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'Save the Wheelchair' Campaign Launched

‘Save the Wheelchair’ Campaign Launched

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 […]

Five things they don't tell you in rehab

Five things they don’t tell you in rehab

Writing, cooking, buttoning buttons and the always fun balloon toss – we learn and do a lot in rehab after a debilitating injury. They try to squeeze in as much as possible (which isn’t easy with insurance cuts). And they try to think of everything as well, but this is a far-off dream – preparing […]

Navigating Voc Rehab

Many people with disabilities throughout the United States have taken advantage of their state’s vocational rehabilitation services, with varying degrees of success. Vocational rehabilitation services — mandated under the Rehabilitation Act and provided through the states — are offered to individuals with disabilities who have a “physical or mental impairment that constitutes or results in […]

Therapy or back to “real-life?”

Therapy or back to “real-life?”

A lot has changed since I began my crip adventure in 1993. One of the biggest: The drive to get as much return back as possible (when you have a spinal cord injury). Now people will support you (instead of thinking you’re crazy). I went to rehab for 3 months, and then my insurance sent […]

The Way He Rolls

The Way He Rolls

Do you have fond memories of getting kicked out of rehab too soon? Did you have physical therapists who were robotic, and whose instructions seemed like they were from a too-old textbook? This very thing happened to Jacob Sharff, a 30-year-old paraplegic from West Palm Beach, Fla., and that is why he decided to start […]

FDA Approves Botox

Q. I’m a T9 para and take Ditropan to keep my bladder quiet and my pants dry — but I hate the cotton-mouth and “fuzzy brain” side effects. I’ve seen some buzz on SCI message boards talking about “Botox injections to stop bladder spasms” being approved by the FDA. I thought docs had been using […]

Locomotor Training: A Step in the Direction?

Locomotor Training: A Step in the Direction?

LT is a difficult, sometimes fuzzy-edged scientific adventure, not a predictable task like learning to play Wii dodge ball with the kids. When I first dropped by the Next Step Fitness Center, situated in a nondescript mini-mall in the Los Angeles suburb of Lawndale, Janne Kouri had been walking, or more precisely, stepping, with a […]

Awakening Your Whole Self

Awakening Your Whole Self

Can you feel that sensation in your spine?” asks Matthew Sanford, after pressing on my sternum while I lean forward from my wheelchair, my hands pressed on a chair in front of me, breathing from the back of my rib cage. “Everybody has the ability to feel this sensation.” …

Young people at Access Living, a CIL in Chicago, prepare posters for a demonstration.

Contemporary Independent Living

Ask seven leaders in the independent living movement to define a center for independent living and you’ll get at least 14 answers. First you’ll get the party line: As mandated by the federal Rehabilitation Act, each CIL provides four core service: skills training, peer counseling, information and referral, and advocacy. And by law, they’ll add, […]

Steve Lindley, Miami Project Senior Research Associate, works with research participant Michael Rivera.

The Miami Project: Not Just About Cure

A visitor entering the marble-floored lobby of the elegant seven-story building that now houses the Miami Project could easily mistake it for the entrance to a fine bank or a very upscale office building–until they glance at the gyms behind the glass walls on either side of the lobby. Therapists walk from one exercise machine […]