NEW YORK, N.Y.: United Spinal Association member Kesha Pilot, a 27 year-old wheelchair user and disability advocate from Hot Springs, Ark., has launched the Save the Wheelchair campaign to raise money to support United Spinal’s third annual Roll on Capitol Hill.
Roll on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., June 22-25, 2014, is United Spinal’s annual legislative advocacy event that addresses issues that impact the health, independence and quality of life of individuals living with spinal cord injuries and disorders.
This year advocates will call for, among other issues, passage of HR 492/S. 948, Ensuring Access to Quality Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act of 2013, a bill to establish a benefit to ensure that persons with spinal cord injuries and disorders have access to complex rehab technology.
Kesha Pilot’s Save the Wheelchair campaign aims to raise $15,000 on behalf of United Spinal to cover a portion of the travel, transportation and lodging expenses of the wheelchair users and disability advocates attending ROCH.
“Having access to a wheelchair that works for me has enabled me to regain my independence, and at the same time take on all responsibilities life throws my way, big or small. But many other people living with spinal cord injuries are not as fortunate,” says Pilot, who acquired a spinal cord injury as a result of a car accident two years ago. Since her injury, she has worked to improve access and create opportunities for people who live with SCI/D and rely on wheelchairs.
Pilot is now on a mission to ensure others have access to necessary customized wheelchairs and mobility equipment so they can live independent and productive lives.
At the top of her agenda is advocating for greater access to complex rehab technology or medically necessary individually configured manual and power wheelchair systems, adaptive seating systems, alternative positioning systems, and other devices that require evaluation, fitting, design, adjustment and programming.
“I want to build relationships with legislators and work towards finding solutions that help people in chairs out. Having an established group like United Spinal behind me gives me even more credibility,” adds Pilot.
The ‘Save the Wheelchair’ campaign will run for 60 days, beginning March 17th. Individuals that donate $25 will be offered a free one-year subscription to New Mobility Magazine, a colorful monthly lifestyle magazine for active wheelchair users, with comprehensive articles on SCI/D health, travel, news, technology, recreation, disability rights, research and more.
Individuals that donate $50 will be offered the Fourth Edition of the Spinal Network guidebook — the essential resource for making important life choices after spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, post-polio syndrome, amputation, ALS and other conditions.
To make a donation in support the ‘Save the Wheelchair’ campaign, click here.
Help spread the word by using the Hashtag: #savethewheelchair.
About United Spinal Association
United Spinal is a national 501(c) (3) nonprofit membership organization formed in 1946 by paralyzed veterans and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Americans with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), including multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, ALS and post-polio. It played a significant role in writing the Americans with Disabilities Act, and made important contributions to the Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Air Carrier Access Act. Membership is free and is open to all individuals with SCI/D. United Spinal was instrumental in getting New York City to create sidewalk curb ramps and accessible public transportation that has been used as a model for many United States cities.