Daring to Dream
By Cass Isidro, President and CEO
PEOPLE, PROGRAMS, PARTNERSHIPS AND PLANNING WILL GUIDE US IN 2024
A year ago, as we closed out 2022, many of us were thinking to ourselves, crisis averted–but now what?–both at the individual and collective level. For the Amputee Coalition, the next steps of reconnecting and rebuilding were clear and were already in motion. At the end of 2022, the Amputee Coalition board of directors leaned into establishing the framework for our next DREAMS in
confirming the mission of the organization to support, educate and advocate for people impacted by limb loss and limb difference with the vision of a world where our community thrives. So where does that leave us a year later? What now after righting the path and setting the framework?
The next elements of work and success for the Amputee Coalition involve four foundational areas that will guide our conversations, outreach and planning for 2024 and beyond. These areas are embedded into the strategic planning that has been underway for the last few months, and we believe that, when we succeed in each of these areas as they align with our mission, then we will most certainly ensure a world in which our community thrives in the way they choose. These four foundational areas are: people, programs, partnerships and planning.
As an organization, we dare to DREAM and aim to build systems of community engagement and human resource management so we can deliver in line with the wants, wishes, desires and needs of those we serve while also creating an internal environment that is one of alignment to values and mission, creating a fun and an inspiring place to work.
And, as we ensure our foundation of listening is in place, we dare to DREAM about what the Amputee Coalition programs can be because our programs, whether they be peer visits or the National Conference, are the tangible, measurable and impactful ways we deliver value every day in so many lives.
The questions that ignite our DREAMS include: How can we grow our peer visitor and support group programs for a larger impact? How can we expand our communications programs to ensure our value of “I See You” is felt by more people in measurable ways? How can we engage more youth and nurture their journey over time? How can we make a difference in access, in policy, in healthcare delivery?
At the Amputee Coalition, we have used 2023 to ask these critical questions and many more as part of the strategic planning process, examining what we have experienced over our history and incorporating recent community feedback, current research and lessons learned. We continue to dare to DREAM bigger for every member of the community impacted by limb loss or limb difference, whether the bigger DREAM is insurance fairness or more peer visits in more languages, in more places, for more people.
If we think about our dreams as rockets that propel us toward our mission, then partnerships are the fuel. From initiatives such as So Every BODY Can Move with partners who seem like family (The National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics & Prosthetics, The American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists and The American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association) as we ignite momentum across the country for insurance fairness to our AC News Flash guests (senior education and advocacy organization, Retire Safe and national advocacy and services organization for LGBTQ+ elders, SAGE) the Amputee Coalition is reaching out to industry, to other nonprofits, to donors, to corporations and to leaders in the disability movement to elevate our voice, expand our reach and achieve more effectively.
The final key area providing a framework for the DREAMS we share with you is planning. In 2024, we will be launching our new strategic plan forecasting our efforts in programs, people and partnerships for the next five years. The new plan will not only address where we are going as a national organization, but it will be lifted up by operational plans and effective community engagement and staffing to get us there. We know that vision is important and that DREAMS will inspire us, but planning is the foundational part of the framework that will bring success. It has been a journey over the last few years to get to this point. Thank you for your patience and your partnership as we launch into 2024 and beyond.
To learn about lead advocate training, visit www.amputee-coalition.org/advocacy-awareness/leadadvocatetraining/