may have been sustained at the time of the brain injury -- will result in uniquely different behaviors, symptoms, abilities and disabilities in each individual.

While there are some common functional limitations that occur due to the injury, not all individuals with TBI will be affected in the same way. An individual may have one or more areas severely affected, other areas may only have minimal or no effect. Some of the common limitations caused by traumatic brain injury impact:

  • Learning
  • Social skills
  • Motor and physical skills
  • Personality and emotions
  • Attention and concentration
  • Judgment and problem solving
  • Reading and math
  • Comprehension and expression
  • Short-term memory
  • Vision, hearing, taste, smell and touch

Success after a TBI is possible. While some survivors of TBI will relearn their skills and abilities, others must adjust to a new way of life. When employment is affected, programs such as the Interactive Community-Based Model (ICBM) are available to assist the individual in regaining their independence, sustaining employment, and reaching their maximum potential.

Click here for more at


ADRS State Office
602 S. Lawrence St.
Montgomery, AL 36104
P: (334) 293-7500
TFN: (888) 879-4706
FAX: (334) 293-7383


Alabama TBI Helpline

Americans with Disabilities Act

ADA Hotline


1-888-574-2257 (TTY)