It is with great pleasure that I welcome visitors to this website. This website is a unique educational resource for people involved in the care and rehabilitation of people with spinal cord injuries. The ultimate goal of this website is to save lives and improve outcomes following spinal cord injury in all corners of the world regardless of income, race, gender or access to healthcare. It is primarily intended for students and junior clinicians from low resource countries with a strong emphasis on practical and inexpensive solutions and therapy strategies. However, there is plenty of content relevant to all, even very senior clinicians working in well-resourced countries.
This website is a tribute to the altruistic global ISCoS community of health care professionals and people with spinal cord injuries. This community represents doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, nurses, psychologists and peer counselors, to mention just a few.They come from over 30 countries around the world.They have donated their time, efforts and skills over a 2-year period to produce this educational resource which anyone can access free of charge. They have done this because they are committed to improving the lives of people affected by spinal cord injuries across the globe. They rightfully believe that education of those responsible for care and rehabilitation will go some way to achieving this goal.
This website contains a wealth of information. Importantly, users are actively engaged in the learning process. They are not passive recipients of information. Instead, they learn by reviewing real case studies, listening to interviews from experts, answering questions and viewing photos and videos. It is these features which set this website apart from other sources of information and text books about spinal cord injuries. These features provide a very powerful learning experience.
Great effort has been directed at ensuring the website has a global feel and reflects the lives of people in many different cultural and socioeconomic situations from countries around the world. In addition, we have been cognoscente of the fact that English is not the first language of many of our readers (or contributors). We have therefore used appropriate language which does not require advanced English skills to read and we have tried to rely on images rather than heavy text where ever possible.
There are many, many people that need thanking and a lot of people who have quietly toiled behind the scenes collecting videos, reading drafts, providing case studies and coordinating teams. They do not demand recognition or accolades. To them all, we extend our warmest and sincerest thanks. However, as Chairperson of the Education Committee I would like to especially acknowledge and thank our previous Chairperson of the Education Committee, Dr Chhabra. This project was commenced and completed under his captaincy. It was he, and he alone, that brought this immense project to fruition. We are indebted and in awe of his drive, vision, commitment and ability to motivate others. Without him, this would never have happened.
Enjoy your learning experience and join forces with us as we strive to achieve our ultimate mission: to improve the lives of people affected by spinal cord injury in all corners of the world.
John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research
Northern Clinical School
Sydney School of Medicine
University of Sydney, Australia