Latest news

Display # 


Stories from the Smallest Room

Listen to people with a spinal cord injury as well as healthcare professionals talk frankly and openly about continence, from tips and tricks to the more embarrassing situations. Read More »



Free clinics to assess your wheelchair and seating needs

Independent Living Specialists (ILS), in partnership with SCIA are hosting a series of wheelchair and seating clinics around the state where you can come and trial equipment. Read More »



SCIA Education sessions

Join SCIA’s education sessions  - the next one coming up is from our partner Coloplast around your continence needs. Read More »



Share your story and be part of our history

Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) is excited to be celebrating our 50th anniversary this year.

As part of the celebrations we are inviting our community of members and clients to share their story with SCIA so we can create an online gallery and showcase our rich history through your contributions. Read More »



Joan Hume

It is with a heavy heart and overwhelming sadness that we inform you that Joan Hume, who has been President of Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) for the past few years, unfortunately has passed away. Joan passed away on Friday 10 March 2017. Read More »



Independent Living Specialists partnership with SCIA

We are excited to announce that SCIA has now formed a new long term partnership with Independent Living Specialists (ILS). ILS is one of Australia’s largest providers of homecare equipment and a leading provider of mobility and seating equipment, specialising in scripted power and manual wheelchairs. Read More »



Spinal cord injury scientist named Australian of the Year

A scientist and international leader in stem cell research, Professor Alan Mackay-Sim, who has given hope to thousands of Australians with spinal cord injuries has been named Australian of the Year. A global authority on the human sense of smell and the biology of nasal cells, Professor Mackay-Sim led the world's first clinical trial using these cells in spinal cord injury. Read More »



$100M to prevent injury and boost recovery

We are excited to announce that Spinal Cord Injuries Australia will be one of the first organisations to receive support from the newly launched icare Foundation, to help fund the expansion of our NeuroMoves exercise service into Lismore. Read More »



How to transition easily to the NDIS

SCIA can support your transition into the National Insurance Disability Scheme (NDIS). To help people maximise the benefits offered by the NDIS we are holding group information sessions, individual NDIS pre-planning sessions, sharing information over the phone, holding face to face meetings and providing individualised assistance.  Read More »



Big Day Off 2017 is here!

The Big Day Off is a fun and unique way for businesses and staff to fundraise for an important cause, and it’s so simple. You can register or nominate your workplace online today. Read More »



The NDIS should not be used as a political football

Media Statement - 20th February 2017

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will make a massive contribution to the lives of people with disability as it rolls out across the nation. Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) strongly endorses its development and full implementation and believe the scheme should not be used as a political football by the major parties. Read More »



Leading the world to a new reality for spinal cord injury recovery

A potentially life changing project for all Australians with spinal cord injury was launched in Sydney by SpinalCure Australia​, UTS: University of Technology Sydney​, Professor V. Reggie Edgerton of UCLA and Spinal Cord Injuries Australia. 

Project Edge will see a cutting edge neurostimulation research program established here in Australia to build on the successes of Prof Edgerton and his team at UCLA to achieve the best possible outcomes for people with SCI. Read More »



How I’m getting the most out of the NDIS

"My name is Vickie, I have paraplegia and recently started the process to enter the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The first thing I did was to educate myself best as I could on the NDIS. This included attending an information session run by Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA)." Read More »



SCIA making your transition into NDIS easier

Wheelchair symbol hovering over handSpinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) is offering support to anyone with a spinal cord injury (SCI) or similar disability transitioning to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

For example, in your NDIS plan you can ask for funding you need to support you living as independently as possible. This include core supports such as personal care and continence products, assistive technology, health and wellbeing and connecting and coordinating your services. 

SCIA can also help people advocate for their needs if issues arise during their transition to the NDIS. Our clients are finding this support vital when they receive their approved plans from the NDIS and are not satisfied with the funding approved in some areas in their plan.

Barry has Guillain–Barré syndrome and is currently transitioning to the NDIS. He is one of the clients SCIA is helping as the NDIS rolls out. “For the past 18 months I've attended numerous presentations, meetings and individual plan skills workshops in preparation for my transition onto the NDIS. I thought I was well informed and ready for the NDIS, however, I was wrong and I'm so glad SCIA rang me and accepted my request to be my support coordination provider.”

“Maree from SCIA has been an invaluable resource in assisting me to set up my service agreements with service providers. She has also provided professional advice and direction when I've not known where to turn next. She has made my transition into the NDIS a lot easier.” says Barry.

Contact SCIA on or 1800 819 775 to talk to us about helping your transition into the NDIS.



