The InSider
We Have a New Name

The Southern California Chapter of United Spinal Association has changed its name to Spinal Network, not only is it fits on a pen.

Here is how the new name fits with what we do and who we are:
Spinal - as in spinal cord injury, spinal diagnoses, spinal disease, spinal disorder
Network - community, support, resources, services, opportunities, mentoring

When we discussed this at our latest board meeting, we all just looked at each other nodding our heads, it just fit perfectly. We are excited to begin the branding process and to spread the word. We hope you like our new name and see the significance, it is after all, your name as well as ours.

I'd love to hear about your journey or to receive feedback on what we are doing and what we can do a better job of, just send your comments along by clicking the link below.


Rick Hayden
Executive Director
Aleyda Toruno from Disability Rights California will Present
Aleyda Toruno from Disability Rights California joined us October 10th at our Meet and Greet event. She presented the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program which is all about free individualized work incentive counseling. We learned about the uniqueness of the program as well as where it overlapped with programs from other agencies such as Social Securities PASS program. If your looking to enter/re-enter the workforce you'll be happy to know that there are resources available to you and the WIPA program is one you will want to take advantage of.

Thanks Aleyda for your time and commitment to improving the lives of our community. If you'd like more information, you can click on the link below.
New High School Sports Program from CAF
  • Increase awareness and support for student-athletes with physical disabilities.
  • Encourage participation in high school sports for adaptive athletes.
  • Provide instructional materials to support training, click the button below to see more.
  • Offer educational clinics and pre-season training in select locations to prepare athletes for their high school season.
  • Grant opportunities for equipment, coaching, and travel/competition available for challenged athletes pursuing high school sports in the state of California.
Check Out Our Trusted Resource Directory
Please take a few minutes to check out our Trusted Resource Directory, a place where you will find product and services from companies that we trust and who are committed to improving the quality of life for our community.
Our October Workshop "Trending Topics for
Living with SCI/D" was a Great Success.
First let me thank all of the attendees, presenters, volunteers and exhibitors who helped make this years workshop a great success.

We tried something a little different this year, we had three panel discussion groups with the topics being; Life Skills and Independence, Advocacy/Self-Advocacy, and Aging and Ability. The panelists shared their stories followed by some Q&A. Hearing from those who are living life as a disabled individual lent credibility to the information shared.

Special thanks go out to: Sharp Health Care, United Spinal Association, Sam Maddox, Sprouts Family Market, Rehabilitation Care Coordination, NuMotion Foundation, Ipsen Therapeutics, Mobility Solutions and Altimate Medical.

We are already working on next years program which will be on October 3, 2020, hope you will plan on joining us.
Thrive Worldwide 2019 is Set for December 3rd
Last year to commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we celebrated #ThriveWorldwide 2018 at Sharp Rehab with 25 incredible people.

This year on December 3rd, we will once again gather at Sharp Rehab to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities by celebrating #ThriveWorldwide 2019. Instead of a guest speaker, we are going to have a few of our members share their life's journey followed by a time for questions. Of course we will also have food, no event is complete without it.
New San Diego East County Support Group
Jim Weber started the East County SCI/D Peer Support Group in April 2019 to bring together people with spinal cord injuries and diagnoses (SCI/D) from San Diego’s East County. The group meets the 1st Saturday of every month at 12pm in the food court at Parkway Plaza.
My goal with the group is to help people with SCI/D through peer support, mentoring and networking. To learn from each other, foster independence, and especially to help those with new injuries and diagnoses ease back into being in a public setting and to get through some of their social anxieties of being in public after their spinal cord injury. We also want to provide a safe place to socialize with their peers and to make new friends and build self-esteem.
Each month we get together for what is supposed to be 2 hours of casual chit chat but sometimes turns into 3 or 4 hours because we are enjoying the comradery, learning about each other and our injuries and supporting one another with our experience and knowledge. Last month, we enjoyed a movie as well. Every meeting is a lot of fun and feedback is great!
The support group is intended to be coed and we hope to be build attendance in coming months.
We are now in our 8th month and considering doing a twice monthly meeting if there's enough popular support and give more people opportunities to attend.
Here's some of the feedback from a couple of our regular attendees:
" This group, has given me happiness. I was looking to fit in somewhere, felt alone. All my friends had left, my significant other. I felt lost and this group, has helped mend my heart. To look forward to life and know that I've got all the others supporting me. I feel like I fit in with everyone. I finally fit in" - Aaron Foley
"I come out to the East county group to meet and hang out with friends rather than to be stuck at home doing nothing. Coming together as a group helps me to remember that I’m not the only one in a wheelchair and boosts my morale. I also learned a lot by being around other people with spinal cord injuries" - George Cruz 
Looking for a Certified Peer Mentor?
Spinal Network has eleven certified peer mentors available to meet, listen, share their experiences as well as sharing resources and services. Whether your newly injured/diagnosed or you've been wheeling this earth for a while, or maybe your a friend, family member or rehab professional, reach out, we're here for you.
Complex Rehabilitation Technology Legislation Update
This is so very important, especially if you are a manual wheelchair user or a rehab professional. If we can't get this passed by year end, those critical components for your chair will not be paid for. The time to act is NOW! Critical components are those options that are not included in the price of the base chair as well as cushions and positioning backs.

