Network News

October 2020
Spinal Network's mission is to support the employment and education of individuals with spinal cord injuries/diagnoses by providing the tools and community support to be successful in their work and personal lives.
Our Virtual Employment Preparedness Workshop is
Scheduled for October 28th
Looking to follow your dream of becoming gainfully employed? Do you work with and advocate for people within the disability community? Do you work for a company that wants to increase the number of employees who have a disability? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you want to join with us on October 28th, it will be a wise investment of your time.

Our 2020 Employment Preparedness Virtual Workshop will consist of three sessions with each sessions consisting of five areas of focus. These five areas are as follows:

  • Social Securities PASS program
  • Disability Rights California WIPA (Work Incentive Planning and Assistance)
  • Dept. of Rehabilitation Employment Services
  • Workability III and Connecting with the Community College system
  • Spinal Network Interview tips
Spinal Network Movie Review - Passion Fish
October 27th at 12 noon
Join Us, All Are Welcome

Please find the information required to log in further down in this newsletter

October is a pretty special month as we get to focus our attentions, even more than usual, on employment for those people with a disability. The unemployment rate for someone with a disability is more than double that of their able bodied counterpart. It is our vision at Spinal Network to change that, to bring that number down and to help people get back to work, being gainfully employed has such a positive impact on quality of life and true independence.

If you are interested in exploring going back to work, then you should register for our free employment preparedness workshop to be held on October 28th (online using zoom). If you advocate on behalf of the disability community you should register, it will be time well spent.

If anyone needs to find resources or maybe you just want to talk, we have our peer mentors, our board of directors and our advocacy team. Check out the list of contacts under the COVID-19 section further down in the newsletter.

Nobody needs to be alone during these uncertain times


Rick Hayden
Executive Director
Spinal Network Has Partnered with and
Spinal Network has partnered with and to provide free one-on-one job mentoring, information about the Ticket to Work program, information about Medicaid buy-in programs, and access to employment benefits counseling to help persons with disabilities gain and maintain employment. Please fill out the survey by clicking on the button to the right to be matched with a free disability employment benefits mentor and counselor.
United Spinal Association’s Pathways to Employment (PTE) program supports the pursuit of new job opportunities and a successful career for people with spinal cord injuries (SCI) by providing the tools and support necessary to successfully overcome barriers to gainful employment.
Check Out Our New Scholarship Page
Spinal Network has put together a list of scholarships that may be of help if the next phase of your life's journey takes you to college. Check it out by clicking on the button below.
The New Grassroots Advocacy Network
Change is made by the people who speak up.
That’s the most important principle of advocacy. People can believe very strongly in a principle or an idea, but unless they express it, those with the power to make that idea a reality will never know just how much support that idea has.
We at United Spinal know how important it is that every elected official – everywhere – hears from our community about our priorities, our challenges, and our perspectives on policies that affect us. That’s why we re-launched our Grassroots Advocacy Network this summer with the goal of having a critical mass of committed advocates in every congressional district in the United States.
This initiative is based on two basic principles. First, our community needs to stay engaged with our elected officials throughout the year. In order for all the good work that goes into our annual Roll on Capitol Hill to be most effective, it needs to be paired with emails and phone calls from our Grassroots Advocates to their members of Congress on issues of importance throughout the year.
Second, we know from experience that members of Congress place great value on hearing from their constituents. That is why we’re looking for individuals who are interested in sharing their stories and perspectives with staffers for their Representative and Senators as an ambassador for our community. Congressional staff will sometimes look to reach out to particular constituents to include them at official events, use their stories in speeches or at committee hearings, or ask for their perspective on how a policy they are considering would affect them. Building those kinds of relationships with Congressional offices deepens their bond with our community.
You can have just as much of an impact by sending messages through United Spinal’s Action Center and making phone calls throughout the year to your members of Congress as you could by meeting with their staff in Washington, DC. Both are incredibly important. Together, these forms of advocacy combine to provide a comprehensive outreach approach that allows United Spinal to best advocate for policies that benefit our community.
So, please consider joining the Grassroots Advocacy Network. We will send you action alerts on important issues throughout the year that we need our advocates to contact their Representatives and Senators about. The messages will be written for you – all you need to do is input your name, address, and email address and click send. We may also reach out to you if we are planning a virtual meeting with your Representative or one of your Senators. If you have any questions about this program, you can email United Spinal’s Advocacy and Policy team at
During the COVID-19 Pandemic
We Are Providing Additional Services and Resources or maybe you just want to talk with someone.

