5.19.2009

spinal network, 4th edition

The new Spinal Network is out! The best resource guide for people who use wheelchairs has been re-issued, and it's better than ever.

I wrote and edited the Sports & Recreation section of this book, plus a few profiles for other chapters. I edited the Sports chapter of the previous edition, but this time (ten years later) I had more autonomy and responsibility for the whole section. I thoroughly enjoyed the project, and I'm very proud of the results.

You can see the beautiful smiling face of Canadian athlete Chantal Petitclerc on the cover here (click to enlarge, it's worth it), and the Table of Contents and Introduction here.

I wish I could show you the title page, as it's the first book where both Allan and I are officially listed. He made us all look good with some some amazing emergency proofreading, and our editor was good enough to give him the credit.

Spinal Network is a book we all hope we'll never need, but any of us might one day, or we may know someone who does. It's written for people with new spinal cord injuries or new diagnoses, or people whose conditions have progressed and are now wheeling instead of walking. It's written with compassion, humour and hope, but above all, it's written with honesty and truth.

10 comments:

Amy said...

Congratulations, Laura! It sounds like a terrific resource.

MSEH said...

Congratulations! That's great!

Scott M. said...

Wow! Congratulations Laura! Having needed to use a chair for a few weeks I can recognize the troubles that those newly diagnosed or injured might have, but I always knew I'd be back to my old self shortly.

I'm glad to see there's a book that covers how to deal with the prognosis of being wheelchair-bound.

BTW -- why is it named "Spinal Network"?

L-girl said...

Thanks, all!

It's an interesting perspective, isn't it, Scott? I'm afraid one of the very few areas in which Canada lags behind the US is accessibility. It's still optional here - and it shouldn't be, and it mustn't remain so.

Of course using a wheelchair temporarily is very different from knowing you will always use one. But if I may pick on your language, a wheelchair user is not "wheelchair-bound", any more than walkers are "foot-bound". A chair is freedom and mobility. What would be "bound" is to not have a chair at all.

It's called Spinal Network because most of our readers have survived spinal cord injuries, or at least some issue concerning their spines, and because it's a network of advice, support and ideas from people who know about SCI and the wheeling life.

And because the original Spinal Net book (I think from 1990, but I'm not sure) was named that and there's a lot of good name recognition, so the publishers keep the title.

Kim_in_TO said...

But if I may pick on your language, a wheelchair user is not "wheelchair-bound", any more than walkers are "foot-bound". A chair is freedom and mobility. What would be "bound" is to not have a chair at all.Thanks for the lesson. The great thing about getting inside a different community is that there are always things to learn, both about language and about the issues or obstacles that community faces.

Congrats to both of you!

Scott M. said...

Thanks for the heads-up on the language! In this case, I actually intended it to mean "bound" as in heading towards (Whistler-bound), instead of "bound" as in restricted by (muscle-bound).

Of course it could be easily read either way, which just goes to show you I'm not careful/sensitive enough with my choice of words! That's especially bad in my case seeing as I was very sensitive to comments I saw as demeaning when I was using a chair/was worried I was permanently blinded.

Cornelia said...

Good!!

L-girl said...

"The great thing about getting inside a different community is that there are always things to learn, both about language and about the issues or obstacles that community faces."

How very, very true! Becoming an advocate for people with disabilities has been one of the most enriching facets of my life. I have met incredible people who teach and inspire me every day. And the lessons are not always so obvious or simple.

Thanks for the congrats!

L-girl said...

"Thanks for the heads-up on the language! In this case, I actually intended it to mean "bound" as in heading towards (Whistler-bound), instead of "bound" as in restricted by (muscle-bound)."

Oh my, I never would have thought that. It's usually used in the sense of restricted. Then even more so, thank you for thanking me.

"Of course it could be easily read either way, which just goes to show you I'm not careful/sensitive enough with my choice of words! That's especially bad in my case seeing as I was very sensitive to comments I saw as demeaning when I was using a chair/was worried I was permanently blinded."

Live and learn. As long as your mind is open, it's all good.

L-girl said...

And in case anyone is wondering, the best thing to say is simply "wheelchair user", "person who uses a wheelchair", or "person with a disability". Accurate and descriptive without judgement. :)

In the community, we also frequently say "wheeler" or "walker", but that might not work outside of the wheeling world.