The following is the latest news from NCART

CRT stakeholders continue to engage Members of Congress and committee staff asking for their help in getting H.R. 2293 / S. 1223 passed by year-end. Though it's a chaotic time at the Capitol, we do have control over the level of outreach and advocacy being done on behalf of CRT.

Our Congressional champions have told us that the best thing we can be doing as a community is continuing to raise awareness through securing additional cosponsors. This is a tangible way of showing leaders in Congress that this bill is still a priority. We need our collective voice to remain strong if we want to get our legislation passed.

If your Members haven't signed on yet this is an excellent time to reach out to them by visiting . Using the links on that site CRT advocates can send an email or make a phone call in less than five minutes to ask for support of this important legislation. If you've already made your requests to Congress, share the site with others so they can do the same!
Interested in a U-Jam Adaptive Dance Fitness Program?
Our very own Ania Flatau, certified World of Dance (WOD) U-Jam Fitness Instructor is finalizing her plans for an adaptive WOD U-Jam fitness dance program. It will be held weekly at the Mission Valley YMCA and is a free program. This program is a collaborative effort between Spinal Network and the YMCA. If interested in getting on the list to be notified when the program starts, click below to send an email.
SSI for Married Couples
When the SSA calculates SSI for a married person, a portion of the spouse’s income is “deemed” or assigned to the SSI recipient. In other words, a percentage of your spouse’s earnings is considered yours, and since there are strict income and financial resource limits for SSI eligibility, the deemed income could put you over the eligibility limit. If it doesn’t make you ineligible for benefits, it could reduce the amount of SSI benefits you receive each month.

If your spouse also gets SSI, then the two of you may remain eligible, but the amount of your monthly benefits may change. SSI is calculated at a “single rate” or “couple rate.” When both partners in a marriage receive SSI, there is a monthly maximum for their combined benefit payments. In other words, you and your spouse cannot receive more than a certain amount in SSI each month. For 2019, the SSI limit for couples is $1,157 per month.

Your disability benefits are an essential source of income for you. Before making major life adjustments, it is therefore crucial you know how those changes will affect your benefits. A disability attorney or advocate can help you understand the SSA’s rules and regulations can help you understand the SSA’s rules and regulations and advise you on the best course of action given your specific circumstances.
Murrieta, Temecula, Lake Elsinore, Menifee, Wildomar
Here we come, we want to start a support group here in the Murrieta/Temecula/Wildomar/ Menifee/Lake Elsinore area. If your interested click the link below, I'll send you more information.
Upcoming Events
Men's SCI Support Group at Sharp Rehab in San Diego on the third Monday of every month, 4 - 5:30
East County SCI/D Support Group at Parkway Plaza Food Court in El Cajon on the first Saturday of every month, 12 - 2
November 12th - Meet & Greet at Sharp Rehab in San Diego from 11:30 - 1
December 3rd - Thrive Worldwide 2019 will be held at Sharp Rehab 11 - 1
December 10th - Meet & Greet at Sharp Rehab in San Diego from 11:30 - 1
December 17th - Meet & Greet in Riverside from 11:30 - 1
February 2020 - Half Day Employment Preparedness Workshop, details coming soon
May 2020 - Picnic in the Park, a fund day for all, food and activities, vendors
October 3, 2020 - SCI/D Rehab Professional Workshop, details coming soon
Spinal Network
a chapter of the United Spinal Association
Tel: 951-775-2561
Purcell International Group