NEW YORK, April 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Spinal Association announced today that it has been awarded a grant from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation to provide relief to people living with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D) who are experiencing hardships due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
"The safety and well-being of people with SCI/D is our highest priority. We are grateful for the support of Craig H. Neilsen to help us address the critical needs of our community," said James Weisman, United Spinal's president and CEO.
"The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt around the world, and people with SCI/D are particularly vulnerable. This pandemic puts them at high risk and makes it difficult for them to access services and supplies that are essential to their daily lives," said Kym Eisner, Executive Director of the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. "United Spinal is closely engaged with the SCI/D community across the country and is uniquely attuned to their immediate and long-term needs. We're proud to partner with United Spinal to fund relief as quickly as possible."
People with spinal cord injuries; immunocompromising disorders such as multiple sclerosis; and underlying acute health conditions, such as skin breakdown or urinary tract infection, are at increased risk of severe symptoms associated with COVID-19.
"The increased risks, along with a shortage of home- and community-based services, personal care attendants, and health care options has made a difficult situation much worse for wheelchair users and other people with disabilities who are trying to remain healthy and stay out of hospitals and nursing homes," added Weisman.
In addition to distributing relief grants, United Spinal is offering a wide range of resources to people with SCI/D and taking proactive measures to ensure members stay safe during the pandemic, including:
providing one-on-one assistance and critical support through its online Resource Center
keeping Washington, DC, state officials and legislators informed of urgent needs and COVID-19-created gaps in services to ensure access to healthcare and community supports
expanding life-enhancing outreach and peer support through its national chapter network and the integration of live group chats, virtual events, and podcasts and webinars
About United Spinal Association Formed in 1946 by paralyzed veterans, United Spinal is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Americans with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D). Membership is free and open to all individuals with SCI/D, with over 53,000 members across 50 chapters nationwide. Known for its revolutionary advocacy efforts, United Spinal played a significant role in writing the Americans with Disabilities Act, provided important contributions to the Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Air Carrier Access Act, and was instrumental in attaining sidewalk curb ramps and accessible public transportation in New York City, which created the standard accessibility model used in many United States cities.
About Craig H. Neilsen Foundation The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation's funding is dedicated to supporting both programs and scientific research to improve the quality of life for those affected by and living with spinal cord injury. Craig H. Neilsen established the Foundation in 2002 to award grants to a broad spectrum of charities, including those that benefit spinal cord injury efforts. Today, the vision of the Foundation is such that individuals with spinal cord injuries, and those who care for them, live full and productive lives as active participants in their communities. Learn more by visiting http://www.chnfoundation.org.