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The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and Shepherd Center Present “Raise Your Voice: Succeeding through Self-Advocacy” Video Series

May 15, 2024
Source: Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

New educational video series offers insights into disability rights and self-advocacy for individuals living with paralysis

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, in collaboration with Shepherd Center, proudly presents “Raise Your Voice: Succeeding through Self-Advocacy.” This seven-part series empowers individuals living with paralysis by providing comprehensive resources and education on disability rights and essential self-advocacy tools. From exploring the history of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to navigating healthcare, employment, housing, transportation, and education, this series offers expert insights and honest testimonials from community members.

“The Reeve Foundation is committed to providing the necessary tools to those living with paralysis to champion their rights and thrive daily,” said Emily Wolinsky, Director, Outreach and Education, Reeve Foundation. “Through education and advocacy, and collaboration with our partners at Shepherd Center, this series spreads awareness on how to break barriers and build a more inclusive and equitable society while advocating for yourself.”

“After a complex disease, illness, or catastrophic event, it may be hard to find your voice –both literally and figuratively — to ask for help and advocate for your needs,” said Diane Johnston, Director of Professional Education, Shepherd Center. “Self-advocacy is more than speaking up and getting what you need. It includes essential elements of educating yourself and others to ensure your needs are met. Self-advocacy helps you to thrive and live your life to your full potential.”

A History of Our Community
As a person with a disability, you are part of a unique community with a rich history of self-advocates striving to create a more accessible world. In this video, explore the history of disability rights and the progress made in building an inclusive society.

Mastering the Skill of Self-Advocacy
While self-advocacy can, at times, be overwhelming and difficult to navigate, it can also be an empowering experience that leads to change — for yourself and your community. This video will identify tools to help you develop a successful, assertive approach to navigating self-advocacy in any situation.

Navigating Healthcare
Accessing quality healthcare, whether primary or specialized, presents a myriad of challenges for those living with paralysis. In this video, learn how to navigate the healthcare system to ensure you receive the care you need, and gain tools to address any challenges you may face.

Seeking Employment
This segment will explore the challenges of seeking employment or returning to work as someone living with paralysis. You will hear expert advice from a certified rehabilitation counselor and a vocational specialist to assist you in preparing to enter or re-enter the workplace.

Equal Access to Housing
Whether you want to rent, sell, or purchase a home, knowing your rights and resources is essential when looking for a place to live. In this video, discover the crucial tools to secure safe and stable housing effectively.

Accessible Education
For people living with paralysis, going to school — whether K-12 or college — requires extra preparation. This video is designed to simplify this process and streamline your educational journey, making it more accessible, manageable, and, ultimately, rewarding.

Transportation and integration into the community play pivotal roles in one’s quality of life. In this segment, explore your rights related to pedestrian travel, public transportation, driving and operating a car, and air travel, and learn practical tips for navigating transportation barriers.

The complete video series and descriptions are on the Reeve Foundation YouTube channel.

About the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for individuals and families impacted by paralysis. Additionally, through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living, the Reeve Foundation’s National Paralysis Resource Center (NPRC) promotes the health, well-being, and independence of people living with paralysis, providing comprehensive information, resources, and referral services assisting over 125,000 individuals and families since its launch in 2002. The Reeve Foundation is committed to elevating our community’s voices and needs to achieve greater representation and independence.

We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau’s standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB’s Charity Seal. For more information, please visit or call 800-225-0292.

This project is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $10,000,000 with a portion of the project being funded by ACL/HHS and the remaining funded by non-government source(s). The content is those of the author(s) and does not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by ACL/HHS or the U.S. government.

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center provides world-class clinical care, research, and family support for people experiencing the most complex conditions, including spinal cord and brain injuries, multi-trauma, traumatic amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and pain. An elite center recognized as both Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News as one of the nation’s top hospitals for rehabilitation. Shepherd Center treats thousands of patients annually with unmatched expertise and unwavering compassion to help them begin again.

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