Skip to content


About Headway of Western New York

Headway of Western New York is a support and advocacy agency for persons with brain injuries and other disabilities and is the Regional Resource Center/Single Point of Entry for the Department of Health's Nursing Home Transition and Diversion Waiver and the Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver.

"In a moment, our family's life was changed forever."

There are no words to express the fears, anguish and despair of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) survivors and their families. Every thirteen seconds, someone in the United States sustains a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The effects can be devastating for the survivors, as well as their families and friends.

Each year, approximately 2.5 million persons in the U.S. are hospitalized with traumatic brain injury and survive according to the CDC's 2010 statistics. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability in the United States. From 2006 to 2014, the number of TBI-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths increased by 53%. In 2014, an average of 155 people in the United States died each day from injuries that include a TBI. Those who survive a TBI can face effects that last a few days, or the rest of their lives. Effects of TBI can include impairments related to thinking or memory, movement, sensation (e.g., vision or hearing), or emotional functioning (e.g., personality changes, depression). These issues not only affect individuals but also can have lasting effects on families and communities. (CDC statistics).
Founded in 1985, by caring families and individuals who had survived brain injury and other disabilities, Headway of Western New York, Inc. became affiliated with People Inc. in 2012 and is a now a non-profit agency that provides advocacy, resources, support groups, educational outreach/presentations, newsletters, symposiums, identification of supports and more.

As an affiliate of People Inc., Headway supports the following statement:
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement from People Inc.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and our entire agency, People Inc. and its affiliates are committed to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) for everyone—the people that we support, our employees and our communities.
Recently, there has been civil unrest locally and across the nation regarding social injustices and systemic oppression for people of color. We express our sincere condolences to the families of people that have lost loved ones and who have been harmed due to horrific, racially-based acts. We strongly denounce racism and violence in society, and support the need for equality for all people of color.

We will continue to work together with the help of our DEI Committee to unite our communities and create a better future for all.


To ensure that individuals in Western New York with brain injuries, other disabilities, and seniors have access to advocacy, resources, and support systems to enable them to live as independently as possible. We seek to educate the broader community about the causes, consequences and means of prevention of brain injury.


Headway of WNY envisions a world where survivors of brain injury and those with related disabilities find meaning, move forward and know they are not alone.

Please help sustain our mission by making a tax deductible gift today.

Donate Here.

History of Headway of WNY

Headway of Western New York, Inc. was established in 1985 and became an affiliate of People Inc. in 2012. We are a non-profit support and advocacy agency. Our Mission is to ensure that individuals in WNY with brain injuries, other disabilities and seniors have access to advocacy, resources and support systems to enable them to live as independently as possible. We seek to educate the community about the causes, consequences and means of prevention of brain injury.

In 1985, faced with the consequences of life altering brain injuries, a small group of survivors of brain injury and their families in Western New York banded together to form Headway for Brain Injured, Inc., a support and advocacy agency. These people knew too well the enormous confusion and isolation that can follow a brain injury. They had learned the hard way that there were, at that time, few places to turn for information, assistance, therapy and support. There were no local rehab long term services or facilities for people with severe brain injuries. Unfortunately, many survivors were being placed in nursing homes and other institutions, both in New York State (NYS) and in out-of-state facilities, and these places were not appropriate for the care they needed. Not falling into a “typical” medical category, some survivors were left to flounder on their own with no assistance. The founders of Headway wanted to ensure that others in a similar situation would have somewhere local to turn for help.

Early in our history, Headway petitioned the NYS Legislature and the NYS Department of Health for more appropriate local services. Prior to this, survivors of brain injury were often being placed in institutions, many of them out-of-state and far from their families. As a result of our advocacy, Headway of Western New York was one of the agencies instrumental in beginning a special Medicaid program for individuals with brain injury. Through our efforts, and those of other concerned citizens and groups across the state, the NYS Department of Health Traumatic Brain Injury Medicaid Waiver Program (TBI Waiver Program) was created to provide more services to individuals with brain injuries between the ages of 18 to 64.  This waiver provided a range of community support services for survivors, enabling them to live in their community and avoid placement in an institution. Headway has functioned as the local Regional Resource Development Center, helping to coordinate these services in six Western New York counties since the program’s inception in 1995.

Headway’s success with the TBI Medicaid Waiver Program led to an expansion of services. Building on their successful experience with the TBI Medicaid Waiver, the NYS Department of Health created the Nursing Home Transition and Diversion Waiver (NHTD Waiver) to provide assistance in a similar way for people of all types of disabilities, including seniors, who wish to live more independently in the community.

Headway coordinates these services and as a result of exciting changes and challenges, we are now called Headway of Western New York, Inc., an affiliate of People Inc.

IRS Form 990 Information

Our organization files two 990 Reports annually: People Inc. and People Inc. Consolidated. Taken together, the reports reflect the total financial picture of People Inc. and affiliates. For more information, refer to People Inc. 990 Forms.