Friday, April 17, 2015

Becoming Involved


We are halfway through Limb Loss Awareness Month, but rest assured there is still plenty of time to become involved.  Our Show Your Mettle movement on Facebook and Twitter has already surpassed previous records, and we encourage anybody who has not yet posted a photo to join the fun. Show Your Mettle Day is April 25th, but photos are being posted on the event page throughout this month.  You can post these photos here.


In addition to our social media campaigns, volunteers across the country have taken this opportunity to reach out into their local communities to educate others about living with limb loss. Speaking to local school classes, Scout troops or other civic groups is an enjoyable way to help spread the message that life after limb loss can be limitless. The Amputee Coalition maintains the largest repository of information and resources concerning living well with limb loss, and we invite those seeking information for presentations to visit our Web site or to call our Resource Center at 888-267-5669.


Hosting a fundraiser for the Amputee Coalition is another way that the community is rallying behind Limb Loss Awareness Month.  The Amputee Coalition is the leading national organization serving the limb loss community. We rely upon donations in order to continue to provide quality programming, advocacy and information for the limb loss community. Across the country individuals have partnered with the Amputee Coalition to host benefit walks, comedy shows, music performances and bake sales. There is still time to host a benefit. We have a step-by-step guide available on our website  or feel free to email Melinda Park our Development Manger (mpark@amputee-coalition.org) for assistance.


Another avenue for involvement involves advocacy. We encourage everybody to take this opportunity to contact their local and state representatives to bring attention to limb loss issues. We have a wealth of information, as well as talking points, on our website. Signing and sharing the one limb per life petition is a quick way to show your support for those living with limb loss. 



Our Web site  also boasts numerous opportunities to participate in research. All studies listed have been thoroughly vetted by our Scientific & Medical Advisory Committee, so you can rest assured that the studies maintain high efficacy standards. Participating in research is a fantastic way to honor and to contribute to the limb loss community.  


Whatever your preferred avenue, the Amputee Coalition encourages everybody in the community to become involved. Limb Loss Awareness Month is an opportunity to gain traction on issues important to the community, but its success is dependent upon participation.  Remember to "Show Your Mettle" throughout the month of April, but especially on Saturday, April 25.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Register Early

The Amputee Coalition National Conference is just a few months away. Hosted at the beautiful JW Marriott Star Pass Resort & Spa in Tuscon, AZ, from July 23-25, National Conference is the premiere event for the amputee community. Whether you are a new to limb loss or have years of experience, National Conference offers educational and networking opportunities for the limb loss community and their families/caregivers.
 
Our dedicated staff and Education & Conference Committee have been busy planning this highly anticipated event, ensuring that all facets of limb loss are represented in the programming. Although it is still in fluid form, the preliminary program is now available online.  Great care was taken with the development of the program, and we are proud to offer seminars, opportunities, and experiences for all levels of amputation. 
 
For those interested in participating in the gait analysis, amputee sport and performance, and bilateral above-knee mobility clinics, registration is available  by filling out the online form. Please note that the gait analysis clinic is now full and all requests will be included in a wait list. There will be limited opportunities to register on site, so early registration is recommended to ensure that your spot is reserved.  The Amputee Coalition makes every effort to guarantee that all individuals who want to participate have the opportunity, but securing your slot early is recommended.
 
The Amputee Coalition has reserved all of the ADA compliant rooms at the resort, and they will be allocated based upon medical necessity. In order to request an accessible room, it must be reserved through the Amputee Coalition room block which also provides a reduced rate for the community.  If you require an accessible room, we recommend making your reservations as soon as possible.
 
If you haven't yet registered for Conference, we encourage you to register today. Early registration helps our planning committee with their efforts to provide quality programming for all participants, and gives you a discount on your registration through May 31, 2015. Information about National Conference is available on our website and is updated regularly, so check back often. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Limb Loss Awareness Month is HERE!

The Amputee Coalition is the premiere national organization dedicated to promoting the interests of the limb loss community. With over 500 amputations every single day in the country, raising awareness about issues pertinent to this growing community is paramount to our mission of reaching out to and empower people affected by limb loss to achieve their full potential through education, support and advocacy, and to promote limb loss prevention. In 2012 we declared April to be Limb Loss Awareness Month.  Since that time, the movement has gained momentum and traction among the community, professionals in the field and legislators. 

