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Connections: Sexuality and Relationships after Spinal Cord Injury

Join us to learn more about intimacy, sex, dating, long-term relationships, parenting and family life.

Spinal cord injury is life-changing. Much of the focus of rehabilitation care is on the medical and functional aspects of life with SCI, with less attention paid to the profound effects that SCI has on the dynamics of one’s relationships.

Through the generous support of the Paralyzed Veterans of America and other sponsors, the Northern New Jersey Spinal Cord Injury System is hosting two inter-related events on June 21-22, 2019 to discuss sexuality and intimacy, raising a family, care giving dynamics, and other topics relevant to cultivating healthy and fulfilling relationships. Together, these events will help people with SCI and their loved ones build confidence that fulfilling relationships are possible and will prepare health care providers to discuss important issues related to sexuality, intimacy, and family life with those they serve. 

Friday, June 21, 2019, 10 AM to 4:30 PM   
Full-Day Conference for People with SCI and their Loved Ones 


  • Strengthening intimate relationships through connectedness, creativity, and humor
  • Techniques and technologies to enable safe and satisfying sex after SCI
  • Dating and long-term relationships
  • Balancing romance and care giving
  • Parenting and other important family roles after SCI 

Saturday, June 22, 2019, 9 AM to 1 PM
Half-Day Workshop for Rehabilitation Professionals


  • How to facilitate sexual self-discovery
  • Experiences of people with SCI and their partners in inpatient rehabilitation and beyond
  • Strategies for talking about sexuality
  • Positioning and technology to enable safe and satisfying sexual activity after SCI

Keynote Speaker (Both Events):

Mitchell Tepper, PhD, MPH

AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator and Counselor

Location (Both Events):

Wilshire Grand Hotel 
350 Pleasant Valley Way
West Orange, NJ 07052

Registration Information:

Admission is free but registration is required. Please register by Friday June 14, 2019, additional registrations will be accepted after this date as space allows.

Space is limited, and priority for the Friday, June 21, 2019 conference will be given to people with spinal cord injury and their loved ones.

Registration for the Saturday, June 22, 2019 workshop is open only to rehabilitation professionals (physicians, therapists, nurses, counselors, case managers, program coordinators, researchers, etc.). If you have questions about your eligibility to participate, please contact Jeanne Zanca at

If your plans change and you need to cancel your registration, please contact Jeanne Zanca, Conference Chair, at

It is possible that some registrants may be placed on a waiting list if space becomes full.  You will receive a notification via email if you are placed on the waiting list.


Directions to the Wilshire Grand Hotel. Recommended parking is in the rear of the hotel, where there is ample space and close proximity to the entrance closest to the meeting rooms.

If you require overnight accommodations at the Wilshire Grand Hotel, please contact Larry Benus at 862-252-8508 and request the Kessler Foundation rate of $149 + tax/night.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our sponsors:

Platinum Level Sponsor

Paralyzed Veterans of America Logo










Supported in part by Grant # 842 from the Paralyzed Veterans of America Education Foundation.

Gold Level Sponsors

Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation Logo










Kessler Foundation Logo















This conference is hosted by the Northern New Jersey Spinal Cord Injury System (NNJSCIS), a collaborative effort of Kessler Foundation, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, and University Hospital. NNJSCIS is supported by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90SI5026). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The ideas expressed during this conference do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

Bronze Level Sponsor

Hollister Logo





Bayada Home Health Care Logo


For more information:
Jeanne M. Zanca, PhD, MPT
Conference Chair & Senior Research Scientist
Spinal Cord Injury Research
Kessler Foundation
Phone: 973-324-3558

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Submitted by nmiller on Mon, 03/25/2019 - 10:54