00:00 AM

National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NSCIA) Launches New Beginning Program: Life-Enhancing Resources for People with Spinal Cord Injuries and Disorders

New York, NY -- United Spinal Association’s membership services division, National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NSCIA), has launched its New Beginning initiative to provide tools and resources for individuals with new spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), to improve their quality of life. Launched in recognition of Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month in September, the New Beginning nationwide initiative empowers individuals to overcome the wide-range of challenges that accompany life with SCI/D––from accessing quality healthcare, pursuing employment and education, choosing the proper adaptive equipment and home modifications, to locating peer support groups and living an active lifestyle.

“The New Beginning program was created to not only address the immediate needs of our members and other people living with spinal cord injuries and disorders, but also those that may surface 10 years down the road,” said K. Eric Larson, senior vice president for membership and chapter services at United Spinal Association.

As part of the program, NSCIA is distributing backpacks to people who are newly injured or diagnosed with disorders such as multiple sclerosis that are leaving hospitals and rehabilitation facilities. The backpacks are filled with relevant information and consumer resources on mobility and medical equipment, disability benefits, accessible housing, leisure and travel, healthcare, and much more.

“Most people are universally unprepared at first to live with a life-changing injury or disorder. The quicker we can reach these individuals and their family members and caregivers, the better their outcomes will be,” Larson added.

As part of NSCIA’s long term partnership with Hospital Members, the New Beginning backpacks will be available to numerous hospitals and rehabilitation sites across the country to ensure that people with SCI/D are equipped with the knowledge to clear major hurdles when they return to their communities and are able to pursue the lives they choose.

New Beginning backpack sponsors include Allergan, Permobil, Allsup, Beautlich, and Advanced Medical Group.

New Beginning is supported by United Spinal’s wide-range of programs and services, along with NSCIA’s large resource network and more than 60 local chapters and support groups across the country.

United Spinal Association and NSCIA recently joined forces to become the single, largest membership organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with SCI/D nationwide. The organizations have more than 125 years of combined service to the disability community.

To learn more about New Beginning or how to sponsor a backpack for a newly injured or diagnosed individual, please visit, or call 800-962-9629.

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.

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neurological conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 740 inpatients, nearly 280 day program patients and more than 7,100 outpatients each year in more than 46,000 visits.