Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day 2019

On Friday 17 May we are celebrating Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day 2019.

Together with AspireSIASpinal Research and Spinal Injuries Scotland, we are recognising the remarkable achievements of those affected by spinal cord injury – spinal cord injured people themselves, as well as the legions of supporters, friends, family and healthcare professionals who work so hard to make an independent and fulfilled life a reality for every spinal cord injured person.

Every year 2,500 people sustain a spinal cord injury
This year’s theme is #APlaceOfMyOwn and we would like to share experiences of what “home” means to those who are injured, and everyone within the spinal cord injury community.  This could be what it felt like to finally come home after months in hospital or personal experiences of adapting a home with your family or loved one.

We also want to hear about the challenges spinal cord injured people have to overcome in order to get home, including finding a suitable property close to loved ones, the costly experience of getting your house adapted, or planning care for when you return home.

During the week please:

  • share your stories and views on Twitter @backuptrust
  • post them on Facebook
  • use the hashtag #APlaceOfMyOwn
  • or email them to us in advance: jack@backuptrust.org.uk

We are calling for:

  • National and local government to comply with Public Sector Equality Duty and ensure that disabled people including wheelchair users have an equal chance of being rehoused in a home that meets their needs as non disabled households.
  • Governments in England, Scotland and Wales to take urgent action and introduce a national strategy to ensure there is an adequate supply of new houses built to inclusive design and wheelchair accessible standards, across all tenures.
  • The UK Government to amend requirement M4 (2) of the Building Regulations 2010, so that it is no longer an optional requirement, but instead the default and the mandatory minimum standard for the design and delivery of all new housing.
  • The UK Government to mandate that all local authorities must ensure that a minimum of 10 per cent of new-build houses across all tenure types are built to higher wheelchair accessible standards (M4(3) design standard).
  • Local authorities to apply best practice on the use of accessible housing registers, with the longer term aim of the use of a standard methodology across all local authorities.
  • Governments to publish standards and monitor and review the effectiveness of Accessible Housing Registers.

Based on the current number of wheelchair users waiting for a new home, it will take around 51 years to rehouse everyone.