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Media Opportunity at UPMC Rehabilitation Institute Picnic for Spinal Cord Injury 

WHAT: Wheelchair Basketball, Swimming, Robotics and more as part of an Appreciation Picnic for SCI Research Participants and hosted by UPMC Rehabilitation Institute’s SCI Research Team
WHO: Persons with Spinal Cord Injuries, the health professionals who have joined them in research and others from the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute will participate along with folks around the Lower Hill District YMCA.
WHEN: 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, July 29, 2012
WHERE: Thelma Lovette YMCA, 2114 Centre Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219
• Opportunity to interview Tim Hemmes, the first participant in the Brian Computer Interface research project, who will also serve as the event’s keynote speaker. His message is both an inspiration to what science may make possible for persons with SCI and a motivation for others to take part in future research.
• Opportunity to video persons with Spinal Cord Injuries playing Basketball and Rugby (Pittsburgh SteelWheelers), swimming in an Accessible Pool, navigating a wheelchair Obstacle Course, presenting current research findings and demonstrating the GameCycle
• The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC researchers have received a $4.5 million Grant from the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research to lead a multi-site research project aimed at bettering the lives of individuals with SCI through interventions to improve their skill at using their wheelchair and preventing wheelchair failures, which occur too often (see below).
• A recent study by UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found 52 percent of people with Spinal Cord Injuries required wheelchair repairs in the preceding six months, many of them needing multiple service appointments.
• South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius next week will become the first person with disabilities to participate in the Olympic Games – this event offers the chance to interview local people with disabilities about his inclusion in the London Summer Games.
Media interested in covering this event should contact Chuck Finder at 412-996-5852 or

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