Paralysis Resources for Occupational Therapists

May 20, 2016 | 8:00 am | By Pants Up Easy

As an occupational therapist, you’ve taken on a noble task, that of helping people with various issues learn to lead a more functional and rewarding life. Your clientele can really be just about anyone. It could be someone dealing with the effects of an illness, or just about any accident. It could be a child who has some sort of learning impairment or physical disability which keeps him from doing the same things as the other kids at school. In short, occupational therapy addresses the needs of anyone who is unable to perform the activities (or occupations) that they want or need to.

Some of the most challenging patients you’re going to interact with are those who have suffered a spinal cord injury and are dealing with paralysis as a result. Depending on the severity and the location of their injury, the paralysis may have just affected their legs (paraplegia) or all four limbs (quadriplegia). In either case, the person is going to be in a very challenging situation. A spinal cord injury is a major life-changing event, and a lot of support is going to be needed. Here are some resources that may help you as an occupational therapist to give the best support you can to your paralysis patients.

Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improve the lives of those suffering from paralysis, by funding research, and providing information and advocacy. In addition to their active work, their website includes the Paralysis Resource Center, which houses a wealth of information for paralysis victims and caregivers alike.

American Spinal Injury Association

The American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) is another organization with the aim of increasing well-being for people with spinal cord injuries. They strive to establish and promote standards of excellence for education, healthcare, and research to help those with paralysis. Among their goals is the effort to promote communication and collaboration between the various professional who work with paralysis victims.


The Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals (ASCIP) is a non-profit group that offers learning opportunities and networking for medical professionals who work with people with paralysis and other effects of SCI. Their membership includes occupational therapists as well as physicians, nurses, and other therapists, and their website is a portal to lots of research and scientific findings, as well as opportunities to meet or interact online with other peers working in the field.

Pants Up Easy

You didn’t think we were going to leave ourselves off this list, did you? There are lots of products out there that can help paralysis victims, and it’s part of your job as an occupational therapist to help your patients find equipment and modifications to help them in their daily activities. Our products provide a unique solution to assist those with paralysis with the challenging task of pulling their pants up, after they use the bathroom, or, in their wheelchair. It has improved the lives of many SCI sufferers, and is well worth a look to see how it can benefit your patients.

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