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.

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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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Got Wheels? Autonomous Vehicles and the Disability Community

Self-Driving Cars also known as Autonomous Vehicles

United Spinal public policy staff attended the introductory meeting for the Autonomous Vehicles (AV) community to meet stakeholders in the disability community sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) and the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITSA): The Future of Autonomous Vehicles and the Disability Community.

At the meeting, participants discussed the traditional barriers in transportation, the importance of transportation to community integration, the need for universal design and inclusive policies that incorporate members of the disability community into all levels of the AV industry.

United Spinal recently signed onto a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is developing guidance on self-driving cars. The letter supports policy that balances the responsibility to keep America’s roads safe with the need to get and keep autonomous vehicles on public roads as quickly as it can be done safely.”

Intelligent Transportation Society of America

In November, United Spinal met with the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITSA) on the topic of autonomous vehicles. ITSA is working with technology companies and ride-sharing companies to develop self-driving vehicles.

International Parking Institute (IPI)

IPI reached out to United Spinal Association and others to get a better understanding of the issues wheelchair users and individuals with disabilities face when parking throughout the nation. IPI represents almost all parking organization throughout the country, including the companies that create parking meters and garages. Since it is a nationwide problem for people with disabilities, especially those who use wheelchairs and have limited mobility, IPI would like to work with organizations to improve access to accessible parking.

IPI will be sharing their strategic plan with us and United Spinal will continue to be in dialogue with them as they work on these issues.

Federal Automated Vehicles Policy

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2017-06-18T12:10:45+00:00 By |Latest, United Spinal Updates|