Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act
Summary of the legislation
The Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act (CDRPA) was first introduced in Congress in 2007 and signed by President Obama on March 20, 2009. The Act was named for the late Christopher Reeve and his wife Dana, whose courage and grace in the face of adversity, coupled with their extraordinary activism, were an inspiration to millions around the world.
The CDRPA has three components that support and enhance paralysis research, rehabilitation, and quality of life programs.
Title I. paralysis research
CDRPA expands research on paralysis at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by establishing the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Consortia.
This style of research promotes collaboration – connecting scientists doing similar work in multiple fields to enrich understanding and speed discovery of better treatments and cures.
Title II. paralysis rehabilitation and care
The law calls for rehabilitation research to advance daily function for people with paralysis. This includes intensive, activity-based research to measure the effectiveness of certain rehabilitative tactics that aim to improve mobility, prevent secondary complications, and develop improved assistive technology.
Title III. improving quality of life
CDRPA will develop unique programs at the US Department of Health and Human Services to better the quality of life and long-term health status of persons with paralysis and other physical disabilities.
Programs include providing grants to nonprofit health and disability organizations to educate the public about paralysis, improve access to services, and integrate life with paralysis into society, as well as coordinate services within each state to assist persons living with paralysis.