History

Together with our thousands of supporters, the Amputee Coalition is dedicated to ensuring that no one faces limb loss alone. We work to provide people with limb loss and limb difference, their families and caregivers the resources they need to recover, readjust and live life fully with limb loss/difference. Headquartered in the Greater Washington DC Area in Manassas, Virginia, we have more than 350 support groups in our network, more than 1,000 certified peer visitors across the country, and reach thousands of people every month through our National Limb Loss Resource Center, our peer support matching, advocacy, and communication.

Humble Beginnings

In 1986, a small group of amputee support group leaders recognized the need for an organization dedicated to the needs of people with limb loss, their families and healthcare providers. Working entirely as volunteers, they laid the foundation for what the Amputee Coalition is today, the leading national non-profit organization that empowers individuals with limb loss through education, support and advocacy.

National Limb Loss Resource Center

In 1997, the Amputee Coalition developed the National Limb Loss Resource Center (NLLRC) after receiving a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The NLLRC supports programs and publications designed to help people return to an active lifestyle and function as a productive member of society. The Amputee Coalition currently receives a competitive grant through the Administrative for Community Living (ACL) which continues to fund the successful activities of the organization. Visit our Limb Loss Resource Center.

Resiliency

Because our organization was built on the foundation that peer support is critical to recovery and readjustment, our programs have a large focus on peer support. In 1991, we began our certified peer visitor program which trains amputees to meet with new amputees to give them inspiration, hope and information about living well with limb loss. This program now includes more than 900 certified peer visitors across the nation.

In addition to our certified peer visitor program, we manage our National Peer Support Group Network which links amputees with ongoing peer support in their communities. More than 350 support groups are members of this network.

Fight for Fair Insurance

In 2002, we began the fight to ensure amputees have fair access to prosthetic devices. Today our fight is more important than ever. Over the years, we have introduced revisions to more than 35 state and federal legislatures. We have successfully passed revisions providing insurance coverage in 20 states affecting an estimated 300,000 amputees and millions of Americans at risk for amputation in future years.  Federal impact is pending the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Limb Loss Education & Outreach

Since 2003, more than 7,000 people have attended the Amputee Coalition National Conference. As the nation’s premier educational event for the limb loss community, our conference brings together hundreds of persons with limb loss/difference, family members & healthcare professionals for learning, interaction & networking. No other educational event in the United States addresses issues important to amputees & their families.

In 2012, we launched a new educational program series called Limb Loss Education Days which brings our high quality educational programming to the local level and serving amputees in their communities.

Limb Loss Task Force

In 2010, the Amputee Coalition convened the first Limb Loss Task Force Summit with the concept of improving amputee care and reducing limb loss in America. The first Summit resulted in the creation of a roadmap for both efforts. View the white paper here. The second Summit held in 2012 developed an action plan to create a demonstration project aimed at proving the impact of a limb loss prevention algorithm in use in the VA healthcare system which has reduced amputations by as much as 30%. This effort is currently underway.

Limb Loss Awareness Month

Naming April National Limb Loss Awareness Month was a bold move by the Amputee Coalition in 2010.  Today the month is celebrated across the United States and around the world as a time to recognize those living with limb loss and to raise awareness about limb loss prevention.