Individuals with limb loss and/or limb difference and their families come from diverse backgrounds and circumstances yet face common challenges. At the Amputee Coalition, we harness the collective power of diverse individuals to effect positive change that ensure all people live well with limb loss and/or limb difference. In this issue, we feature the theme, “Diversity,” and celebrate the diversity of our community in all its aspects – by gender, age, race and ethnicity, location, and types of limb loss.
As the famed philosopher Aristotle once said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” We must consider those parts and how best to nurture them to ensure we achieve the best results. Celebrating the diversity within our community leads us on an exploration to uncover diverse perspectives, to empower diverse voices, and to elevate diverse issues. The beauty in delving into these parts is discovering how we are all so different yet interwoven together as one.
Limb loss affects people of all ages, income levels, and backgrounds. As the only national nonprofit that serves all individuals who experience limb loss or limb difference, the Amputee Coalition raises awareness and increases practices to prevent limb loss, help amputees feel supported, and improve outcomes so that these individuals and their families live life to the fullest. Through our pillars of support, education, and advocacy, we help individuals living with limb loss and limb difference thrive.
We diversify our efforts to support all demographics living with limb loss, including youth. We are excited to bring back our 2022 Youth Camp in person in Greenville, TN, July 3-10. Campers will be provided the opportunity to connect with old and new friends and engage in peer support. We understand that there are unique challenges for young people experiencing limb loss and/or limb difference and their caregivers.
Our in-person youth camp provides these young people the opportunity to connect with peers, explore new experiences, and grow in their confidence and awareness. Camp creates a space for campers, leaders in training, and counselors to have fun, network, and make lifelong friendships so no one goes through the limb loss or limb difference journey alone. We have exciting activities lined up this year including sports, creative arts, and STEM projects, and have strongly encouraged youth from historically underrepresented and marginalized groups to participate. Learn more about Youth Camp on Amputee Coalition’s website.
The Amputee Coalition is also committed to providing a wide variety of educational opportunities year-round, which peaks during three full days of interactive learning at our annual national conference. We are happy to host this year’s conference in person at the JW Marriott Desert Spring Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, CA, August 10-13.
Themed “Growing Our Community to Shape the Future”, the Amputee Coalition’s national conference is the premier event for the limb loss and limb difference community and the only patient- and consumer-focused event that creates the opportunity for our community members to engage with vendors, touch and feel the latest prostheses on the market, and leverage that experience to make informed decisions about their care and needed support. We will celebrate our diverse community and aim to fully engage all people living with limb loss and/or limb difference to build a collective voice on critical issues impacting the community and to elevate the organization’s mission. Conference offerings will have a special focus on health equity, diversity, and inclusion, and youth engagement. To join us, visit www.amputee-coalition.org.
We continue our advocacy efforts with a focus on equitable medical care and access for all individuals living with limb loss and/or limb difference, including people from underrepresented backgrounds. For example, why isn’t everyone assessed for an assistive device after limb loss? The Amputee Coalition has proudly worked to develop, support, and advocate for the Triple A Study Act to ensure equitable health care for people living with limb loss and/or limb difference, and to uphold a common standard for best practices in our nation’s health systems.
With the active leadership and engagement of advocates from across the country, the Triple A Study Act garnered bicameral, bipartisan support prompting the legislation’s original sponsors to send a letter to Government Accountability Office (GAO) to request that the study commence immediately – shortcutting the longer legislative process of consideration, passage, and enactment. The study getting underway this year is the first step in gaining an understanding of a basic need for our community.
With aligned efforts between our grassroots advocates and our Congressional champions, we have created a national commitment to meeting the needs of the limb loss and limb difference community. This win moves us towards building a deeper understanding of the mobility and care challenges facing the 2.1 million Americans with limb loss and/or limb difference and will serve as a catalyst to creating a national commitment to improving the quality and length of life for all Americans who experience amputation, no matter their age, gender, race, ethnicity, location, or type of limb loss.
The power of our diversity is our united efforts. Embracing diversity is about getting to know and appreciate people of different religions, cultures, ethnic groups, socio-economic statuses, or ages. I encourage you to try something new. Anytime we step outside our comfort zone, we build understanding.
To Doing What Matters,
President and CEO