New partnership with Revitalife

We are excited to announce the launch of our new partnership with Revitalife which will bring a fantastic new benefit for our members. Read More »



Transport to travel with a disability made easier

13 September 2016

People with disability contact Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) about many issues but particularly about accessible transport options. Because transport and travel are such crucial issues for people, we are applauding a move by Hertz to introduce wheelchair accessible vehicles to its fleet.

Hertz will provide ten new rental wheelchair accessible vehicles available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. The five door vehicles provide access for people with disability using mobility aids via the rear door and seats five other ambulant passengers. The vehicle layout exceeds Australia’s Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport and fully comply with all wheelchair restraint standards. Resulting in people with disability now having the freedom to use these vehicles as a passenger, and explore Australian destinations with family and friends. Read More »



Travel smart this summer

During the Christmas and New Year period there are often lots of events with family and friends. It’s a time of year when competition for accessible vehicles is much higher – an SCIA client was recently told that on Christmas Day to expect a wait time of up to two hours for an accessible taxi. At this time of year it’s important you plan your travel well in advance to ensure you can get to and from events on time, and without stress. Read More »



Share your videos with us

To celebrate our 50th anniversary, SCIA is asking members, clients and their family and friends to film a short 30 second video, sharing why SCIA is important to you. Read More »



Our NeuroMoves Lismore facility

The NeuroMoves Lismore centre is now operational and we are so excited about bringing its services to the Northern Rivers of NSW.

The centre will be open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and is now taking appointments. If you would like to take part in the NeuroMoves Lismore program, please contact us on 1800 819 775 or for more information or complete an application today.

NeuroMoves Lismore will be based at the Southern Cross University Health Clinic. Funding from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation and the icare Foundation has made this possible. 





Stories from the Smallest Room Webinar - unanswered questions from the live event

On this page are the responses to the questions that weren't able to be answered during the recent Stories from the Smallest Room WebinarRead More »



UberWAV accessible vehicles now in Newcastle

We are excited to announce that Uber has launched a trial of wheelchair accessible vehicles on the Uber platform in Newcastle. The trial will start with a few vehicles and is expected to grow gradually over the 12 months trial period. 

Take advantage of this in three easy steps:

  1. Download the Uber app at
  2. Create a free Uber account
  3. Enter the code 'AUSWAV' in the payment section of the menu

Full PDF instructions can be found here. You can also watch a video for more info on how to set this up:

If you have any questions please contact SCIA on 1800 819 775 or email

driving brandless car



Mixed experiences as NDIS rolls out

SCIA members and clients are reporting mixed experiences when entering the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). With the scheme rolling out in capital cities like Sydney in July, SCIA is sharing these experiences so that others are prepared for ther own transition. For so many people this scheme will be a life-changer, it's important you go in prepared and informed. Bruce, an SCIA member, has a longstanding C5/C6 spinal cord injury and lives in north-west Sydney in NSW. He has found the experience of entering the NDIS rather challenging.

Bruce's level of spinal cord injury means that he needs everything from adaptive equipment, power chair upgrades, excercise physiology to personal care. His biggest problem with the NDIS has been communication gaps and their lack of knowledge about spinal cord injury and the impact it has on daily life.  Read More »



Results from the SCIA AGM

November 2016

The 2016 Annual General Meeting of the members of Spinal Cord Injuries Australia was held on Thursday 24 November 2016 at 3.00 pm at St Michael’s Golf Club in Little Bay. The meeting was also streamed live to SCIA members. Read More »



Exercise services for spinal cord injury coming to Canberra

August 2016

As part of its election campaign, the Labor party in Canberra committed to a one-off $300,000 grant to Spinal Cord Injuries Australia to establish a NeuroMoves exercise service for people with disability in the ACT. Thanks to this commitment and a generous grant from the John James Foundation, a NeuroMoves gym in Canberra will be established, providing people with spinal cord injury exercise that increases their functionality and independence. Read More »



SCIA and Coloplast webcast Stories from the Smallest Room

Missed out on the SCIA and Coloplast live webcast, Stories from the Smallest Room?

Don't worry, you can download a pdf version of the presentation here or you can still watch it at If you are logged in you can launch the webinar video. If you are not logged in, simply scroll down below the registration fields to the "Login to View" section. If you have not previously registered you must register to view the webinar.

Some questions weren't able to be answered during the webinar. Visit this page to read the responses to those questions.



Stories From the Smallest Room explores a range of issues relating to continence care so people with a disability are fully informed and can make the right choices for their circumstances. It covers a range of issues from how to prevent UTIs, what to do when you are travelling and how will the NDIS affect you and your continence needs. Our panel features SCIA staff sharing their own personal experiences as well as two nurses talking from a more medical perspective.   

If you have any further questions about your continence needs or the NDIS please contact SCIA’s Customer Connect Team on or 1800 819 775.

