Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New York Ends Spinal Cord Injury

New York State Budget Changes Will Scrap Spinal Cord Injury Research Board

New York’s Governor David Patterson recently put forth his 2010-2011 state budget proposal, including the phasing out of New York’s Spinal Cord Injury Research Board (SCIRB). Supporters of the program are upset over the proposed cut, saying it will make the economy suffer further and will slow down important spinal cord research, an article in the Gotham Gazette reported.

Paul Richter, a New York state trooper who suffered a spinal cord injury during a shooting, created the SCIRB in 1998. He recovered enough to walk with a cane, and since his former favorite activities are out of his reach, he said, “I’ve never got a penny for doing this. I can’t golf anymore, so I spend my time and money this way,” the Gazette reported.

The SCIRB has been funded by a surcharge applied to traffic tickets in the state of New York. The logic behind the surcharge, said Richter, was that, “most spinal cord injuries result from automobile and motorcycle accidents,” the Gazette reported. The budget office claims they need the surcharges as part of the state’s general fund to help offset New York’s $9.2 billion budget deficit. The surcharges bring in a reported $6.7 million per year.

Opponents of the budget proposal say that the state cannot reallocate the funds set aside for the SCIRB. The Gazette reported that, “The statute is written very specifically, saying that the funds must be used for spinal injury research. Someone would have to rewrite the law, and I would like to know who that is, and I would go and confront them,” said Terry O’Neill, a friend of Richter and an early supporter of the SCIRB.

Jessica Basset of the State Division of the Budget countered O’Neill’s claims by saying, “The money moves through the general fund first, and the law says a certain amount may be transferred into the (spinal cord) fund–up to $8.4 million. It provides a limit but does not provide a floor,” she told the Gazette.

The opponents and supporters of continuing the SCIRB funding from the traffic surcharges have not yet reached an agreement. Supporters of the SCIRB claim that the research funded by the group saves the state more money than it takes from the general fund, while opponents want more tangible proof. With any luck, the SCIRB will gain enough attention through the process to replace any cuts that might take place. We wish them and their supporters the best of luck in their cause.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wind in your Face, Spinal Cord Injury in your Future

Bikers dominate spinal cord injuries

Young male motorcyclists continue to dominate the ranks of those Australians who suffer a spinal cord injury.

There were 362 cases of new spinal cord injury in 2007-08, according to latest data released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Most happened in crashes or falls, with just 77 having "non-trauma" causes such as infection, pressure on the spine from a cancerous growth or damage linked to osteoarthritis.

Motor vehicle accidents accounted for almost half of the trauma-related injuries and, within this group, young male motorbike riders again featured highly.

The accidents happened on highways and roads but also "off-road bike trails, beaches and farms", according to the report released on Wednesday.

"Fifty-one per cent of transport incidents were motor vehicle occupants while forty-nine per cent were unprotected road users, predominantly motorcyclists," it states.

"The vast majority of unprotected road users were male, and they tended to be younger with over half in the 15-34 years age group.

"Motorcyclists formed the youngest group, with an average age of 32 years."

Trailbike and motorcross racing were also listed among leisure activities that contributed to the spinal cord injuries, along with playing football of various codes, bicycle racing and horse riding.

Diving, surfing, swimming or jumping into bodies of water were also significant contributors to injuries.

Falls caused 81 cases of spinal cord injury during the year. In most cases (64 per cent), the victim fell more than a metre, such as from a roof.

Other causes of the injury included being struck or colliding with another person or object.

Patients recovering from a spinal cord injury each stayed, on average, just over four months in hospital.

"Overall, the rates and causes of spinal cord injury, and characteristics of people affected ... remained broadly similar to previous years."


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

MV-1 - New, First, and Only Accessible Vehicle

Incorporating the principles of universal design, the all new MV-1 is the first OEM designed and assembled accessibility vehicle that meets the demanding needs of both paratransit and taxi fleets.
The MV-1 is the most cost effective paratransit solution that meets the needs of both ambulatory and mobility impaired passengers. Built from the ground up to meet or exceed ADA guidelines with room for up to 2 wheelchairs, it outperforms the competition in virtually every category with no aftermarket conversion to compromise vehicle integrity.

The MV-1 is also the first purpose built taxi solution to deliver best-in-class passenger comfort and interior room for both the mobility disabled and the general riding public. Thanks to its body-on-frame design and tuned suspension, it is engineered to withstand the typical taxi duty cycle while delivering the riding comfort of a car.

The MV-1 has created a new class of accessible transportation. Introducing MV-1.

The world’s first, and only, Mobility Vehicle.
• Body-on-frame structure optimizes structural rigidity, durability, and reliability
• Rear-wheel drive Ford 4.6L 2V EFI V8 engine and 4-speed automatic transmission
• Front SLA suspension and independent rear DeDion suspension

• Low step-in and extra interior width allows for easy entry and exit for all passengers
• Best-in-class 36.4 ft3 luggage capacity
• Best-in-class 36-foot turning circle for superior maneuverability
• Best-in-class interior room, seating up to 6 comfortably
• Commercial driver’s seat for maximum operator comfort

• Meets or exceeds ADA vehicle guidelines
• Accommodates up to 2 wheelchairs
• 56” high and 36” wide access door
• Automatic or manual ramp deploys from under vehicle floor
• 1,200 lb. wheelchair ramp weight capacity