Community support is key to the success behind Limb Loss Awareness Month.  We are asking all individuals to "Show Their Mettle." During the month of April, we are encouraging all living with limb loss (who feel comfortable) to post a photo of wearing your prosthesis, or just living your lives if you do not use an assistive device, on our Show Your Mettle for Limb Loss Awareness Month event page on Facebook or on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtags #ShowYourMettle #AmputeeCoalition. Together, we hope to create a mosaic of photos to show the world that life after the loss of a limb can be fulfilling and enjoyable.

Although the movement carries through the month of April, the last Saturday is traditionally Show Your Mettle Day.  This year, on April 25th, we are encouraging individuals to take the opportunity to proudly wear and show their prosthetic devices on this day. The concept is simple – to show your “mettle,” the ability to cope well with difficulties or to face a demanding situation in a spirited and resilient way, by showing your “metal” prosthetic device or wheelchair.

In addition to Show Your Mettle, we are requesting the community to take advantage of the momentum by hosting a fundraiser to benefit the Amputee Coalition.  We have a fundraiser kit available on our website and are always available to help. Hosting or participating in a fundraiser is not only a great way to become involved but a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community.

To close out Limb Loss Awareness Month, the Amputee Coalition is partnering with Ă–ssur and the Challenged Athletes Foundation to hold a Limb Loss Education Day/Mobility Clinic in Washington, D.C. on May 2, 2015. Check here for information regarding the event. If you live in the Washington DC area we hope to see you at this educational and fun event!

The Amputee Coalition is honored to spearhead Limb Loss Awareness month on behalf of the over 2 million people living with limb loss in this country. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Effective Communication

The key mission of the Amputee Coalition is to reach out to and empower people affected by limb loss to achieve their full potential through education, support and advocacy, and to promote limb loss prevention. These core tenants drive all of our programming decisions. Our talented staff, along with an army of dedicated volunteers, collaborate to ensure that all of our efforts are serving our key mission.
 
The Amputee Coalition works with advocates to provide a voice on key issues affecting the limb loss community.  Issues include adequate and affordable prosthetic coverage with insurance, Medicare/Medicaid, and other programs; reasonable travel procedures for amputees, funding and research initiatives for people living with limb loss. We also work to strengthen partnerships with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Veterans Administration (VA), the Department of Defense (DOD), and other Federal agencies, as well as with other disability groups to be involved in broader disability issues that have an impact on everyday life.  To learn more about our legislative and advocacy goals, please visit our website.
 
This week several support group leaders in our network, the staff in our Manassas office and our CEO, Sue Stout underwent a rigorous media training course. The focus of this intensive training was to help communicate with other amputees and the public concerning the programs and services that are offered by the Amputee Coalition.  This training was also paramount as we continue to advocate for the amputee community on a local, state and national level.  Communicating a clear and compelling message in an effective manner is important as we approach the public, the media and our government leadership about our legislative and advocacy goals.

Communicating effectively with the amputee community and the media about issues
that are relevant to the community is paramount to achieving our mission. When issues facing the community are clearly presented to the media, they are in turn relayed to the general population, and awareness is raised. With awareness comes a fortified platform to create change. The Amputee Coalition staff is dedicated to bringing these issues to light and to affect change, and the recent media training will aid us in continuing to effectively communicate our messages.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Peer Visitor Training at Conference


National Conference is right around the corner, and the staff and volunteers of the Amputee Coalition are busy finalizing all of the details.  We are looking forward to the community converging in Tuscon Arizona from July 23-25th for this highly anticipated event. The National Conference is the premiere event for individuals in the limb loss community to network, try new activities as well as learn about resources, programs and new products.


One of the most awaited activities at National Conference is our Peer Visitor Training. Our Certified Peer Visitors reach into their local communities to connect and mentor those new to limb loss. Through this vast web of volunteers, The Amputee Coalition is working towards its mission of making sure that no amputee feels alone.  We offer several training sessions a year, and information can be found on our website, but our largest training occurs at National Conference.

In order to qualify for training as a Peer Visitor, individuals must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 12 months post-amputation.
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Able to communicate well with others and handle multiple program tasks.
  • Able to network with healthcare facilities and professionals who serve amputees.
  • Able to make the minimum time commitment to the position (varies).
  • Knowledgeable about and supportive of the Amputee Coalition and a registered friend in the Amputee Coalition database.
  • Knowledgeable in basic limb loss statistics, including all levels of amputation and about the effects of limb loss.
  • Able to pass a criminal background check if required by the hospital(s)/rehab center(s).
  • Able to provide three references, including at least one from a healthcare provider and one from his/her support group leader if the applicant is a member of a support group.
  • Have and provide a current and active email address and phone number(s).

