September is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month in the United States. According to the National Institutes of Health, here are some facts about spinal cord injuries:
*There are an estimated 12,000 spinal cord injuries every year in the United States alone.
*More than a quarter of a million Americans are currently living with spinal cord injuries.
*The cost of managing the care of spinal cord injury patients is $3 billion each year.
*The largest proportion of spinal cord injuries (36.5 percent) occurs during car accidents; more than a quarter are the result of falls; and the rest are due to acts of violence (primarily gunshot wounds), sporting accidents, and other less common causes.
*The average age at injury has risen and is now 42.6 years.
80 percent of spinal cord injury patients are men.
My Labor Day Weekend
The statistics may not mean a lot to you if you don’t know anyone living with an injury. But, here’s my take on things I notice when living with a disability. While spending a couple days in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, I was able to evaluate the accessibility accommodations of the hotel where I stayed.
Although the room was deemed accessible, there are some features that are overlooked. The room was oddly shaped, making it difficult to get my wheelchair to the side of the bed where it’s easiest to transfer out of my chair.
The second challenge was maneuvering over the sliding door threshold to the balcony. A threshold ramp would solve the problem, but using some unused carpet squares work in a pinch too.
Throughout the month, I’ll share more information about spinal cord injury awareness.