Network News

January 2021
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.
Spinal Network Movie Review - "End Game"
January 24th at 12 noon
Join Us, All Are Welcome
This movie can be found on Netflix

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

The New Year is here and it deserves a big shout out. We have many things planned for 2021 as we journey forward, here is just a snippet:
  • Four Town Hall meetings, each presenting a specific topic related to employment/education and benefits.
  • Monthly employment preparedness workshop series, six modules that will better prepare you for employment.
  • Two half day employment preparedness workshops.
  • Expansion of our peer mentor, peer support program
  • A new Youth Transition program
  • A fun virtual 5K in March

We have been truly blessed, our collaboration with Sharp Rehab's support group has been such a positive experience and will continue through this new year.

We also have a great working relationship with the following agencies/organizations:
  • Social Security Administration
  • Workability III
  • Disability Rights California
  • Department of Rehabilitation
  • SPINALpedia
  • Willing to Work USA
  • United Spinal Association

When we assemble all of these pieces, we become a viable resource with some very impactful programs.

We look forward to seeing you in this new year, virtual at first but face to face when it is safe to do so.


Rick Hayden
Executive Director
Looking for a 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.
Monthly Employment Preparedness Workshop Series
starting January 20th
Bill White will be presenting tips and strategies for you to better prepare yourself when searching for that perfect job. January will kick it off, the topic being "Introduction to business and how they work (private vs. public, organizational charts etc.)"

This one hour workshop will take place on January 20th at 12 noon.

Here is the number If you will be using your phone to log in, 669 900 6833

Meeting ID: 992 7635 1259 Passcode: 186946
Our Virtual 5K Fundraiser set for MARCH 2021
This event is open to anyone and everyone
Our virtual 5K will take place throughout the month of March. We'll have a link to the website where you can register as an individual or a team. You will have the entire month to complete the 5K. Since it is virtual, there is no restriction on where you live or where a teammate may live.

Go solo or build a team
Spinal Network will be adding two new areas of focus,
Accessible Housing and Caregivers
We are in the planning stages for two new programs, putting committees together to oversee the projects, determining what the programs will look like and what they will offer. We are hoping that our members will want to be involved and volunteer. Building a team and working as a team creates a more impactful program with positive results. If you are interested in helping with one of these programs, please email me.
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 below 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.
New Town Hall Meeting Series set to start
on February 17, 2021
Our first Town Hall Meeting will feature Leah Schicker with the Department of Rehabilitation. Leah will talk about the services they provide, specifically the Ticket to Work program.

Ticket to Work Program:
Work Incentives Planners (WIPs) are available throughout DOR’s offices statewide to provide intensive, individualized one-on-one WIP Services to help consumers understand how their social security benefits will be affected if they return to work.
  • Roles of the WIP
  • Assist consumers in understanding the impact of employment on cash and health benefits
  • Develop accurate and personalized Benefits Analyses and Work Incentive Plans
  • Explain and outline viable options
  • Provide recommendations on appropriate work incentives
  • Promote successful employment outcomes
  • Assist with wage reporting and benefits management
  • Coordinate referrals to Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) projects and/or Employment Networks (ENs) at DOR case closure

Our February newsletter will have the workshop link.
Grassroots Advocacy Network
What is Self-Advocacy?
Advocating for oneself is more of a learned skill than most expect, It involves being able to identify an issue or need; articulating desired action steps; listening to alternative suggestions or outright refusal; and standing firm to ensure an end result.
Conversely, advocating “is not about being bossy, nor is it about being apologetic,” However, “it is about building up a self-confidence to realize that being self-directing is in fact empowering. And whether done independently or with assistance from those trusted agents (such as family, friends, or caregivers) you have in your network, it still all comes down to your choices and your desired outcomes.”

Benefits of Self-Advocacy
1)   Being able to make your own decisions.
2)   Gaining self-confidence and self-respect.
3)   Building allies.
4)   Learning to properly express your needs to achieve goals.
5)   Experiencing teamwork.
6)   Developing conflict resolution and creative problem solving skills. 
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 January 2021
  • Spinal Networks Movie review of "End Game" will be on Monday, January 25th at 4:00 PM.
Meeting ID: 64 4305 6593
Passcode: 521586
Phone Call In: 669 900 6833

  • Spinal Network Group will meet on the 2nd and 4th Monday of every month from 4:00pm - 5:30pm.

Please note this is a new day and time

Here is the Zoom link for January 11th

  • 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
Can $10 Make a Difference?
Absolutely it can....If we've had any impact on your life or the life of a loved one, if you feel that our vision for our community is one worth supporting, then please consider our Good Will program. This program allows a person to put the amount that they would like to donate each month or as a one time donation, it could be $5 or $25..that's the beauty of the program. If your interested then simply click the button and it will take you to the sign up. I'd like to thank you in advance for supporting Spinal Network.
Check Out Dextra from Cure Medical
Watch the short video below
Cure Dextraproprietary attributes are intended to facilitate use, increase independence, and reduce risk of infections. A Support Band enables controlled use without the need to grip the device with two hands. Tip Advancing Technology moves the pre-lubricated catheter from the 1000 ml collection bag into the body without contact. Sterile intermittent catheterization is possible without the requirement to use gloves. A Gripper Arrow facilitates advancing the catheter with each forward stroke. The catheter does not retract on back strokes. Like all Cure Medical intermittent catheters, the Cure Dextra features polished eyelets for increased comfort and is made of quality materials  – not made with DEHP*/DINP, BPA or NR-Latex.
Click the button below which will take you the Cure Medical website where you can request your free sample.
Check Out Our Video Section
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.
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Spinal Network
a chapter of United Spinal Association
Please Support Our Sponsors
Purcell International Group