You can also call Coloplast on 1800 316 650 or request a call back on the Coloplast website for their advice about continence and the NDIS.



Blue Badge Insurance Australia

Spinal Cord Injuries Australia is delighted to announce that Blue Badge Insurance has come on board as SCIA’s newest corporate partner. Read More »



Disability groups back targets to boost lagging employment rates

Some of Australia's biggest corporations have been coming under fire during the current annual general meeting season for linking lucrative CEO and executive bonuses to non-financial targets for diversity, sustainability and culture. 

However, advocates for diversity in the workplace have expressed concern over the negative publicity, arguing that setting targets for more open-minded hiring policies is necessary to achieve cultural change. An area of particular concern is the employment of people with a disability.

Read more about this issue on ABC online. SCIA's Communications and Media Coordinator, Susan, has also written about her own experiences with disability and employment and is well worth a read.

If you are thinking about getting into work, we provide tailored support and assistance to people with spinal cord injury and other disabilities to find suitable employment. To learn more about our employment services email contact us on or 1800 819 775.



Be Fearless by Susan Wood


I grew up in the Blue Mountains in NSW where there was one disabled accessible railway station a 25 minute drive up the highway and there weren’t any accessible buses. Or even regular buses. My parents trudged up and down the Mountains to look for a primary school suitable for me to go to and at the time the only school willing to take me on as their first disabled student was Lawson Public.

My disability is called neonatal flaccid paraplegia, it came about due to a stroke I had while being born. Since I was three years old, my disability had me using callipers and sticks to move around. It wasn’t the greatest and would often leave my legs bleeding and raw after a day at school. They used to tell my parents that there would be a day I would be walking on callipers with only one stick. I don’t think anyone in the late 80s really knew much about what to expect with a progressive disability and now I’m in a wheelchair full time, I look back on that and think how wrong they were. Read More »



SCIA membership is now free!

We’re excited to announce that from 1 July 2016 membership for people with disability, their immediate family and carers is free.*

Plus there are new member benefits like NDIS transition support, discounts on Coloplast products and a free NeuroMoves consultation for you to enjoy. Read More »



Overcome continence challenges

(This event has now concluded. To view please visit the webcast page)

Join SCIA and Coloplast for a free, live and interactive webcast Stories from the Smallest Room and learn all you need to know about strategies and products to help overcome the continence challenges that having a spinal cord injury presents.

The webcast will explore a range of important issues relating to continence care to ensure that people with a disability are fully informed and can make the right choices for their circumstances. Read More »



Enjoy new member benefits for you

We are delighted to have seven new corporate partners on board, providing you with some fantastic member benefits, all part of our new FREE membership offering to people with disability, their family and carers.  Read More »



Study: Immune genetic studies of spinal cord injury patients

The University of Adelaide is currently running a study entitled: “Immune genetic studies of spinal cord injury patients”. 

The research study will investigate how a person’s genetic make-up is related to their spinal cord injury, including any chronic pain experienced since the time of their injury. The study has been approved by the Royal Adelaide Hospital Research Ethics Committee and the Royal North Shore Hospital.

This is a non-invasive study that requires participants to complete a questionnaire about their medical health and provide a buccal swab sample (inside the cheek). Participants can take part in the study from their home as they will be sent a study kit that contains the questionnaire and a cheek swab collection kit. Participants will also be asked for their permission to have access to their case notes for past medical history information.

To find out more about the study you can call (08) 8313 0449 or 1800 009 897 or email



Screenability NSW

Screen NSW has launched Screenability NSW, a new program to create opportunities in the screen industry for people with disabilities.
Screenability NSW is a partnership between Screen NSW, Ai-Media, AFTRS, Carriageworks and Bus Stop Films, and involves a program of initiatives aimed at delivering on Screen NSW's policy commitment to work with industry to grow the participation of people with disabilities in the screen sector. 

Upcoming Screenability NSW initiatives include:
•    An annual film festival at Carriageworks
•    A short film-making initiative to finance and deliver films for premiere at the festival, for travelling around Australia and the world, and for screening online
•    A long-term job placement scheme

Read more about Screenability here.



Nominate an SCIA Life Member

Nominate someone you think deserves to be a Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) Life Member.

