United Spinal Association’s membership services division, National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NSCIA), has launched its New Beginning initiative to provide tools and resources for individuals with new spinal cord injuries and disorders as well as those who have lived with disabilities for many years, to improve their quality of life.
Launched in recognition of Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month in September, the New Beginning nationwide initiative empowers individuals to overcome the wide-range of challenges that accompany life with spinal cord injuries and disorders —from accessing quality healthcare, pursuing employment and education, choosing the proper adaptive equipment and home modifications, to locating peer support groups and living an active lifestyle.
“The New Beginning programme was created to not only address the immediate needs of our members and other people living with spinal cord injuries and disorders, but also those that may surface 10 years down the road,” said K Eric Larson, senior vice president for membership and chapter services at United Spinal Association.
As part of the programme, NSCIA is distributing backpacks to people who are newly injured or newly diagnosed with disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, that are leaving hospitals and rehabilitation facilities.
The backpacks are filled with relevant information and consumer resources on mobility and medical equipment, disability benefits, accessible housing, leisure and travel, healthcare, and much more.
“Most people are universally unprepared at first to live with a life-changing injury or disorder. The quicker we can reach these individuals and their family members and caregivers, the better their outcomes will be,” Larson added.
As part of NSCIA’s long term partnership with hospital members, the New Beginning backpacks will be available to numerous hospitals and rehabilitation sites across the country to ensure that people with spinal cord injuries and disorders are equipped with the knowledge to clear major hurdles when they return to their communities and are able to pursue the lives they choose.
New Beginning is supported by United Spinal’s wide-range of programmes and services, along with NSCIA’s large resource network and more than 60 local chapters and support groups across the USA.