General (FAQ)


What is SPINALpedia?

SPINALpedia is a video sharing mentor network for people with paralysis from spinal cord injury or illness and their family and friends.


The experts of life with paralysis are the people who live it every day, injured or not. With an incredible diversity of experiences and challenges for a variety of people and injuries, the process of adaptation is daunting and complicated. With SPINALpedia, we give people the opportunity to share their experiences and learn from others, meeting a diversity of needs and creating a dynamic, sustainable community grounded in our common desire to overcome the challenges of paralysis.


Where do the videos come from?

Videos come from our community. We believe that the people who live with paralysis and its affects are the experts, creating valuable content for the community at large. Videos can come from people paralyzed as well as able-bodied people who are inevitably affected by the paralysis of a loved one. We also have input from doctors, therapists and caregivers, all of whom have experiences that can benefit others and ease the transition to life with paralysis.


Is SPINALpedia free?

Membership to SPINALpedia is totally free, including profile features, access to the members of the community, and the video content.


Why should I register?

SPINALpedia has more to offer when you sign up for an account. By including information relevant to your experience with paralysis and spinal cord injury through our tag system, SPINALpedia works to bring you relevant content. The tags allow us to organize our content and members, giving you the freedom to explore content without the hassle of sorting through lots of unnecessary information.


I'm not paralyzed, can I still be a member?

Yes. In fact, we strongly encourage the non-injured family members, friends and supporters to make an account and share in the benefits of the site. Many existing resources primarily target the person injured, but others who are involved in that person's life are equally in need of support. Spouses, significant others, siblings, children, parents, friends-- there are numerous people who have stories to share and questions to ask and for SPINALpedia, we believe that the spinal cord injury community is a combination off all the people affected, not just those dealing with the physical repercussions.


How can I contribute?

There are many ways to bring something to the SPINALpedia community. Videos are a great way to share your experiences and have your voice heard. We offer a variety of categories and subcategories to help organize your content, and hope to fill them with content reflecting various affiliations to injury and levels of functionality.


We also need active viewers who rate and comment on videos and bring the most useful and worthwhile videos to the forefront. Our users are also crucial to expanding our community. If you blog, share your experiences with us. If you use popular social networking sites, post your favorite video. Most importantly, if you know someone with a spinal cord injury, bring them to our community!


How do I share my own video?

Click the "Upload" tab on the top bar. Currently, we accept videos imported from YouTube. For these videos, copy the video's URL or code into the field and click "Grab". The video is automatically grabbed from YouTube, including the title and description. For SPINALpedia's searches, we require each video to be assigned a category and subcategory and recommend that you select any tags relevant to the video so that it can be most efficiently searched by other users.




What are tags? Why should I use them?

Tags are a way of identifying yourself on SPINALpedia that help filter relevant videos to your account and help you connect with compatible users. Tags allow you to indicate whether you are a quadriplegic or paraplegic, incomplete or complete, ventilator dependent, able to walk or walk with assistance, and also the degree of functionality (no, partial or full) for your arms, fingers, trunk and legs. In additional to these physical characteristics, we have other tags including gender, age, type of injury (auto accident, diving, etc.), affiliation to injury (person injured, spouse, parent, etc.), and geographic location.


When selecting tags, you can select as many or as few as you want. Using tags is completely optional, but strongly recommended in order to get the most out of SPINALpedia's technology.


Why don't you have tags for a person's level of injury?

Users can specify their level of injury in their profile information, but we do not use it for search purposes because we have found that people with the same level of injury can have extremely different experiences. The actual point of injury is not as relevant as the resulting physical abilities and limitations. As a result, we decided to use physical functionality to allow a user to indicate their situation more accurately than a letter and a number. Also, if a user is unsure of their specific level of injury or has a complicated situation, they will not be excluded from the search function.


How can I save a video that is helpful for me?

You always have the option to add a video you are watching to your Favorites. Your favorite videos are accessible on your profile page and will remain their unless you decide to remove it, providing you with a thumbnail preview and link to the video you found helpful.


What is the subscribe function?

Subscriptions are one way to stay connected to a user whose videos are interesting or helpful for you. By selecting 'Subscribe' when watching a vid eo, you will automatically be notified every time that user uploads another video. You can manage your subscriptions from your profile page.


How can I share videos with others?

In order to share a video within the SPINALpedia network, click the "Share" icon on when you are watching a video and choose one of your contacts. This will send a recommendation to their inbox. SPINALpedia videos can also be shared and posted on external networks such as Facebook, MySpace, etc by copying the code or URL from the page you watch the video on.


Can I include a link to my personal foundation or website?

Yes. Your profile has a space for you to include URLs for your non-profit or business affiliations that you would like to share with the community. We also encourage you to include a link to SPINALpedia on your personal pages to help us spread the word.




How do I find other members like me?

In order to browse other users, click the 'Community' tab on the top bar. On this main community page you can filter members based on the tags you identified on your profile or new tags you select. The filtered list of community members will indicate your common tags and allow you to view their profile and videos and connect with them by adding them as a contact and/or sending them a message.


How do I add a contact?

On the community search page, there is always an option to "Add as a contact" for each member displayed. When watching a video, you also have the option to add the creator of the video to your contact list. Also, when viewing another member's profile, there is another option to add the user to your contact list.


How do I find videos that are relevant to my situation?

By clicking the "Videos" tab on the top bar, you will find the main video search page. From this page, you have the opportunity to sort videos based on categories, subcategories, and tags. If you have a particular category of interest, you can select it then use the Tag Filter (using you pre-selected tags or new tags for an individual search) to filter videos with the most common tags. You can also use the Tag Filter without first specifying a category or subcategory if you would just like a general search of all videos that could be applicable to your situation.


What is the "Tag Filter" and how can I use it?

The "Tag Filter" allows a user to refine their video or community search to a targeted audience rather than a user having to search through hundreds of pages of content and just happened to get lucky. The "Tag Filter" helps to simplify and expedite the search process.


What if I don't want to use my tags? Do I have access to all of the content?

Your tags will not filter your video or community searches unless you specify on the Tag Filter. As a member, you always have access to all of the content available on SPINALpedia. There are many videos that are important and interesting that are not limited to a specific set of tags. When using the Tag Filter, you always have the option to use the tags already specified on your profile or to select new tags for a specific search (your profile tags can only be changed in your Account Settings).


I have specific questions for another user, what can I do to reach them?

Users have the options to send private messages and leave comments on videos. If you would like to see more videos from a specific user, make a request!




How do I report inappropriate videos?

When watching a video, there is always an option to "Flag" a video as inappropriate, which notifies the site administrators. There is a variety of content on the site, but we aim to have helpful and educational content and appreciate members' efforts to maintain the high quality of our videos.


How do I block or report an inappropriate user?

There is an option for a user to block another user, which will make your account information invisible to him or her and he or she will not have the option to contact you through SPINALpedia in any way. If you are suspicious that a member is acting inappropriately or is violating SPINALpedia's Terms of Service, you can "Flag" a member, and it will automatically notify site administrators. Here at SPINALpedia, we strive to maintain a respectful, beneficial community, and we rely on our members to help us in this goal.


How do I change my tags?

Tags can be added, changed or deleted at any time by going to you Account Settings, accessible on your personal profile page.


How do I manage my e-mail notification settings?

E-mail notification settings are found in your Account Settings, accessible from your personal profile page.