Every voice matters in policy no matter how old you are. I know this statement may seem unbelievable, but this article makes a strong argument to prove this point. Let’s start with considering a few questions.
What is Advocacy?
Advocacy is an easy concept to understand. It is defined as using your voice to make change. You are advocating for yourself when you voice your opinions to others. In the context of the limb loss and limb difference community, it is speaking up for the community on a multitude of different policy issues. By speaking up on the issues you believe in, you are acting as an advocate.
How can you become involved in advocacy?
Becoming involved in advocacy is as easy as 1-2-3. Using your own voice starts you on the journey of being an advocate. The Amputee Coalition Government Relations Team has multiple tools available for you to use. The first resource is our Advocacy Tool Kit, a comprehensive guide to get you started with advocacy. It walks you through understanding the basics of advocacy while putting tools in your arsenal to become an effective advocate. You can access the Advocacy Tool Kit at amputee-coalition.org/advocacytoolkit. The second resource is valuable information published on the Advocacy and Awareness webpage on the Amputee Coalition website. There you will find recent fact sheets entitled, “About the Amputee Coalition”, “Limb Loss in the U.S. Facts and Figures,”and “COVID-19 Disproportionately Affects Limb Loss and Limb Difference Community.” Please take time to explore the webpage at amputee-coalition.org/advocacy-awareness.
Why Is It Important to Become Involved in Advocacy?
It’s incredibly important for people of all ages including young people to get involved in advocacy. Policy decisions that are made every day by our politicians affect you, your family, and your community. You want to be involved as much as possible to understand what’s happening in the world of policy. As an individual affected by policy decisions, you have the right and responsibility to speak up and speak out on the issues that are important to you. By staying silent, you also make a statement. Using your voice is one of the most powerful acts you can do. The collective voice of the limb loss and limb difference community has power to enact lasting change. Young people have been at the center of great movements throughout history. In the words of Japanese philosopher Daisaku Ikeda, “History has always been shaped by the power of youth.” Undoubtedly, every voice matters!