Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injury can result in paralysis of the muscles used for breathing; paralysis and/or loss of feeling in all or some of the trunk, arms, and legs; weakness; numbness; loss of bowel and bladder control; and numerous secondary conditions including respiratory problems, pressure sores, and sometimes fatal spikes in blood pressure. Approximately 12,000 new spinal cord injuries occur in the U.S. each year. A majority of injuries occur from motor vehicle accidents, falls, work-related accidents, sports injuries, and penetrations such as stab or gunshot wounds.

Our Membership Community

Our membership community provides a lifeline for many individuals that are focused on regaining their independence and improving their quality of life––whether they are leaving rehab after sustaining a spinal cord injury, learning to live with symptoms of a spinal cord disorder, or have spent years of frustration coping with disability. We provide members guidance and resources on a variety of topics they are passionate about, such as employment, affordable housing, transportation, health care, home- and community-based independent living, education, peer support, and leisure and recreation.

Ask Us

United Spinal’s Ask Us program connects you with information, resources, and access to our “Ask Us Spinal Cord Central” help center. Browse the Knowledge Books below for answers to your questions. If you can’t find what you are looking for just Ask Us and one of our knowledgeable staff will provide you with answers.
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Push for CRPD Treaty Continues

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) came up for a vote today, December 4th, on the Senate floor. The final vote was 61 to 38. Although the treaty did not receive the 66 votes needed in order for it to be ratified, be assured, that the fight to ratify the CRPD is not over.

The CRPD would have improved access for disabled veterans and other Americans with disabilities that live, work, or travel abroad. The treaty is critical to maintaining America’s leadership role on disability rights and to eliminating disability discrimination throughout the world. Ratification of the CRPD treaty would present the opportunity for a reaffirmation of the values inherent in the Americans with Disabilities Act and provide the forum to advance them worldwide.A finger pushing a button that reads push to keep this issue alive. Click to contact your Senators on this issue.

The vote followed on the heels of a day of intense and spirited advocacy marking the International Day of People with Disabilities on December 3. Disability advocates around the country held events and called, emailed, tweeted, and even visited their Senators’ offices both in their states and in DC. Advocates made passionate arguments in favor of extending rights that those of us in the U.S. have fought for to the global community. Senator John Kerry (D-MA), held a well-attended press conference advocating for passage of the treaty and responding to opposition. Other champions included Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Representative Jim Langevin (D-RI), the only quadriplegic member of Congress, Ted Kennedy, Jr. and Republican Dick Thornburgh, the former U.S. attorney general and governor of Pennsylvania. United Spinal and partner disability rights organizations were well represented on the hill.

Unfortunately, fear and arguments around the nation’s sovereignty and the American way of life won out, this time. The struggle is not over, though. All Democrats voted in favor of the treaty, eight Republicans also voted in favor, these included: Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, Senator Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts, Senator Susan Collins and Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Senator John McCain of Arizona.

Those of us making visits to Senators’ DC offices made it clear that this vote was a disability vote. Those Senators who voted against the community will be held to account. We will continue to call for ratification of this treaty and for all laws that ensure the basic rights and dignity of people with disabilities.

To all of our advocates, “Thank You.” Thank you for your hard work and self-advocacy. Every voice counts. As we continue the struggle, we all continue to build our community. Please consider contacting your Senators regarding their votes. Thank them for voting Yes or ask them to reconsider their No vote for the future. We will keep you updated on next steps.

Carol Tyson
Policy Associate
United Spinal Association

2016-12-31T02:26:56+00:00 Advocacy, Featured, United Spinal News|