Community News
Our New Employment Program for 2020

I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to a new year and the start of a new decade. We have new alliances, new board members, a new employment preparedness workshop, a Picnic in the Park and a brand new employment program launching. Our 3rd Annual SCI/D workshop is set for October 3rd and we will be celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the ADA.

Our goal for 2020 is to become a valuable resource to our community, to provide opportunity and mentoring to those in need and who are looking to kick start their new life.

If you feel like Spinal Network is important to our community, please consider a gift of support, please consider volunteering your time or sharing a skill that you may have.
Let's join together in 2020 to make it the year of community.


Rick Hayden
Executive Director
Thrive Worldwide 2019 was a Great Event in San Diego
Well our ThriveWorldwide event held at Sharp Rehab was great fun, such a lively group of people attended. Everyone had an opportunity to share their story and to network with others. We joined a worldwide community of people with disabilities in solidarity as we all recognize the need to continue our fight for equality across the board and to support our brothers and sisters who live in places where their rights are seriously compromised.

It is time for all of us to Thrive.
Employment Preparedness Workshop - February 27th
Presenting agencies for this workshop:

  • Michael Kojis - Social Security Administration
  • Aleyda Toruno - Disability Rights California
  • Leah Schicker - Department of Rehabilitation
  • Rusty Krumm - Workability III
  • Warren "Bill" White - Spinal Network

A powerful lineup sharing programs and information to assist you as you begin your journey to independence. Whether it's college and then employment or right into employment, those nagging questions about going back to work will be answered. Knowledge is power and having that knowledge will give you the power to succeed.

This workshop will be held at:
Workforce Partnership Headquarters
9246 Lightwave Ave #100 (first floor)
San Diego, CA 92123
Spinal Networks Newest Board Members
Dominick Taitano’s life changed 33 years ago after he was involved in an ATV accident. He is a C3/C4 ventilator dependent quadriplegic. He did his rehabilitation at Rancho Los Amigos for twenty-three months. After rehab, he pursued earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at Cal State University San Marcos. After graduating, he worked for a leather goods company for 14 years doing data entry and purchasing. He has also been involved with a family-owned company that provided resources and services to individuals with disabilities. 

Dominick grew up San Diego and stays very active despite his high level of injury. He feels life is too short not to embrace all that it has to offer. Staying positive is what has helped him the most. He has also been blessed with the loving support of his family. He strives to do the most he can even with all of his limitations. He enjoys attending sporting events, concerts, plays, amusement parks, places with incredible scenery, and spending time with family and friends. He also finds pleasure in traveling and experiencing new adventures. Dominick has been a peer mentor to those with SCI, which he finds very fulfilling. He figures he should share the knowledge and insight that he has gained after living with his injury for so long. He has also been a guest speaker at colleges and numerous functions. Dominick finds strength in sharing his personal story with others and hopes others will benefit from his life experiences.            
Sean Petersen was born and spent his childhood just outside of Tampa, FL. He then attended Ohio State University where he was a student athlete and member of the ROTC program. 

After college he joined the United States Marine Corps where he honorably served 8 years and left as a Captain. During that time he also got his masters degree from the University of San Diego. After leaving the Marine Corps, sean spent much of his time in marketing and advertising but was looking for a company or product that was meaningful and made a difference. 

In 2009 Sean found what he was looking for and starting working with GoldenBoy Mobility. 11 years later his mission is the same, to help provide independence and freedom through mobility vehicles and equipment. This is done through education, community involvement and a passion to make a difference. 
Looking for a Job?
For our members looking for a job, our new employment program might be able to help. Step one for the potential employee is to click on the Candidate Profile button below and create your profile, attach your resume and submit. If you need some help with your resume let us know, we can provide that service or connect you with someone who can at no cost to you.

We are in the process of having employers register with us to access the private and secure database of candidate profiles. They will be able to contact the candidates directly when they find a candidate that best fits their criteria.

Click the link below to create your Candidate Profile.
Our New Employment Program
Our goal with the new Employment program is to connect the person looking for gainful employment with an employer.

Step one would be for the individual to complete the Candidate Profile located on our website (see the link below). If the person needs help building a strong resume, we can provide that service or connect you with a resource that can. The profile is then submitted and uploaded into a secure database.

