Archive of Support Group Topics 

Date: Thursday, February 27, 2020

Time: 5:00 - 7:00p
Guest Speaker: Faculty and student from RIT

Topic: RIT Idea Lab



See what RIT is doing to bring adaptive technology to those in need. Share your thoughts and ideas with our guests. Your input may help shape the current ideas or generate new projects for the future. 

If you have ideas, comments or need assistance developing equipment feel free to contact:

​Date: Thursday, December 19, 2019

Time: 5:00 - 7:00p
Guest Speaker: Renee Madathil, PhD

Topic: Winter Blues (Depression) & White Elephant Game



Winter has shorter days, less exposure to daylight, the cold weather and snow which can make it harder to get out and be active for many people with SCI/D, their family and friends. This reality can increase frustration because you feel trapped inside (your own body or living space), which can leave you feeling isolated or alone. These feelings may be symptoms of depression, Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD) or a lesser form of SAD called the “Winter Blues”.   Whatever the situation you may be experiencing reaching out to others who are going through the same thing can help you find comfort in knowing you are not alone. And, with the help of our guest speaker Renee you may learn a few new tricks to help combat the symptoms of these very real disorders.


Afterwards, we will play a “White Elephant” game to lighten the mood and add some fun to the evening.

A White Elephant Gift Exchange is a popular Christmas event where people vie to walk away with the best present. It also goes by Yankee Swap , Dirty Santa , and a plethora of other names. The White Elephant game is played by a lot of different rulesets – some dead simple and others confusingly elaborate. Our goal is for RSA to bring gifts for some fun and entertainment. All we need is you!!! 


Date: Thursday, January 23, 2020

Time: 5:00 - 7:00p
Guest Speaker: Chris Hilderbrant, Executive Director of RSA

Topic: United Way grant application, open discussion

Description: United Way grant application to make RSA more visible in Rochester community. Open discussion with group participants

Date: Thursday, February 27, 2020

Time: 5:00 - 7:00p
Guest Speaker: TBD

Topic: RIT Idea Lab

Description: See what RIT is doing to bring adaptive technology to those in need. Share your thoughts and ideas with our guests. Your input may help shape the current ideas or generate new projects for the future. 

Date: Thursday, March 26, 2020

Time: 5:00 - 7:00p
Guest Speaker:

Topic: Hollister products

Description: The Hollister rep will discuss any and all products the company makes to help those with disabilities manage daily lives. Please join us with questions and see what free samples are available to try. If there are items not available at this meeting request them for the upcoming SCI Health Fair (April 25). 

Date: Thursday, November 21, 2019
Guest Speaker: Mike Cocquyt, Director of Sportsnet

Topic: Winter Sports available through Sportsnet


Description: Mike will share winter sports like Snow skiing available through Sportsnet. He will bring a snow ski to demonstrate what the equipment looks like and explain how to use it. 

To learn more about what is available visit:

Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Guest Speaker: Jean Nickels, MD. (Physiatrist, Physical Medicine & Rehab)

Topic: SCI Cure


Description: Dr. Nickels will discuss the latest information relating to SCI/D.

Dr. Nickels provides comprehensive inpatient rehabilitative care to patients with new functional impairments such as stroke, amputation, spinal cord injury or Multiple Sclerosis. She provides consultative services to nursing home clients. Dr. Nickels' approach is based on an interdisciplinary approach to patient and family centered care. She coordinates medical, therapy and social services and equipment needs for individuals with disabilities.


Date: Thursday, September 26, 2019
Guest Speaker: JJ Mowder, PT

Topic: SCI Summer Camp



JJ will share her experience as a volunteer Physical Therapist working with participants at Empower SCI Summer Camp. She will bring a couple of PT students who volunteered at Camp 2019 as they lived with clients helping as aids to perform normal ADL's. Students worked in shifts to provide 24 hour care to clients as needed. 

