Happy Veterans Day
Danielle Applegate, Vice President, VetsFirst, a program of United Spinal Association
Alexandra Bennewith, Vice President, Government Relations, United Spinal Association
Each year, Veterans Day is an important time to recognize and acknowledge the men and women who have served our country. Our organization, United Spinal Association, sees each day how veterans not only made sacrifices for our country while in uniform, but how they are still giving back to our communities.
Veterans and people with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D) still face challenges getting to and from their health care, recreation, jobs, and social activities. That’s why our organization is fighting to expand mobility options for our members, and all people, including those who served.
We are happy to work with Let’s Talk Self-Driving to raise awareness about the need for greater mobility options so veterans and all people can get around safely and independently.
Our organization, United Spinal Association, was founded in 1946 by a group of paralyzed WWII veterans who banded together to raise awareness of the alarming plight of their fellow paralyzed veterans. Rejecting the poor treatment they received at their local VA hospitals, they led the charge for greater civil rights and independence. Now, more than 70 years strong United Spinal Association is the largest non-profit organization, founded by paralyzed veterans, dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of all people living with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), including veterans, and providing support and information to loved ones, care providers and professionals. United Spinal has over 70 years of experience educating and empowering approximately 2.5 million individuals with SCI/D to achieve and maintain the highest levels of independence, health and personal fulfillment. United Spinal has over 50,000 members, 54 chapters, close to 200 support groups and more than 100 rehabilitation facilities and hospital partners nationwide including 10 distinguished Spinal Cord Injury Model System Centers that support innovative projects and research in the field of SCI. United Spinal Association is also a VA-accredited veterans service organization (VSO) serving veterans with disabilities of all kinds.
We advocate for and empower all people with mobility challenges to help improve their quality of life, expand their access to the things they need to be self-sufficient, healthy, and independent, and promote community integration.
We’re also happy to partner with Let’s Talk Self-Driving to raise awareness about the resources we have for veterans, all people with mobility challenges, and the general public.
Spinal cord injury answers
Our Help Desk and hotline gives you access to our knowledgeable staff, who can help answer your questions about spinal cord injury and disorders.
Tips on interacting with people with disabilities
Check out our disability etiquette portal filled with videos, tips, and insights on how to interact respectfully with the 56.7 million Americans with disabilities.
Our VetsFirst program for all veterans and their families advocates for veterans’ rights and connects veterans and their families and caregivers with information about the benefits and services they are entitled to through our online resource directory and call center.
Peer mentoring and insights
We connect people with SCI/D to long-distance mentors and peer support groups so they can get advice, guidance, resources, and real-life insights on navigating life with a disability. Anyone can request a mentor, find a support group, or watch our peer talk videos featuring people with SCI/D.
We also offer a range of free publications, podcasts, and webinars for and about people with disabilities. Our backpack program provides people with spinal cord injuries with a free wheelchair adaptable backpack with over 30 items.
For just $30, you can sponsor a backpack and empower an individual navigating life after a spinal cord injury.
This Veterans Day, please help us raise awareness about the mobility challenges faced by so many people who have served our country. Together we can explore innovative, groundbreaking new solutions that have the potential to expand mobility options and improve safety for everyone.
If you know a veteran who has served our country, or a family member, caregiver, or survivor that needs assistance, please let them know we’re here to help. Explore our resources or have one of our counselors answer your questions.