The BC Spinal Cord Injury Network helps make BC the best place for people with physical disabilities to live, work, and be active.
What is the BC Spinal Cord Injury Network?
Formed in 2010, the BC Spinal Cord Injury Network (BC SCI Network) is comprised of five disability organizations working together to help make BC the best place for people with physical disabilities to live, work, and participate in the community. These organizations include BC Wheelchair Basketball Society(new window), BC Wheelchair Sports Association(new window), Disability Foundation(new window), Neil Squire Society, and Spinal Cord Injury BC(new window).
While each of our organizations is known for doing a lot with a little, we all recognized that we could do a whole lot more by working together. Through the complementary services that we each provide, the BC SCI Network is helping people with physical disabilities to overcome key challenges in their life by supporting physical and mental health and wellness, reducing social isolation, helping to find accessible housing, providing information on supports for daily living and other priority resources, increasing the confidence and skills to return to work, providing opportunities to engage in active, healthy lifestyles through sport and recreation, and providing support to be active and engaged members of communities throughout BC.
In 2017, the provincial government, through the Ministry of Social Development, provided the Network $5 million over five years to deliver more services to more people in more parts of the province. View our Strategic Framework (new window) to learn more about the BC SCI Network makes a difference.
Who We Serve
Although we share a common objective of serving people with spinal cord injury, each of our organizations serves a much broader range of people with different forms of disability, as well as family members, caregivers, students, athletes of all abilities, and others who provide support and care to people with disabilities.
The support we have received from the government has allowed us to create collaborative service delivery positions, to share office space, and to keep our staff members, which include 47 people with disabilities, employed and providing service throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
This, in turn, enabled us to keep over 18,000 members connected, informed, and supported during the pandemic. In addition, it also allowed us to provide invaluable information resources and online support through 350,000 unique visits to our website-based services.
By working together, and with the support of the government, we have greatly increased participation in our life-changing services. Working with Indigenous partners, we have begun to co-develop programming for Indigenous persons with disabilities.
In 2021 alone, we served 18,343 people, welcomed 3,149 new members to our community, connected with 44,710 followers of social media, and received over 800,000 website page views from visitors looking for information, programming, and support on living well with a spinal cord injury.
Going forward, our collaborative services will focus on four priority areas of impact:
- The physical and mental health and wellness of people with disabilities and their families
- Access and inclusion
- Participation by people with disabilities in BC’s labour market
- Advancing Indigenous reconciliation and co-development of culturally safe and relevant services with Indigenous communities
Within these areas of impact, our work will focus on five overarching priorities:
- Supporting the inclusion of people with disabilities in BC’s pandemic restart
- Providing services that support meaningful participation and quality of life of people with disabilities and their families
- Supporting the implementation of the Accessible BC Act
- Increasing the efficiency and efficacy of operations through shared resources, knowledge, and infrastructure
- Securing ongoing funding and resources
We’ve also had the privilege of hearing how our work makes a difference in the lives of our members (new window) throughout the province:
“I want people to realize if I can do it, anybody can do it.”
Jaycee is a talented musician based out of Agassiz. She plays with the Vancouver Adapted Music Society (new window), one of six societies supported by the Disability Foundation. Music played a big part in her recovery from surgery to remove a brain tumour.
Jaycee wanted to find part-time work and felt she needed to improve her computer skills. Having previously participated in Neil Squire’s programs, she reached out and enrolled in the Digital Jumpstart program. She started lessons with program coordinator Gordon Watt, learning how to use Microsoft Word, Excel, and how to organize her files so her desktop didn’t get so cluttered and she could find them. She also learned how to be more aware of scams and ransomware. Read more. (new window)
“There are so many people that rely on these organizations … I think that we are so fortunate that I almost take it for granted that these services are available.”
Ean Price has lived in British Columbia his entire life. Born in Dawson Creek, his family moved to the Okanagan when he was five years old, “after being diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at 10 months, my parents decided that I was going to be way too high maintenance to live in the bush.” He grew up in Peachland and about 12 years ago moved to Kelowna.
Seeking resources to help him with some aspects of living with a disability, he learned about the five BC SCI Network partners at different times, “they were introduced to me through occupational therapists, physical therapists, etc.” He is now a regular participant, partner, and volunteer with programs led by the Neil Squire Society, the Disability Foundation (new window), and Spinal Cord Injury BC (new window). Although Ean hasn’t participated in any official sports run by BCWBS or BCWSA, he noted while grinning that with hockey sticks duct-taped to his wheelchair he’s a fantastic goalie, “not trying to brag here, but my chair is so wide that nothing gets past me.” Read more. (new window)
Visit the BC SCI Network partner websites:
Read the BC government announcement(new window) of the BC SCI Network.
Download our infographic to learn more.
View our Strategic Framework (new window).