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

Janet Stewart, MSc avatar

by Janet Stewart, MSc |

Share this article:

Share article via email
greater wheelchair access

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.