SCIO Community Magazine
Click here to find out more about SpeediCath catheters.
SCIO and McLeish Orlando employees join forces to stuff essentials into bags for people who have incurred an SCI.

Independence Initiative

There are immense challenges that come with spinal cord injuries, from the financial burdens that medical equipment and assistive devices place on families, to the physical, mental, and emotional demands of the injury.

Spinal Cord Injury Ontario has always known these challenges and has worked tirelessly for almost eight decades to support people with various programs. Last year SCIO launched the Independence Initiative with the aim to ensure greater success in transitioning people from hospital to home through delivering an SCIO Care package. With funding from corporate partners, SCIO began distribution of care packages to each individual in the regional rehabilitation centres across the province. The package consists of a knapsack and a number of accessibility aids and products designed and produced by members of the spinal cord injury community.

On November 27th, 2023, SCIO together with presenting sponsors McLeish Orlando Lawyers LLP, provincial sponsors: Coloplast Canada, Motion, Quantum, Motion Composites, and Raz Design Inc kicked off the initiative with a wheelchair-backpack stuffing event, where 600 knapsacks were stuffed and prepared for the distribution launch in January 2024.

“In my practice as a lawyer helping those who are seriously injured, I have seen how impactful SCIO is at helping the spinal cord injury community. At McLeish Orlando, we are very proud to be the presenting sponsor of this important initiative,” says Patrick Brown, Principal Partner McLeish Orlando Lawyers LLP

Every year, more than 600 people across Ontario will experience a spinal cord injury inpatient rehabilitation and endure one of the most difficult journeys ahead of them. In Ontario, there is a shortage of public coverage for essential supplies, including intermittent catheters and urinary supplies, ceiling lifts and specific types of mobility devices that are lifesaving. In the early stages of a spinal cord injury, people may not be aware of the tools and resources available to them that can enhance their lives and help regain functions such as eating independently or getting dressed. The goal for the care package is to help educate people about these.

“At SCIO we hold ourselves accountable to achieving the highest standards of service and supports for people with spinal cord injuries. We pride ourselves on striving to make the impossible possible and working with like-minded corporations and organizations who understand excellence. When launching the Independence Initiative, we approached McLeish Orlando as the presenting sponsor because we know this firm follows the same accountability and excellence. Thank You MO for being a valued partner,” says SCIO’s Peter Athanasopoulos, Director of Public Policy.

We hope the inpatients in the rehab centers across the province will find value from the community benefits, the knapsack, and everything in it.  At SCIO, we view newly injured people with SCI as core members of our organization and we continuously look at innovative ways to support their journeys during transitions from hospital to home. With the support and dedication of partners we will continue to explore opportunities to do just that.

While the Independence Initiative has made a significant impact, the journey doesn’t end here. SCIO remains dedicated to advocating for policy changes and increased funding for essential equipment and medical devices. Your donation helps us continue this crucial work, ensuring that all individuals with spinal cord injuries have access to the resources and support they need. Together, we can make a lasting impact.

"" Donate today and help us drive positive change

Click here to find out more about McLeish Orlando Personal Injury Law

SCIO Website


Looking for resources, events, news or ways to help Spinal Cord Injury Ontario? Click here to visit our website.