“Voices of Experience” – New Video Series

Nobody knows what you’re going through
 Like someone who’s already been there

They Know…They’ve Lived It

“Voices of Experience” is a 10-part video series for people with new spinal cord injuries that features people who have been living with paralysis for years.

Video Titles

People living with paralysis answer 10 real-life questions


At the heart of the project is the understanding that a spinal cord injury often leads to a profound sense of isolation. Most people don’t know anyone else who has suddenly had to deal with paralysis.

The “Voices of Experience” video series offers intensely honest shared moments from a diverse group of people who are successfully living with spinal cord injuries themselves. The series introduces newly-injured people to a wide-ranging group of individuals who share the world they are now entering. Their comments are drawn from’s library of more than 2,000 videos of people coping with paralysis.

The videos cover the kinds of personal subjects—dating, sex, relationships, fears and feelings—that patients are often unwilling or uncomfortable about bringing up during counseling sessions or even in face-to-face talks with medical and rehab professionals. A focus group of SCI team members at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab reviewed and refined the final list of video topics/questions.

The series was created for distribution on the in-hospital TV networks of the Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems, hospitals, as well to other healthcare institutions and online to everyone.

“Voices of Experience” is a joint project of and the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, created in fulfillment of the outreach component of SRALab’s Model Systems NIDILRR grant (number 90SI5022). Drs. Allen Heinemann, Director of Center for Rehabilitation Outcomes Research and Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University and David Chen, Section Chief of Spinal Cord Injury, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, are the co-directors of the grant.