Step two will be employers registering with us to gain access to the secure database where they can search by category for all candidates that meet their criteria for employment. The employer will contact the candidate directly.

This is a valuable resource not only to the individual and the employer but also to other agencies and organizations. We will look to work with the colleges/universities in our area of service, primarily their Disabled Students Programs and Service (DSPS) department.
Last Chance to Sign Up For the Sharp Rec. Therapy Ski Trip
Sharp has scheduled one full day of adapted snow skiing through the United States Adaptive Recreation Center (USARC), our adaptive ski specialists at Big Bear Lake.
Snow skiing can be adapted to individuals with physical limitations. Adaptive equipment and individual instruction are available. All participants must wear a provided helmet during their lesson. Also, any skier who will be using a bi ski or mono ski may not exceed 200 pounds due to equipment limitations and other factors. Any ski school type questions, call 909-584-0269.
The $90.00 fee will cover the cost of skiing, equipment and instruction for the day. If you choose to stay overnight, lodging will be an additional expense. Recreation therapy will not provide transportation.
For more information, call 858-939-3048 or  email  Debbie Moore. Please reserve your spot by January 18th. We have a limited number of spots available
New San Diego East County Support Group
Jim Weber started the East County SCI/D Peer Support Group in April 2019 with the goal of bringing people with spinal cord injuries and diagnoses (SCI/D) from San Diego’s East County together. The group meets the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month at 12pm in the food court at Parkway Plaza.

Jim knows that through peer support, mentoring and networking, people will learn from each other, foster independence, and help those with new injuries and diagnoses ease back into being in a public setting. Getting through the social anxieties of being in public after their spinal cord injury can be a major step in resuming life in the real world. We also want to provide a safe place to socialize with their peers and to make new friends and build self-esteem.
Looking for a Certified Peer Mentor? Do You Want to Become a 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.

If you'd like to become one of our peer mentors, send me an email rick@scchapter. org
Complex Rehabilitation Technology Legislation Update
We have something extra to be grateful for this Holiday season! On December 20th the President signed into law H.R. 1865 that includes permanent protections for Complex Rehab Manual Wheelchairs and their accessories/components. This is a great win in our collective advocacy to protect access to Complex Rehab Technology (CRT). 
The included CRT provisions will permanently exempt Complex Rehab Manual Wheelchair bases from the Medicare Competitive Bidding Program (CBP). Additionally, there is an 18-month suspension in the current application of CBP payment rates to Complex Rehab Manual Wheelchair accessories. The suspension is effective January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 which will allow for further discussions to achieve a permanent resolution. 
Do You Have A New Years Resolution to Improve Your Fitness?
I know I do and it's probably going to leave some people scratching their head. My resolution for 2020 is to stop feeling so old. Are you wondering where this magical fountain of youth is, because if that was what it took, I'm looking too. No, my approach is to work on my cardio, maybe plan that early morning push, I need to search out a new gym in the area that has equipment conducive to an adaptive workout. I need to work on maintaining positive mental health which will be greatly aided by the first two items listed here and of course changing up my diet.

I'll let you know how this goes in future newsletter updates. If you have a resolution that you'd like to share, click the button below and share with me.

Happy 2020 to us all.
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.
SW Riverside County Group to Meet
Here we come, we want to start a group here in the Murrieta/Temecula/Wildomar/ Menifee/Lake Elsinore area. If your interested click the link below, I'll send you more information. We will plan our first Breakfast Meet Up for February 15th.
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 and third Saturday of every month, 12 - 2
January 14th - Meet & Greet San Diego @ Sharp Rehab, 11:30 - 1
February 11th - Meet & Greet San Diego @Sharp Rehab, 11:30 - 1
February 15th - Breakfast Meet Up in Murrieta, location TBD, 10 - 11:30
February 21st through 23rd - Abilities Expo Los Angeles Convention Center
February 27th - Employment Preparedness Workshop, San Diego @ Workforce Partnership Headquarters from 9 - 1
March 10th - Meet & Greet San Diego @ Sharp Rehab, 11:30 - 1
April 14th - Meet & Greet San Diego @ Sharp Rehab, 11:30 - 1
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