Spirit of collaboration high among Bay Area SCI support organizations

"Support and collaborate with all existing Support Groups and organizations to foster exchange of ideas and information on how to better serve the SCI/D population."
-- From NorCal SCI 2018 Goals & Objectives

Collaboration has been our relentless obsession with everything we've done since we launched NorCal SCI.  One of our favorite activities that provides that sense of collaboration involves our work and interaction with various SCI Support groups throughout Northern California and this past Saturday, we had an opportunity to huddle with a few members of the Bay Area Support Groups and non-profit organizations at a meetup in Emeryville.  For a year now, we've done monthly phone conference calls but everyone was itching to get together in person.

Joining the NorCal SCI staff in attendance were Stan Kosloski of the Sonoma-Marin group, Matt Tilford from the San Francisco support group, Nils Jorgensen and Tom Shankle of the Berkeley support group as well as Char Vine, founder of a former SCI support group in Sacramento.  We also had members of No Limits Collaborative, Erin Hallett and Arash Bayatmakou, who have taken an active role in the SCI community.

   From left to right: Matt Tilford, Franklin Elieh, Arash Bayatmakou, Carl McGrew, Nils Jorgensen, Stan Kosloski, Char Vine. Back row from left to right:  Tom Shankle, Erin Hallett, Nick Struthers. Dogs on the floor from left to right:  Foxy and Tortilla

From left to right: Matt Tilford, Franklin Elieh, Arash Bayatmakou, Carl McGrew, Nils Jorgensen, Stan Kosloski, Char Vine.
Back row from left to right:  Tom Shankle, Erin Hallett, Nick Struthers.
Dogs on the floor from left to right:  Foxy and Tortilla

The topics of conversation encompassed various subject matters, including how to push for more inclusive exercise facilities, challenges in finding caregivers, developing more accessible outdoor activities and facilities, collaboration at the October Abilities Expo in San Mateo and talking about our individual programs and efforts.

What we came away with was a better clarity and understanding of the opportunities that lie ahead and it was wonderful seeing the can-do attitude that was on display at the meeting and we look forward to continue pressing ahead and working with all the groups to provide an even better community for individuals with SCI.