About

Mission Statement

Iowa Chapter of United Spinal Association strives to CONNECT individuals impacted by spinal cord injuries or disorders, including families, caregivers, and professionals. Our members EMPOWER each other to ENGAGE in active and healthy lifestyles.

How We Do It​

Annual Events

  • Bowling
    A free round of accessible bowling (adaptive devices provided) for all. Friends and family are encouraged to participate.
  • Socials (Eat & Greet)
    We take the opportunity to have a meal together, do some fun, group activities, and spend time getting to know each other. This is when we’re able to make new friendships, and strengthen others, with people who share the same experiences from having a spinal cord injury or disorder. 
  • Adapted Living & Recreation Expo
    An all-day event showcasing a vast array of adapted recreation & sport opportunities inclusive for ALL, as well as products and services designed for living with a spinal cord injury or disorder.

Peer Mentoring

Peer Mentors are available to help individuals adapt to their new “normal life” living with a spinal cord injury or disorder. Mentors meet them at hospitals, clinics, or anywhere that’s accessible in their community. They can even just “meet” via phone calls or using the Internet (video conference, email, chat). If you would like a peer mentor or would like to become one, contact us and we’ll set it up.

Equipment Rental

FREE rental of accessible recreation equipment (golf, pinball, cycling, bowling, kayaking, disc golf, blow darts, ladder ball). You must be a current member to use this chapter program. Visit our Rent Equipment page for more information.

Advocacy Committee

We want to educate our members to become their own advocates at the level they are comfortable with: self, local, state and/or federal. Our hope is to provide a basic education on the principles of advocacy and how to build working relationships with legislative offices and other groups to create positive change for the SCI/D community and others in Iowa. Visit our Advocacy Group on Facebook to see the current issues we’re discussing.

Quarterly Newsletter

Our newsletters are published and emailed each quarter featuring information about events and members throughout the state. If something interesting is going on in your neck of the woods, contact us. We’ll help spread the word.

Social Media

Keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube! Please follow us and share posts with your friends! We use these platforms to further our mission.

Equipment Swap

The Iowa Disability Equipment Swap is a resource for members to buy, sell, & trade their accessible and medical supplies and equipment via private Facebook group. Items aid those with disabilities. Visit this group on Facebook to join.

Iowa Chapter History

A few therapists and a business owner wanted to get former rehab patients together to be able to connect with other individuals living with a similar disability, a spinal cord injury or disorder (SCI/D). A letter was sent out inviting these individuals to a restaurant to meet and greet each other, but the business owner and therapists wanted much more than that. They wanted to sponsor activities for these individuals to participate in and have a support group and things more of that nature. More specifically, they wanted to have an adaptive cycling clinic to give these individuals a positive experience and to encourage them to get out and be active in their communities and society. So, they went looking and found the National Spinal Cord Injury Association. In 2005, all of them unanimously decided to start a statewide chapter in Iowa. The National Spinal Cord Injury Association merged with United Spinal Association in 2010. Though the name changed, the mission of the Iowa Chapter did not. It remained dedicated to helping Iowans living with a SCI/D have fulfilling, active lives.

Over the years of its existence, the Iowa Chapter has grown the number of events and services it offers. Its volunteer Board of Directors has also grown, with most having a SCI/D. With strong support and a growing membership, this organization has a bright future.

Former name of organization

Current name of organization