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May 26, 2008

Vets 1st on Memorial Day - Podcast with Carlana Stone

Carlana_284x426Carlana Stone, author of the acclaimed book “Never Give In, Never Give Up”, was paralyzed in a car accident at age 17. In the blink of an eye, Carlana went from cheerleader and gymnast to paraplegic. Not adhering to the stigma and physical restraints of her injury, Carlana forged ahead.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Carlana has chosen to embrace her wheelchair as a force, rather than a hindrance. In stark contrast to the stereotypes placed on the physically disabled, since her accident Carlana has become a certified scuba diver, learned to pilot airplanes, and enjoys sky diving, sailing and skiing.

Using her “chair” as a “platform” for social change, Carlana has become a strong voice in support of stem cell research. “The possibilities are limitless,” Stone says. “Stem cell research will impact millions of lives. I’m committed to doing all I can to make this promise a reality.”

And she’s not all talk. Carlana’s get-up-and-go philosophy has turned many of her dreams into realities. At 25, Carlana became the first wheelchair-bound reporter for ABC in Miami, featured 5 days a week on the evening news. As the station’s dynamic human-interest reporter, viewers could not help but be influenced by Carlana’s infectious enthusiasm and genuine concern for the people behind the stories she shared during her 2-year tenure on WPLG-TV.

Continue reading "Vets 1st on Memorial Day - Podcast with Carlana Stone" »

March 25, 2008

The Ins and Outs of Accessible Van Rentals, Part Two: Accessibility Specialists

According to Tom Scott, United Spinal Staff editor, accessible vans are the key for many people with disabilities to unlocking their independence on the road. offers a broad variety of information to assist your special mobility needs.

Wheelchairgetaways With so many people with disabilities traveling these days it's surprising that there aren't many companies that cater to this growing market. But the few companies out there that specialize in accessible van rentals have very good experience at it. Wheelchair Getaways, Inc. ( has been operating since 1989, delivering accessible transportation to over 450 major cities with a network of 50 locations nationwide that provide accessible van rental services. The company offers the newest fleet of full-size and minivans for rent on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis or for long-term lease. The vans are up-fitted with a ramp or lift with accessories tailored to each client's needs. Some vans are also equipped as driver units with hand controls and power transfer seats.

"We will meet our clients at airports, offices, hospitals, wherever they need us to, and we'll help with luggage, make sure they have everything they need to get on their way," explained Dale Richardson, president of Wheelchair Getaways. "We also have the most locations and the most vehicles ensuring that when a client calls, we'll be there for them. Our fleet is among the newest available. The vast majority of our accessible vans are less than 5 years old and are offered with considerably fewer miles than our competitors. They're also among the most reliable in the nation, but to be safe, we offer 24/7 emergency service."

Continue reading "The Ins and Outs of Accessible Van Rentals, Part Two: Accessibility Specialists" »

March 24, 2008

The Ins and Outs of Accessible Van Rentals, Part One: The Vehicles

Wcmequipmentrepaircom_steeringcontr According to Tom Scott, United Spinal Staff editor, accessible vans are the key for many people with disabilities to unlocking their independence on the road. offers a broad variety of information to assist your special mobility needs.

As more and more wheelchair-users take to the road in pursuit of adventure, many prefer the peace of mind that comes with being behind the controls of a vehicle modified to fit their needs and equipped for the long haul-- wherever the destination may be. Let's face it, the last thing most of us want to deal with on vacation is public transportation, especially if you're planning your own itinerary and would like to visit attractions and tourist spots at your own leisure. Renting an accessible van is a smart choice for many travelers in search of this type of freedom while they're spending a little time away from home.

There are a few important tips you should keep in mind when renting a van. You should make sure that the van meets your specific requirements in terms of equipment, features, and functionality. This will depend upon the type of wheelchair you will be using on your trip (manual/ electric), your level of injury, and your personal preferences.

Continue reading "The Ins and Outs of Accessible Van Rentals, Part One: The Vehicles" »

March 18, 2008

Fashion, Cars and Avatars in Second Life

Fashion_cars_avatars_postersm You're invited to Second Life for the Motorability Island Grand Opening Charity Benefit Event "Fashion, Cars and Avatars" on Saturday, March 29th,  2008, from 9am to 5pm SLT.

This Second Life charity event benefits United Spinal Association with a fashion show at caLLie cLine's BeaCh club and resort featuring fashions from Callie Cline and Aspire, and also includes an official SLASCAR racing event on the Fairgrounds Speedway. Sign up for the racing event with Suki Ming.

Dress your avatar in your best party gear, and boogie on the Parkade Nightclub dance floor. Trust me, the dancers here have got SOME MOVES! (You'll wish you could dance like this in real life!)

Join us at the United Spinal Motorability Island for tours of the welcome center, automotive education center, Wonderland Cardin, and other sites on Motorability Island.

Click the image to enlarge for a printable flyer. Activites run all day long, so don't miss this great Second Life event, and a chance to contribute to an  excellent charity as well.

