Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the United Spinal Association

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Senate Resolution No. 752

BY: Senator RIVERA

COMMEMORATING the 75th Anniversary of the United
Spinal Association

WHEREAS, It is the intent of this Legislative Body to recognize that
the quality of life in the communities across this great State of New
York is enriched by the concerned and dedicated efforts of those
organizations of distinction whose singular purpose is the care and
welfare of others; and

WHEREAS, Attendant to such concern, and in full accord with its
long-standing traditions, this Legislative Body is justly proud to
commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the United Spinal Association; and

WHEREAS, Located in the City of New York, the United Spinal
Association is a leading national advocacy organization and service
provider for people with spinal cord injuries and neurological
disorders, their loved ones, care providers, and personal support
networks; and

WHEREAS, The United Spinal Association was founded in 1946, by a
group of returning servicemen and women from World War II, to address
the needs of paralyzed veterans; and

WHEREAS, In 1948, members of this organization advocated for and
secured the first accessible housing bill in the United States, Public
Law 80-702, which provided federal funds for the building of accessible
homes for paralyzed veterans; and

WHEREAS, Two decades later, members diligently worked to pass the
Architectural Barriers Act, which guarantees equal access to
federally-funded buildings and facilities for wheelchair users and all
Americans with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, In 1970, James J. Peters, who would later lead United
Spinal Association, exposed the deplorable conditions paralyzed Vietnam
War veterans faced at the Bronx Veterans Administration Hospital with an
article in LIFE magazine, leading the Veterans Administration to
establish a national spinal cord injury service office to address the
needs of paralyzed veterans and the renovation of the Bronx hospital,
which was later named for him; and

WHEREAS, In 1985, New York City settled a lawsuit initiated by
United Spinal Association, agreeing to make all city buses, key subway
stations and commuter rail stations, and all new transit stations
accessible to wheelchair users, and established a paratransit system for
people unable to use mass transit, leading to a model which would be
incorporated as part of the transportation provisions of the landmark
Americans with Disabilities Act; and

WHEREAS, Regardless of a person's level of abilities, the United
Spinal Association seeks to build an inclusive world which removes
barriers, particularly for wheelchair users, which embraces the talents
of all people with disabilities to achieve their full potential and

provides people with disabilities equal opportunities to pursue their
interests and dreams; and

WHEREAS, Throughout the last 75 years, the United Spinal Association
has supported more than two million Americans living with spinal cord
injuries or neurological disorders through proven programs and services,
nurturing innovative self-reliance, advocacy and leadership; empowering
its members, their loved ones, care providers and stakeholders with
resources, one-on-one assistance, and peer support; promoting
independence through employment opportunities and inclusion into
mainstream society; and advocating for greater disability rights,
including access to healthcare, rehabilitation, mobility equipment,
transportation, community services and the built environment; and

WHEREAS, Through the legacy of James J. Peters, who once described
the straightforward strategy in advocating for Americans with
disabilities as simply refusing to accept no for an answer, is alive and
well throughout the entire United Spinal Association; and

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body that when
associations of such noble aims and accomplishments are brought to our
attention, they should be celebrated and recognized by all the citizens
of this great Empire State; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the United Spinal Association; and
be it further

RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to the United Spinal Association.


  • 05 / May / 2021
  • 11 / May / 2021
  • 11 / May / 2021

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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