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Empowering Women Living with Paralysis: Breaking Barriers to Reproductive Health
Accessing reproductive healthcare presents many challenges for women living with paralysis. They must overcome physical barriers and the attitudinal and educational barriers presented by OB/GYN practitioners. “Empowering Women Living with Paralysis: Breaking Barriers to Reproductive Health” will explore these barriers and how women living with paralysis can empower themselves to access the care they need and deserve.

Presenters Cody Unser and Dani Izzie will discuss the various barriers to routine OB/GYN care as well as prenatal care, provide strategies for overcoming them, and share their personal experiences as women living with paralysis in addressing challenges they have faced in obtaining reproductive healthcare. Specific topics will include the meaning of empowerment for women living with paralysis and how to practice it in health management; the medical and psychosocial consequences of the barriers to OB/GYN care, finding the right prenatal care practitioner; and patient rights and self-advocacy.

May 14, 2021 03:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Cody Unser
Cody Unser founded The Cody Unser First Step Foundation (CUFSF) with the help of her mother, Shelley Unser, after becoming paralyzed at 12 years old in 1999 due to the autoimmune disorder transverse myelitis. Cody has become a leading advocate for people living with disabilities and spends much of her time traveling across the country to deliver keynote speeches, attend medical symposia and help other grassroots organizations that have missions similar to that of CUFSF. She is passionate about the healthcare of women with disabilities and presents on this issue at grand rounds in medical facilities across the country. Cody received her undergraduate degree at the University of Redlands in California and her Master in Public Health at the George Washington University in Washington, DC.
Daniela Izzie
Daniela Izzie is a disability advocate and wheelchair user. Dani is also one of only a handful of quadriplegics known to have given birth to twins. She currently works full-time with Spinergy as a social media manager and advertiser promoting their wheelchair and bicycle wheels. She holds a Master’s in English Literature with a focus on Disability Studies. Her newest passion is elevating the voices of parents living with disabilities, and she is the subject of a new documentary film, “Dani’s Twins,” about pregnancy and motherhood with quadriplegia during the pandemic. She lives in rural Virginia with her husband, and as a dual citizen of Italy, she enjoys the contrasting lifestyles that has afforded her.