Advocacy During Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month
By Ryan Geddie, Government Relations Specialist
Each April, we raise public consciousness of the stories, challenges, and triumphs of the amputee community through Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month. This April, we are endeavoring to give the community the tools to ELEVATE YOUR VOICE all year long through a series of engaging online trainings and panel discussions.
On April 5, our Advocacy 101 virtual workshop will take you through the basics, while still providing a wealth of insight from industry veterans and seasoned advocates. This discussion is the perfect opportunity to discover how your interests and skill set intersect with advocacy, to learn about the different kinds of advocacy, and to develop the tools you need to advocate for yourself and your community.
The ability to tie your own personal story into a larger advocacy narrative is an often overlooked but incredibly powerful skill to have as an advocate for any cause. You will learn to do exactly that at our Power of Personal Narrative (April 12) session with Executive Board Chair John Register.
No matter what level of advocacy you are operating on, from the most personal insurance dispute to the most sweeping federal legislation, the ability to tie your story as a member of the limb loss and limb difference community to the issue you’re trying to solve is one of your most powerful assets.
In addition to advocating for policy change, the Amputee Coalition is using Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month to highlight workforce development efforts intended to empower members of the community. Hosted by Workforce Development Manager Trenaya Reid, our Breaking into Workforce Development (April 19) session is an excellent opportunity to learn about the Amputee Coalition’s workforce development efforts, along with those of the Vocational Rehabilitation program.
Work has been empowering and fulfilling for many Amputee Coalition employees who live with limb loss or limb difference. At Finding Your Voice: Career Pathways Workshop (April 26), join Lucas DeLuca, Trenaya Reid, and myself in a conversation about how our personal journeys with limb loss and disability impacted our engagement with the workforce.
In addition to advice on how to succeed in the workplace as a person living with an amputation or limb difference, we will be providing guided reviews of documents such as resumes and cover letters during a breakout session. If you have questions about what engaging with the workforce is like, or need someone who understands to look over your job application materials, this is the session for you.
Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month is a time to engage in advocacy. However, it’s important to remember that advocacy is multidimensional, and one of the most meaningful things we can do as advocates is empower ourselves to become effective advocates in our own lives.
This Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month, take the opportunity to become a more effective advocate at whichever level you feel comfortable with. That could mean arming yourself with the tools to dispute an insurance company denial or find a job. It could mean advocating for accessibility within your local community.
It might even mean becoming involved with advocacy at the state or federal level. Wherever you see yourself fitting within the advocacy ecosystem, the Amputee Coalition aims to empower you with the tools and confidence you need to be as effective as possible.
I hope you will join us at our online events throughout April!