Partnerships, Advocacy and Innovation
For over 50 years Spinal Cord Injury BC (SCI BC) has served people with spinal cord injury and related physical disabilities living in this province.
- Nurturing the development of other community organizations has long been a strength of SCI BC - including the BC Wheelchair Sports Association, the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities, and the BC Association for Individualized Technology & Supports for People with Disabilities.
- SCI BC and the Vancouver South Lions Club created two housing developments that support injury transition and community integration for people with spinal cord injury. In 2009, the SCI BC Housing Society was created with the support of SCI BC to facilitate development, in collaboration with BC Housing and Kits Neighbourhood House, of a 30 unit rental building at 8th & Vine, including 10 fully accessible condos.
- SCI BC helped build “Bridges to the Future”, a partnership with Muscular Dystrophy Canada and the Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Association of BC, to help youth with physical disabilities transition successfully to adulthood.
- Collaboration between SCI BC and BC Transit was a critical factor in the successful development of the Lower Mainland’s accessible bus program – a first for Canada. In 2011, our peer program celebrated the 10th annual Bus Stop Hop, an “amazing race” inspired event supported by TransLink, Aquabus and Coast Mountain Bus Company. This event builds public awareness of the importance of accessible public transit and encourages and supports people with spinal cord injuries and related disabilities to use transit with confidence.
- Today, SCI BC is a member of the BC Spinal Cord Injury Community Services Network together with the BC Wheelchair Sports Association, the Neil Squire Society, the Disability Foundation, and the Wheelchair Basketball Society, which is supported, in part, by funding from the Rick Hansen Institute.
- Prior to 1968, drivers with hand controls were restricted to a much lower maximum driving speed than others. BCPA held driving demonstration events and lobbied hard to have the restriction lifted.
- New accessibility by-laws advocated by SCI-BC were adopted throughout the province by 1979. Among many other features, they eliminated stairs as the only means of access to public buildings.
- SCI BC was a driving force in the 1983 decision by the City of Vancouver to grant special licenses for the first wheelchair accessible taxis.
- SCI BC and the University Hospital joined forces in the mid-80′s to create The Spinal Cord Injury Prevention Program, a public awareness initiative designed to provide education and information aimed at reducing spinal cord injuries in British Columbia. This program has evolved to the BC Injury Prevention Centre.
- Together with a group of young residents of Pearson Hospital, SCI BC was a principal participant in developing the Creekview housing project – the world’s first integrated and self-managed community based housing for people with high level quadriplegia. Its success was expanded on just a few years later with the opening of the Stanley Noble Strong Housing Cooperative.
- Knowing that pressure wounds can be life-altering and sometimes life-threatening for people with spinal cord injuries, SCI BC helped establish a centre for excellence in wound care at Vancouver General Hospital including education, clinical services and surgery.
- In 2001, Spinal Cord Injury BC’s Peer Program was established to provide opportunities for people with spinal cord injury and other physical disabilities, as well as family members and friends, to meet with others who share similar circumstances and experiences.
- In 2010, and following many months of evaluation and planning, SCI BC underwent a transformation to re-focus available funding on the service areas of most importance to British Columbians with SCI and their families. Moving forward, we now have two core programs – Peer Program and information Services.
Learn about the history of the Canadian Paraplegic Association.