Brain injury survivor strives to inspire, empower others

Man in glasses and white shirt smiling

After being struck by a car at the age of 11, Stewart Jones suffered devastating injuries. “I was given a five percent chance of ever coming out of a coma,” he said. “I wish the doctors had been betting men, because I would have cleaned up.”

Jones spent eight weeks in a coma and three months in the hospital. And then, despite the life-altering effects of a traumatic brain injury, he started on what he calls an “onward and upward” path. “I’ve written books of poetry, I’ve done speaking in Columbus and in D.C., I’m a certified human-rights consultant through the U.N.,” Jones said.

“I’ve got two LLCs and I do not understand the meaning of the word ‘no.’”

Jones, now 52, also is a paid member of the Human Rights Committee (HRC) for the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities. The committee, which is facilitated by Dynamic Pathways, reviews services and supports to make sure that restrictive measures are used appropriately, in positive ways and only when necessary to keep people with developmental disabilities safe.

“We decide if the restrictions go against the person’s rights,” Jones said. “I absolutely love it. My mission in life is to help others.”

Other committee members and organizers say his perspective makes a huge difference. “It brings all the value,” said Rachel Indurti, FCBDD Behavior Services Manager. “I’ve never experienced someone telling me that I can’t do something, or have something, just because I have a disability.”

Jones, who lives in Summit County, has been on the HRC for about a year. Last fall, he gave a presentation to FCBDD service coordinators and to clinical support services staff at the Ohio State University Nisonger Center on writing person-centered support plans with restrictive measures.

“I guess I look at cases differently because I see the person as a person first,” Jones said. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to think of ways to help the person build dignity. If a person feels dignity, difficult behaviors lessen.”

In one case, he said, a person had been denied access to home cleaning supplies due to safety concerns. A better approach was to help the person obtain non-toxic products. “You just need to shift your thinking a little,” Jones said with a smile. “It’s all about reframing.”

To learn more about Stewart Jones, visit his website at