Want more information about these events and how you can participate? Send a Second Life message to Patty Streeter or Amanda Shinji.

See you there!

Continue reading "Fashion, Cars and Avatars in Second Life" »

March 11, 2008

See For Yourself! Motorability Island on Google Video

Check out this cool video on google video that demonstrates what the culture is like at the United Spinal Motorability sim in Second Life: 

Continue reading "See For Yourself! Motorability Island on Google Video" »

January 03, 2008

AskPatty President Jody DeVere Appointed to United Spinal Association Board of Directors

Unitedspinal AskPatty's very own President, Jody DeVere was appointed United Spinal Association's Board of Directors at its December 2007 meeting. Ms. DeVere already chairs the United Spinal Association Motorsports Committee, which encourages people with disabilities, including persons who use adaptive automotive equipment, to participate in competitive motorsports. This committee also cultivates partnerships within the motorsports industry to raise awareness about spinal cord injuries and disorders.

Copy_of_jody_devere_v71_2 Ms. DeVere has more than 25 years of achievement as a successful entrepreneur focused on sales and marketing leadership, including 10 years developing web-based business solutions across diverse industries, not the least of which is, our own female friendly site, which provides advice to women from an expert panel of women in the automotive industry about car buying, selling, repair, care, and safety.

Ms. DeVere also serves as President of the Women's Automotive Association International, an organization that supports upcoming women race car drivers, diversity, and charitable giving, and provides scholarships for young women seeking careers in the automotive industry.

Continue reading "AskPatty President Jody DeVere Appointed to United Spinal Association Board of Directors" »

December 25, 2007

The Gift of Smiles for Christmas

Kidsfirst2 The Smiles Are Theirs -
The Magic Is Up To Us 

Every child should have the opportunity to experience the excitement and wonder of new adventures. Camaraderie, laughter, and the simple joys of youth – these are the magical things that no child should have to miss out on.

Support of United Spinal’s KidsFirst program brought the magic to many kids in 2007. Your continued support will allow us to expand these opportunities in 2008. Help us continue the magic in 2008!
Click Here To DONATE

About the KidsFirst program.

KidsFirst events are designed to introduce kids with disabilities to activities that might not normally be available to them. Kids can explore and participate in a variety of activities that include crafts, recreational activities, and adaptive sports such as wheelchair softball, basketball, tennis and handcycling - often for the first time! Events are held regularly during the year. A donation from you will allow us to plan and fund our 2008 KidsFirst events and programs now.

  ">Click Here To DONATE


December 14, 2007

Charity Cruise 'n Chase - Motorati Island December 15th 12pm SLT

Don't miss this exciting and worthwhile event in Second Life Saturday 12pm PDT/SLT!  All proceeds to benefit Motorsports programs.

Continue reading "Charity Cruise 'n Chase - Motorati Island December 15th 12pm SLT " »

November 07, 2007

Racing 4 A Reason Driver Competes to Raise Money for United Spinal Association at Longest Endurance Racing Series in North America

25hourheader_2 On December 1, 2007, race car driver Karen Salvaggio will compete at "25 Hours of Thunderhill"--the longest endurance race in North America--to benefit United Spinal Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Americans with spinal cord injuries or disorders.

Logo_unitedspinal Since 2002, the 25 Hours of Thunderhill race has been held annually at Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows, California. The event, which was developed by the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) and sponsored by the U.S. Air Force, attracts amateur, factory sponsored, and professional race teams from all over the world. This year, over 45 teams will be competing. Each team will be running closed wheel and sports racers of all types and classifications. The race not only gives manufacturers and race car builders a platform to showcase their vehicles and products, but enables some teams to help support and raise money for their favorite charities--such as team Racing 4 A Reason, which Salvaggio is a member.

Salvaggio_cobra Created through a grassroots movement, Racing 4 A Reason helps raise funds for selected charities by soliciting pledges at any monetary amount per lap their cars complete at Thunderhill. The Racing 4 A Reason team has four cars competing at this year's event (one the biggest teams at Thunderhill), supported by 16 experienced race car drivers (four drivers per car) and a 60-person pit crew. Each car will be racing for two charities, including Salvaggio's 1965 Factory Five Racing Cobra that will be sporting United Spinal's logo. The team's other cars include Factory Five Racing's mid-engine super car GTM with a corvette suspension and drive train and its race proven MKII that boasts the Ford 302 CI/T5 trans power train.

Continue reading "Racing 4 A Reason Driver Competes to Raise Money for United Spinal Association at Longest Endurance Racing Series in North America" »

October 30, 2007

Safe Driving Tips for Halloween

Dscn1308 Statistics say there are between 220,000 and 285,000 people with Spinal Cord Injury in the  US . The #1 cause for Spinal Cord Injury is car accident. Car accidents happen each and every day and holidays like Halloween have higher car accident rates.

This is very personal for me as my son Joseph is a paraplegic as a result of a car accident 1n 2005. Education and training on safe driving habits is an important part of accident prevention.

To prevent that from happening,  what can we do ?

Continue reading "Safe Driving Tips for Halloween" »

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