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United Spinal Secures Victory in Protecting Access to Complex Rehab Technology in Washington State

NEW YORK, May 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- -- United Spinal Association and other advocates have combined efforts to ensure that people living with disabilities in Washington State have access to properly configured wheelchairs and other mobility equipment or "complex rehab technology"– that is critical to their quality of life and independence.


On May 8, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1445, which requires the state health care authority to establish a separate recognition for individually configured, complex rehabilitation technology products and services for complex needs patients within the medical assistance program.

"In order for people with disabilities to remain active participants in our society and lead the lives they choose, complex rehab technology is essential," said Paul J. Tobin , president and CEO of United Spinal Association.

"This is a huge victory for the disability community. We thank our members in Washington State who let their voice be heard on this issue and helped get this bill signed into law," added Tobin.

United Spinal is also advocating on the national level for the passage of HR 492, a bill to ensure that persons with spinal cord injuries and disorders will be able to get benefits for custom power wheelchairs, ultra lightweight wheelchairs and seating systems under the Medicare program.

Complex rehab technology includes:

  • medically necessary individually configured manual and power wheelchair systems,
  • adaptive seating systems,
  • alternative positioning systems,
  • and other mobility devices that require evaluation, fitting, design, adjustment and programming.

This type of technology is designed to meet the specific and unique medical and functional needs of an individual living with disability.

About United Spinal Association
United Spinal is a national 501(c) (3) nonprofit membership organization formed in 1946 by paralyzed veterans and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Americans with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), including multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, ALS and post-polio. It played a significant role in writing the Americans with Disabilities Act, and made important contributions to the Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Air Carrier Access Act. Membership is free and is open to all individuals with SCI/D. United Spinal was instrumental in getting New York City to create sidewalk curb ramps and accessible public transportation that has been used as a model for many United States cities.

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Paul Tobin

Media contact:
Ahvi Spindell                                                                 
Media Relations Services
United Spinal Association                                             
(212) 580-4567                                                          
Twitter @ahvispin


SOURCE United Spinal Association
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