About United Spinal Association

Our Mission

United Spinal Association is a national 501(c) (3) nonprofit membership organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of all people living with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), including veterans, and providing support and information to loved ones, care providers and professionals.

We believe no person should be excluded from opportunity based on their disability. Our goal is to provide people living with SCI/D programs and services that maximize their independence and enable them to remain active in their communities.

United Spinal transforms the lives of people with SCI/D by:

  • Advocating for greater access to healthcare, mobility equipment, public transportation, rehabilitation, community services and supports, and the built environment
  • Empowering our members with resources, one-on-one assistance, and peer support
  • Promoting independence through employment opportunities and community integration of wheelchair users into mainstream society

Our History

United Spinal was founded in 1946 by a determined group of paralyzed WWII veterans in New York City who advocated for greater civil rights and independence for themselves and their fellow veterans. Rejecting the poor treatment they received at their local VA hospital, they decided to form a support group. From these modest beginnings, United Spinal was born. Since then, our core belief has remained unchanged. Despite living with SCI/D, a full, productive, and rewarding life is within the reach of anyone with the strength to believe it and the courage to make it happen.

Our Reach

United Spinal has access to over 100,000 wheelchair users, 50+ chapters, 180+ support groups, and 100+ rehabs and hospital partners nationwide––including 10 distinguished Spinal Cord Injury Model System Centers that support innovative projects and research in the field of SCI. This year, we have touched over 1.8 million lives impacted by disability. Our expansive reach to wheelchair consumers, their families and caregivers, clinicians and disability stakeholders, through our national Spinal Network empowers individuals with disabilities to achieve their highest potential in all facets of life.

Membership in United Spinal is free and open to all individuals with SCI/D.

Our Impact

United Spinal is committed to advocating for greater civil rights and independence for people with disabilities, including expanding education and employment, improving enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ensuring adequate access to public transportation and taxi services, and amending Medicare rules that restrict many individuals to their homes and nursing facilities.

United Spinal Annual Report
United Spinal IRS 990

Our Leadership

United Spinal Association’s Leadership is dedicated to advancing the organization’s principles
and goals and to achieving the highest level of service to the spinal cord injury community.

Tom AiellioTom Aiello
Chairman of the Board
United Spinal Association

Tom, a West Point graduate and Army veteran living with spinal cord injury (SCI), is currently president and founder of March Marketing, LLC., a leading agency specializing exclusively in strategy, consulting, marketing, recruiting, public relations, and social media, for products and services targeting military and veteran families. Read more about Tom Aiello.

James WeismanJames Weisman
President & CEO
United Spinal Association

For 40 years James Weisman has advocated for the rights of people with disabilities including helping craft the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Mr. Weisman is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).Read more about James Weisman


Tom Aiello – Chairman of the Board
Carmen Jones – Vice Chair
Joshua Basile – Secretary
Andy Hicks – Treasurer
James Weisman – President & CEO

Board of Directors

Tom AiellioTom Aiello (IL)
President of March Marketing, LLC.

BallMarty Ball (FL)
Vice President of Sales, TiLite (retired)

Josh-BasileJoshua Basile (MD)
Attorney, Jack H Olender & Associates

Teresa BernerTheresa Berner (OH)
Rehabilitation Clinical Manager, OSU Wexner Medical

Darren BrehmDarren Brehm (MO)
Senior Director, Direct Materials Procurement
Dairy Farmers of America

Ronald W. DrachRonald W. Drach (MD)
Drach Consulting, LLC

RicK HaydenRick Hayden (CA)
The Hayden Group

HicksAndy Hicks (WA)
Owner, Complex Rehab Technology Education, LLC

Carina Ho

Carina Ho (CA)
Accessibility Specialist, Airbnb

Minna Hong

Minna Hong (GA)
Delta’s Disability Advisory Board; Synergies Works Board

Carmen Jones

Carmen D. Jones (GA)
CEO/President of Solutions Marketing Group

David Korse (CA)
CEO, Abilities Expos

Andraéa LaVant

Andraéa LaVant (AZ)
LaVant Consulting, Inc.


Denise McQuade (NY)
Public Information Coordinator, Paratransit Division, MTA New York City Transit

Chris O’Donoghue

Chris O’Donoghue (NY)
Emmy Winning General Assignment Reporter

Ronnie Ellen Raymond

Ronnie Ellen Raymond (NY)
Advocacy for the Disabled-UJA Disability Awareness Task Force, the Jewish Museum, Taxis for All Campaign, Concerts in Motion

Jim Sinocchi

Jim Sinocchi (MA)
Managing Director, Office of Disability Inclusion, JPMorgan Chase

Reveca Torres

Reveca Torres (IL)
Co-director, ReelAbilities Film Festival

Renee Tyree

Renee Tyree (AZ)
West Regional Pharmacy Director, Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospitals


Len Zandrow (MA)
Partner, Brister & Zandrow