Contact Information and Resource Links
Bill White 310-770-7503
North County Inland, Escondido to Mira Mesa

Chelle Struve 619-316-3743
North County Coastal, Oceanside to Del Mar

Jim Weber 619-851-8633
East County

Dominick Taitano 619-289-0753
Mission Valley to Del Mar

Ania Flatau 831-224-0006
Mission Valley to Del Mar

Rick Hayden 951-775-2561
West and Southwest Riverside County

Virtual Meet Ups and Movie Reviews in October
  • Spinal Networks Movie review of "Passion fish" will be on Tuesday, October 27th at 12 noon. This movie is available for free on YouTube.
Meeting ID: 976 2262 7668
Password: 398514

  • Sharps SCI Support Group will be on the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month from 4:00pm - 5:30pm.

If you would like more information on this group, please email Richard Green at
Coming Soon from Cure Medical
Ride with Ian
Every two years I have a unique opportunity to push the limits of my power wheelchair in a long
distance adventure. I do this for three reasons: I love long rides in my wheelchair; to advocate for more safe accessible connected pathways for people with all abilities; and to encourage all people to get outside.
There is Still Time to Register for the Free Workshop
  • The countdown is ON for the inaugural Adapted Sport Leadership & Business Symposium (LABS 2020) coming up on Thursday, Oct. 15! LABS is a free one-day virtual conference dedicated to uniting the adapted sport industry and our allies to advance our movement and expand our impact. Join hundreds of sport leaders from around the country working in a variety of roles including: 
  • Adapted Sport Organizations
  • Universities
  • Elite Athletes
  • Sport Travel/Tourism
  • Grassroots Youth-Based Sports
  • National Governing Bodies (NGBs)
  • Sport Philanthropy
Be part of these important discussions that will spark opportunities to advance the movement and expand the impact of adapted sport. 
Sin Limites on Facebook
Are you spanish speaking and looking for a spinal cord injury group where you can ask questions or just chat with others from our community? Go on Facebook and search for Sin Limites, this group meets the 1st Thursday of every month from 1pm - 2pm. Just ask to join the group.
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.

During this time of lockdown we will mentor via phone or video chat.

If you'd like to become one of our peer mentors, shoot me an email, click here Rick
Slingshot Golf, a Game for Everyone
It doesn’t matter if you are a professional golfer or a high-level quadriplegic – ANYONE CAN PLAY.
To hit the long ball a golfer or their caddie uses a hand-held slingshot and once on the green uses a putting mechanism of their choice to get the ball in the hole.

In the spinal cord injury community, a day doesn’t go by without learning of a new tool, technique or device that has an impact for a certain segment of our population. We recently discovered the concept of “Wearable Therapy” that, according to the company, helps treat the effects of neurological conditions such as disuse muscle atrophy, pain, and spasms in those with SCI. It is the brainchild of AxioBionics founder, Philip Muccio, which uses NMES electrical stimulation to repeatedly contract and relax muscles, which maintains muscle strength. By managing the contractions of the muscles, NMES can also calm erratic muscle spasms and restore a more natural state of relaxation.
One of the company’s first clients was Christopher Reeve. The system can be designed for individuals with paraplegia or complete quadriplegia and is custom-fitted as you will work one-on-one with a specialized trained expert to ensure optimal results. The company does suggest use of this system as soon after an injury as possible. For an evaluation or questions, check out the information on their web site HERE.
United Spinal Association/ Spinal Network Membership Benefits
  • Personalized Advice and Guidance
  • Peer Mentor/Support
  • Advocacy and Public Policy
  • Veterans Benefits Counseling
  • Accessibility Advocacy
  • Local Chapters such as ours
  • New Mobility Magazine (free subscription)
  • Informative and Educational Publications
  • Ongoing Educational Webinars
  • Local Meet and Greets
  • Virtual Movie Reviews
Our Website Has Many Areas of Interest?
Health and Wellness
Nine areas of interesting facts related to SCI/D such as caregivers, managing pain, depression and spasticity.
Peer Mentoring
Requesting a peer mentor or looking to become a peer mentor. The information is right here in one spot. We currently have eleven certified peer mentors.
Employment Preparedness
This is a very important focus for us. Many of us in the disability community want to become gainfully employed. We want off the system and to help others along their journey.
Virtual Meet & Greet Events
Our monthly Meet & Greets are a great way to connect with peers and to build your personal support network. It's also a great way to meet new friends within the SCI/D world.
Video Gallery
Our helpful video gallery has available to you, a number of videos related to SCI/D. Topics on advocacy, lifestyle, health, employment and more.
Vets First
VetsFirst is a program of United Spinal Association that assists veterans and their eligible family members in obtaining the benefits they are entitled to, deserve and need.
Spinal Network
a chapter of the United Spinal Association
Tel: 951-775-2561
Please Support Our Sponsors
Purcell International Group