BAIL's Tales September

Kia ora from the BAIL team


The 2017 International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS) conference was held at the Hofburg Palace, the former imperial palace in the centre of Vienna, Austria. The inspirational setting may have contributed to the success of the conference which attracted a record attendance of over 1000 delegates. BAIL contributed to the conference workshop on international collaboration in spinal cord injury research ran by the Spinal Research Institute (Australia) and the Rick Hansen Institute (Canada) The aim of the workshop was to (1) identify possible collaborators, including people with spinal cord injury damage (2) to identify the requirements for multicentre collaborations (3) identify the infrastructure support which would be required for international collaboration and (4) determine the initial steps for strategy development, and an execution plan for an international collaboration network. Jo Nunnerley and Anne Sinnott are representing BAIL on the advisory panel to facilitate this spinal cord injury specific research network.

Teaching activities at BAIL
In 2011, BAIL developed a course taught through Ara Institute of Canterbury (formally CPIT). The course, taught by BAIL staff and titled Independent Living, is part of the applied science degree and enables students to develop an awareness of issues affecting individuals as they seek more independence after serious injury. The course teaches students about the history of the Independent Living Movement, rehabilitation service delivery, and the individual, social, and environmental factors influencing community participation. Students examine research and apply their learning through class discussion of media, videos, and real world examples. A unique aspect of the course is the journal-based assessment, where students provide personal reflections regarding each module alongside a course reading. Students often comment how this assessment really gets them thinking and are often surprised how widely the course themes can be applied to a range of areas surrounding health promotion and well-being. The course has been going strong for five years and is continuing to attract students who graduate with a greater understanding of disability and rehabilitation.
Academy Director Dr Debbie Snell is away this month presenting a poster and a paper at the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) conference in Chicago. We look forward to hearing all about it on her return. In the meantime Dr Jo Nunnerley and Johnny Bourke will be holding the fort!


BAIL Peer Group Meeting

Thursday 3rd November: Burwood Hospital Chapel
Focus on BAIL Scholars Past and Present
Networking from 11:45am, Presentation from 12pm.
Our Presenters are:
Tracey Croot BAIL scholar, New Zealand Spinal Injuries Registry Coordinator, and Masters Student University of Otago, Christchurch.
The implementation of a spinal cord impairment registry into clinical practice – the challenges of simultaneously working in your area of research.
The benefits of patient registries are well established and wide ranging. Less is known of staff opinion and the impact of clinician data entry on staff. The Burwood Spinal Unit undertook a pilot study to evaluate two established international registries. This Masters research aims to use focus groups with clinical staff to explore opinions and experiences of implementing the registry into clinical practice during the pilot. The difficulties associated with researching and working simultaneously in the same area will be discussed.
Johnny Bourke, Lead Researcher BAIL, PhD Candidate, Canterbury University
Long term recovery following the Canterbury earthquakes: A cross-sectional survey of wheelchair users’ experience of community inclusion

If you would like further information or to register for either of these events please contact or check out our events page on our website where you can find a summary of the presentations and information about how to rsvp:

Be sure to be on our list to receive your invitation. If you are not on the regular invitation mailing list and would like to be added, contact Jo. or

Jo Nunnerley – Knowledge Translation Specialist, Burwood Academy of Independent Living.