Spaces are limited and the application must be completed by March 15, 2015, in order to secure your space, so apply today  if you want to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to give back to the community.

Individuals must complete an online re-certification course every two years to maintain an active status as a Certified Peer Visitor. Our online re-certification course is available through our Certified Peer Visitor Resource Center section of our website. Peer visitors will also find the resources they need when conducting visits in their community.

The Amputee Coalition is proud to offer the Certified Peer Visitor program because we recognize the importance of peer-to-peer interactions during the adjustment to limb loss. We recognize that this valuable service is only possible because of our dedicated community volunteers.  We are looking forward to growing our outreach through the training at conference.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

LLED's

Mark your calendars!  The Amputee Coalition is delighted to announce our 2015 Limb Loss Education Day (LLED) series. These highly anticipated events are an outreach effort designed to bring quality education and adaptive recreation opportunities to regions all over the country, in order to minimize the financial impact to attendees that comes with participation.  In addition to the 2015 National Conference in Tucson, Arizona, we will be hosting regional, single day LLED's in Washington DC, Columbus, OH and Portland, OR.
 
“We are very pleased to be able to bring our highly successful LLEDs to local communities again in 2015 and to provide this program at a very low cost to amputees and their families,” said Susan Stout, president & CEO of the Amputee Coalition.  “Our regional LLEDs have been hugely successful because they make our programs accessible, from both a cost and a travel perspective, to amputees and their families.  Regional LLEDs allow us to reach new amputees with relevant information who have not participated in Amputee Coalition events in the past, while also keeping us connected to our longtime friends who are regularly present at our programs.”
 
On May 2, we are hosting a LLED in Washington, DC on the campus of George Washington University. We have teamed up with Challenged Athletes Foundation and Ossur to bring this educational and enjoyable day, including a Mobility Clinic taught by world-renowned expert Bob Gailey. More information will be released shortly, so continue to check our website for updates.
 
If you live in the Columbus, OH area, plan to join us at the Franklin Park Adventure Center on September 19th.  We have partnered with the Amputee Recreational Support Group of Ohio, Columbus Paralympic Sports Club, and Columbus Parks and Recreation to bring this opportunity to the region.
 
On October 24th we will end our 2015 LLED series in Portland, Oregon.  We are joining forces with Shriner's Hospital to bring this event to the Pacific Northwest.
 
Each LLED is carefully planned with local support groups, ensuring that the programming is relevant for each geographic region. Our LLED success is dependent upon grassroots support, and we are looking forward to working with the community to continue to bring these opportunities at a regional level. Please continue to check our website for updates and registration information. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Conference Scholarship Opportunity

The Amputee Coalition's National Conference is just a few months away. From July 23-25th, scores of individuals impacted by limb loss will converge for the most highly anticipated event in the community.  Hosted at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona, the conference boasts three jam-packed days of networking, education, support, adapted sport and recreation and camaraderie. If you’re an amputee, spouse/family member/caregiver, support group leader or professional who works with the limb loss community, the Amputee Coalition 2015 National Conference is the place to be!
 
Our Education & Conference Committee factors cost with every decision, and we strive to keep attending the conference a financially attainable goal for the majority of the community. This is not a fund-raising event for the Coalition, and the registration fees directly pay for many services available at the conference. We rotate the geographical region of each National Conference with the goal of easing the travel burden for the community.

The Amputee Coalition recognizes the importance of attending the conference, especially for those new to limb loss. Through the Kathy Spozio Bridge to Ability Fund, we are able to reduce or eliminate the financial barriers of attending the national conference for new amputees.
 
The Kathy Spozio Bridge to Ability Scholarship provides full Conference registration, covering health and wellness education, technology sessions, special clinics and social networking, as well as lodging expenses and up to $300 in reimbursement for travel expenses.
 
In order to be considered for the Kathy Spozio Bridge to Ability Scholarship,individuals must meet the following criteria:
  1. Must be a registered Friend/have joined our mailing list.
  2. Amputation of one (1) or more limbs within three (3) years of application deadline (must provide date and level of amputation)
  3. Unable to attend the Amputee Coalition National Conference due to financial constraints (must provide household proof of income and income statement)
  4. Have never previously attended an Amputee Coalition National Conference
 
Application information is available on our website. Don't delay!  Applications must be postmarked by April 15, 2015 in order to be considered.