An SCIA Life Member is someone who has shown an extraordinary commitment and contribution to SCIA and the empowerment of people with spinal cord injury. We’re asking our members to nominate someone they think deserves this honour for the Board to consider. Read More »



Launch of relationship with PME

We are excited to announce a new partnership with leading car modifiers, Problem Management Engineering (PME). PME has over 25 years’ experience in modifying cars and, like SCIA, strive to bring greater independence to people with a physical disability. Read More »



SCIA helps you get ready for the NDIS

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is rolling out across Australia from July 2016. Now is the time to get ready for this new model of support that is set to revolutionise how you live your life, and SCIA can help you do it. Contact us on 1800 819 775 or Read More »



Model of care for spinal cord injury project survey

Following on from earlier news about the ACI State Spinal Cord Injury Service (SSCIS) project to review and further develop the model of care for the management and support of children and adults with a spinal cord injury in NSW, please find attached the first edition of the newsletter. The newsletter includes an update on achievements so far, and an opportunity for consumers and health professionals to participate in the consultations by completing an online survey. 

Links to the consumer and health professionals surveys are also included below. More information on the consultation process (including the online surveys) can be found in the newsletter. If you would like any further information or to ask any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Frances Moneypenny on the details below.

Health Professionals Survey:  Click on the link to participate:

Consumer Survey:  Click on the link to participate:


Frances Monypenny, Manager SSCIS
Phone: (02) 9464 4616



Coloplast and SCIA join forces to help people with SCI

We are delighted to announce that SCIA will be working in partnership with Coloplast and their Access to HealthCare initiative. Coloplast is a leader in the field for bladder and bowel care and will be supporting SCIA’s upcoming ‘Stories from the Smallest Room’ program, designed to break down the barriers people currently face in accessing the right continence care. Read More »



Re-launch of Slater and Gordon’s Partnership

We are excited to announce the continuation of our long standing partnership with Slater and Gordon Lawyers.  Slater and Gordon is one of the largest and most successful law firms in Australia and the Motor Vehicle Accident Group Leader in NSW, Genevieve Henderson, said “the firm is honoured to continue to partner with Spinal Cord Injuries Australia”. Read More »



GoGet launches carshare vehicle for people with disability in world first

GoGet carshare is planning to revolutionise transport for people with a disability with the launch of the world’s first fully accessible carsharing vehicle and SCIA are in full support. Read More »



Permobil and SCIA launch new partnership!

22 February 2016

We are thrilled to announce that Permobil Australia has become SCIA’s newest corporate partner. We look forward to working with them to reduce social isolation and promote independence for people with an SCI through a program of social events and activities both in the communality and in the spinal units of NSW. Read More »



FREE online pain management course for people with SCI

Macquarie University is responding to growing demand by Australians with spinal cord injury (SCI) for information on chronic pain management, with a series of practical free online courses.  Read More »



NDIS discussion: Chris shares his real-life experience

Chris Sontag shared his real-life experience of using the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to fund his disability supports during a recent panel discussion with Joan Hume (SCIA President) and Tony Jones (SCIA Policy and Advocacy Officer). Read More »



Research Project Opportunity: ‘Discriminatory acts towards young Australians with disabilities in public places’

Researchers at the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne wish to interview young people in Sydney & NSW mid-North Coast with impairments. To be eligible, you need to have left high school and be aged up till your late 20’s. Read More »



Research into Facilitated Sex and Disability

You are invited to participate in a research project conducted by researchers from Deakin University that aims to provide information that will help to have a better understanding of the need for facilitated sex support in the lives of adults with disability (AWD). Some AWD may need assistance from their paid carers or support workers in order to express themselves sexually or participate in sexual activities (this is called facilitated sex). There is very little research on this issue. Currently in Australia, the need for this kind of help is ignored by disability services and those who make policy.

In order to be eligible to participate in the research you would need to:

  • be an adult with a disability age 18-65
  • be restricted in one or more of the following: mobility, arm movement, hand manipulation and/or ability to communicate
  • use the services of a carer or support worker to assist you in everyday care/tasks
  • reside in Victoria

For more information about the project visit the project website.



Spinal Cord Injuries Australia and NRL partnership

Spinal Cord Injuries Australia's partnership with National Rugby League (NRL) has featured in the media recently, with the news that the NRL launched its whole of game Foundation to provide assistance to players who sustain catastrophic injuries. 

CEO Dave Smith said the NRL wants to provide support for players who suffer catastrophic injuries playing rugby league.

The NRL already has in place an insurance scheme which provides compensation of up to $1 million to NRL players who suffer severe injuries. Read More »



Exhibit for disability rights open at M.A.D.E

An exhibition exploring campaigning for disability rights Grassroots Democracy: The Campaign for Disability Rights recently launched at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka. Exploring the deinstitutionalisation of the 1970s, the right-based activism of the 70s and 80s and the recent introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the retrospective show was exhibited both in the museum and online. President of Spinal Cord Injuries Australia, Joan Hume, was included in the exhibition and on the Honour Board for the Campaign for Disability Rights, launched in conjunction with the exhibition.  Read More »


Give Us Feedback Was this article helpful?