FORUM ENABLES CHANGE AT EVERY LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT
By Ryan Geddie, Government Relations Specialist
The Amputee Coalition’s 2023 Advocacy Forum is a perfect opportunity to become engaged with the amputee community and the political process. From April 16-19, situated in the middle of Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month, members and supporters of the community will go to Washington, DC, to learn, engage, and become energized about advocacy.
Corresponding with his year’s theme, “Elevate Your Voice,” the Advocacy Forum has been reimagined to provide a more engaging and fulfilling experience for all attendees. Together, we will learn from seasoned DC veterans and policy experts who will share their thoughts on how to address the most important issues facing the amputee community from a policy and individual advocacy perspective. You will learn how to share your unique story and leverage your individual experience to enable change at every level of government.
Our goal is to ensure that by the end of this year’s Advocacy Forum you have the most valuable tools, experience, and relationships to “Elevate Your Voice.”
The core of the Advocacy Forum is Hill Day. On Hill Day, you will have the opportunity to share your story and advocate on behalf of amputees everywhere directly to senators and representatives. Elected officials and their staff members are constantly balancing the relative importance of different issues when deciding on their priorities for any given session.
By going to DC and speaking with elected officials and their staffs, we make the issues facing amputees personal for lawmakers across the nation. In addition to the excellent advocacy experience you will gain by participating in Hill Day, by engaging with lawmakers and their staff, you will provide a voice for amputees everywhere.
Events and shared spaces throughout the forum will enable you to build relationships with other advocates for the limb loss and limb difference community. To develop an effective and robust grassroots advocacy network for amputees, it’s crucial for advocates to get to know and find common advocacy interests with each other. By the time you leave the Advocacy Forum, you will be plugged into this network, and our ability to make the world a better place for people with limb loss and limb difference will have grown.
In addition to advocacy training, this year’s Advocacy Forum will be providing opportunities to be trained on inclusive support group building, the Certified Peer Visitor program, and specific matters for healthcare providers. Participating in these trainings and the programs they exist to support is a great way, in addition to advocacy, to engage positively with the limb loss and limb difference community.
You can make an incredible difference in people’s lives by becoming a peer visitor or leading a support group. If you are a healthcare provider, our care program will provide you with the knowledge and experience to be an effective advocate for people with limb loss and limb difference within the industry. Professionals and advocates alike will also appreciate our exhibitor hall, which will be an excellent opportunity to learn more about the state of the industries that most impact people with limb loss and limb difference.
If you are interested in making a difference on behalf of the limb loss and limb difference community, the Advocacy Forum is your opportunity to become engaged, make connections with other advocates, and gain the experience you need to be most effective in your advocacy at every level of government.
At the Amputee Coalition, we believe we are all more powerful when we elevate the voices and experiences of people living with limb loss and limb difference. Whether you are a member of the community, a caregiver, a parent or friend, or an industry professional, we aim to make your experience at our Advocacy Forum meaningful and memorable.
To sign up for the Advocacy Forum, please visit www.advocacy-coalition.org/advocacy-awareness/advocacy-forum/.