The Shine Spina bifida * Hydrocephalus * Information * Networking * Equality is a voluntary organization dedicated to providing services to people with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus, and their care providers. Spina bifida is characterized by malformation of the spinal column in which incomplete closure of certain vertebrae leaves a portion of the spinal cord exposed. Hydrocephalus is a condition characterized by inhibition of the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and abnormal widening (dilatation) of the cerebral spaces of the brain (ventricles), causing accumulation of CSF in the skull and potentially increased pressure on brain tissue. Established in 1966, SHINE aims to keep its clients’ knowledge up-to-date, extend their choices, maximize opportunities for independence, and help their integration in society. The organization’s unique network of advisers provides advice and close support at times of special need to individuals and families in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Specialist advisers in education, continence, mobility, and medical matters back up the service. Through nationwide and regional networks, these professionals develop and maintain expertise in spina bifida and hydrocephalus so that they may inform and assist other professionals in giving the best possible service.