About United Spinal Association
United Spinal Association is a national 501(c) (3) nonprofit membership organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of all people living with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), including veterans, and providing support and information to loved ones, care providers and professionals.
We believe no person should be excluded from opportunity based on their disability. Our goal is to provide people living with SCI/D programs and services that maximize their independence and enable them to remain active in their communities.
United Spinal transforms the lives of people with SCI/D by:
- Advocating for greater access to healthcare, mobility equipment, public transportation, rehabilitation, community services and supports, and the built environment
- Empowering our members with resources, one-on-one assistance, and peer support
- Promoting independence through employment opportunities and community integration of wheelchair users into mainstream society
United Spinal was founded in 1946 by a determined group of paralyzed WWII veterans in New York City who advocated for greater civil rights and independence for themselves and their fellow veterans. Rejecting the poor treatment they received at their local VA hospital, they decided to form a support group. From these modest beginnings, United Spinal was born. Since then, our core belief has remained unchanged. Despite living with SCI/D, a full, productive, and rewarding life is within the reach of anyone with the strength to believe it and the courage to make it happen.
United Spinal has access to over 100,000 wheelchair users, 50+ chapters, 180+ support groups, and 100+ rehabs and hospital partners nationwide––including 10 distinguished Spinal Cord Injury Model System Centers that support innovative projects and research in the field of SCI. This year, we have touched over 1.8 million lives impacted by disability. Our expansive reach to wheelchair consumers, their families and caregivers, clinicians and disability stakeholders, through our national Spinal Network empowers individuals with disabilities to achieve their highest potential in all facets of life.
Membership in United Spinal is free and open to all individuals with SCI/D.
United Spinal is committed to advocating for greater civil rights and independence for people with disabilities, including expanding education and employment, improving enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ensuring adequate access to public transportation and taxi services, and amending Medicare rules that restrict many individuals to their homes and nursing facilities.
Patrick W. Maher
Chairman of the Board
United Spinal Association
As Director of Civic Engagement a digital transformation agency, Pat Maher continues a personal and company initiative that fosters and develops key civic partnerships with leading non-profit organizations with a mission to improve career opportunities in tech for historically marginalized populations. Read more about Pat Maher
President & CEO
United Spinal Association
For 35 years James Weisman has advocated for the rights of people with disabilities including helping craft the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Mr. Weisman is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).Read more about James Weisman