A SABI is a Survivor of Acquired Brain Injury and a Survivor Advocate for People with Brain Injury
How the Term SABI Came Into Usage
In the late 1990's, members of the Brain Injury Network were looking for a term to use in conjunction with their activities at BIN. At the suggestion of Sue Hultberg, an abi/tbi survivor working in the organization, the term SABI came into use. We knew we wanted a broader term than "tbi survivor", because we had many participants who had other types of brain injuries besides tbi's attending our meetings. We also wanted to use "People First" philosophy. ABI (acquired brain injury) was and is the medical condition for many people affiliated with our organization. ABI includes TBI's, too. But ABI also refers to brain injuries from strokes, aneurysms, brain tumors, brain illnesses, anoxic and hypoxic injuries, brain infections, etc. So we put the word Survivor together with the phrase ABI, and that was the birth of the term, SABI.
The term was subsequently also adopted by the Brain Injury Network to refer to people with brain injuries who were connected to the BIN organization. Subsequently, the term was used in some online forums that are operated by the Brain Injury Network in pursuance of its survivor public policy and advocacy work. So the term also means "survivor advocates for people with brain injuries". And that is how the term came into being.
Hopefully that also explains the context in which we survivor advocates, we SABI's at the Brain Injury Network, use the term. This term has significance to those of us SABI's who are advocating for our survivor community here at the Brain Injury Network, and we would rather that service provider entities, the medical community, the government, etc. not latch onto it for their own purposes. We can't stop them, but we know it came from us. It came from our hearts, and it will ever be our term to describe ourselves and our purpose in this world, which is to be survivor advocates for our own community.
Explanation for Our Use of the SABI Terminology
We prefer the identifier, "survivor (of) acquired brain injury" (SABI), because it is putting the person first and the condition and/or disability second. We are people first, then comes the reference to our condition or disability, which only represents a portion of who we are, as people. We aren't defined by our disability. SABI also includes all acquired brain injury conditions, such as traumatic brain injury (tbi), stroke, brain tumor, brain illness, etc. People with all of these issues are involved in our organization, so we like having a broad identifier. We have much in common, and yet some distinct conditions, neurologically speaking. So that is why we identify with the term, which we coined, entitled SABI.
We also use the term SABI to mean "Survivor Advocate(s) for (People with) Brain Injury. We are all survivor advocates here. That is the purpose of our forums and our Brain Injury Network, too. The term, SABI, has a special connotation for the survivors here in this organization. We are survivor advocates who are working collectively on public policy and advocacy for our brain injury survivor community. Our SABI forums (on Facebook, Google groups, etc.) are places where we SABI's engage in our collective advocacy work.