Roll on Capitol Hill to Push for Greater Access to Wheelchairs for Those with Spinal Disorders

Roll on Capitol Hill to Push for Greater Access to Wheelchairs for Those with Spinal Disorders

The 6th annual Roll on Capitol Hill, organized by the United Spinal Association, will advocate for greater access to properly configured and medically-necessary wheelchairs for people with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D).

The event will take place from June 11-14 in Washington, D.C.

Andrea Dalzell, Ms. Wheelchair New York 2015, along with other prominent disability advocates, will speak directly with lawmakers about the issues involved in the independence and quality of life of people with SCI/D and other pre-existing conditions.

People with serious disabilities often rely on medically necessary, individually configured manual and power wheelchair systems, along with other essential components such as complex rehab technology.

Complex rehab technology is used by people with ALS, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injury who need it for their independence, well-being, and participation in society.

“There’s a great need to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities across society,” Dalzell said in a press release. “In 2017, from education to the workplace to healthcare, we still haven’t figured out how to be inclusive and provide access to basic needs for all our citizens.”

Two of her concerns are how difficult it is to obtain appropriate complex rehab technology under Medicare’s regulations, and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which she says is the reason she is still alive today. As a recipient of Medicaid in 2010, she was not able to access a specialist to perform surgery on a life-threatening wound until her mother added her to her ACA healthcare plan.

“It is well known that the disability unemployment rate is almost triple that of the non-disabled population, and I believe that has a lot to do with the ability to access the equipment needed to even get to college and pursue a higher education and professional career,” Dalzell said.

With a bachelor of science degree in biology and neuroscience from the College of Staten Island, Dalzell is now studying nursing.

United Spinal advocates for improvements in the quality of life for Americans with SCI/D. United Spinal played a pivotal role in the creation of New York City’s sidewalk curb ramps and accessible public transportation, a model used in other U.S. cities.

It also has made contributions in the drafting of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Housing Amendments Act, and the Air Carrier Access Act.

For more information about the Roll on Capitol Hill, please go to this link.


  1. Carol Mongiello says:

    Just took my son who has ALS to lunch today along with his father and sister. He had a heavy beard and while I was outside I noticed a barbershop across the street. I ran over and asked if they could accommodate him, he is in a specialized wheelchair. They said yes. Well I wasn’t thinking and once we got there, there was no access ramp to the shop. The young women who worked there were trying to think outside the box as how to give him a shave and a hair cut. even offering to do it outside. God bless these young women for their kindness and attention. Well anyway his van has a lift so { my son’s idea ] bring the van to the shop and park sideways as to let his ramp down giving him access to the shop. It worked. but if not for that van he would be unavailable for any service there. So let’s all remember were are not all capable of doing some of the things we all take for granted. I would like to give a shout out to the ladies at Grecco’s 11 Barbershop in Yardville, PA. Alyssa did a great job with my Handsome son. Thanks so much. Someday it could be one of us or our family members.

    • Tim Bossie says:

      Wow Carol… that is wonderful! It must be great for a mom to see others want to help her son in this way. But, also to see her son have a solution that works! Fantastic. Thank you for sharing that with us.

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