Empower SCI Incorporated offers a unique blend of traditional and complementary therapeutic services to adolescents and adults who have been disabled by a spinal cord injury or other related neurological disorders. Our mission is to empower those individuals to develop the skills needed to reach their highest potential for an independent life.


Empower SCI is a residential program catered to individuals who have had an injury to their spinal cord. The program focuses not only on the formal physical therapy, occupational therapy, and recreational therapy; but more importantly peer mentoring, rehabilitation counseling and informal knowledge-sharing between individuals who are going through similar experiences and challenges. Each program will be catered to the unique needs of the client, with client-developed goals to maximize the client’s ability to lead a happier, more meaningful and more independent life. It is our focus at Empower SCI Incorporated, to allow individuals with spinal cord injuries the opportunity to participate in successful rehabilitation, in a time in their lives where they are motivated, healed (both mentally and orthopedically) and have the potential to succeed.

To learn more visit:

Date: Thursday, August 22, 2019
Guest Speaker: Marissa Struckle, WOCN

Topic: Wound Care & SCI Summer Camp

Description: Marissa is a nurse who specializes in wound care. She will share her knowledge and answer any questions you may have regarding this condition that is commonly seen in people with spinal cord disability. If you or someone you know is struggling with a wound and looking for help to navigate the different ways to heal please come to learn and share your experience with this group. Marissa also volunteers at a summer camp for people with Spinal Cord Injury/Disability. She will share some great videos of spinal cord camp at this meeting, if possible.

Date: Thursday, July 25, 2019
Guest Speaker: Andrew Serwetnyk

Topic: Massage Therapy

Description: Get a nice massage while visiting with friends.

To learn more about Andrew or schedule an appointment visit:

Date: Thursday, June 27, 2019

Guest Speaker: Dave Jenkins

Topic: Personal Defense

Description: Rochester Personal Defense, LLC offers a full complement of firearms, self-defense and pistol permit training classes for private citizens and Law Enforcement. The instructors at Rochester Personal Defense, LLC have taught thousands of men, women, and children with a simple philosophy: we will work with you in any way that benefits you and ensures you get the most out of your self defense training. The discussion will allow both Dave and the group to learn from each other to create an ongoing dialog for future classes designed for our members needs.


To learn more visit their website:

Date: Thursday, May 23, 2019
Guest Speaker: Michael Amy, Yoga Instructor

Topic: Benefits of Yoga

Description: Central Rock Gym exists to provide everyone with a world class indoor climbing, fitness, and community experience through our state of the art facilities, expansive climbing walls, cutting edge fitness equipment, professional yoga classes, and various youth programs and summer camps. It is through these many offerings that our CRG staff and members come together to build a community of climbers and friends. Central Rock Gym embraces its role as an integral part of the social fabric of all of our host cities and communities. Michael will discuss the benefits of yoga and show how to perform poses from a seated position. Classes can be affordable through grant requests from Endless Highways for children to young adults with a disability. For a limited time adults with a Spinal Cord Injury/Disability may apply for a Wellness grant to assist with the cost (limited funds available) see the grant application on the RSA website for details.

To learn more about the gym visit their website:

Date: Thursday, August 21, 2018

Guest Speaker: Thermapperal Team

Topic: Cooling Vest

Description: The creators of this vest will discuss the benefits of using this innovative technology developed locally at RIT. Confidence, comfort and freedom through cooling. Introducing Undercool, the revolutionary cooling vest that’s lightweight, invisible and meticulously designed for extreme comfort and freedom of movement. The vest is light weight and fits comfortably under clothing. The cooling cells are comfortable against the skin (not too cold) and are arranged in 4 pockets on the body's trunk to provide maximum benefit. It lasts up to a few hours and can be refrozen in a cooler, refrigerator or freezer in less than an hour. Extra cooling cells can be purchased separately to allow for rotation between thawing and refreezing a set of cells.


To learn more visit their website:

601 Elmwood Ave., Box 664

Rochester, NY 14642


Phone: (585)234-3269

Registered Charity: 501c3 status

United Way # 3378

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