United Spinal's Roll on Capitol Hill Selects Hector Del Valle of Central Florida to Represent Disability Community

In D.C. @UnitedSpinal to Advocate for Greater Access for #Wheelchair Users #ROCH2013 http://ow.ly/kPKZN

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May 09, 2013, 09:15 ET from United Spinal Association

NEW YORK, May 9, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Spinal Association recently announced Hector Del Valle, a wheelchair user from Central Florida, will join other prominent disability advocates at United Spinal Association's  Roll on Capitol Hill, June 16-19 in Washington, D.C.  

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Mr. Del Valle will speak directly with legislators on issues that affect the independence and quality of life of people with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D).

"Orlando is on the list of top 20 wheelchair friendly cities. But many people with disabilities in Central Florida are completely forgotten," said Del Valle.

Del Valle will be attending Roll on Capitol Hill to urge his state representatives to provide Floridians with disabilities greater access to their communities and critical resources.

"We are honored to have Hector take part in our Roll on Capitol Hill to represent the concerns and interests of people living with SCI/D," said Alexandra Bennewith, MPA, United Spinal's Vice President of Government Relations.

"His spirit and determination is proof that the voice of our community is strong and that Hector and all members of the SCI community can and do play an active role in improving policies for our community," she added.

Del Valle, a 46 year-old New Jersey native who was paralyzed from the chest down in a drinking and driving accident 30 years ago, believes the most productive way he can make a difference, is by sharing his own personal story about living with a disability and the challenges he's faced.

After a long battle with addiction, Del Valle earned a Master's degree in Social Work and now counsels others on substance abuse. He's also mentored high school kids about the dangers of drinking and driving and educates students entering the social work profession to better understand the dynamics of those living with disability and addiction.

Last year, Del Valle and his wife Jo started a local chapter in Central Florida affiliated with United Spinal's membership division NSCIA, to offer wheelchair users an outlet to connect with their peers and participate in recreational activities and social events.

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.

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.
Paul Tobin

Jim Weisman

Alexandra Bennewith, MPA

Media contact:
Ahvi Spindell                                                                 
Media Relations Services
United Spinal Association                                             
(212) 580-4567                                                                
Twitter @ahvispin

SOURCE United Spinal Association