Advocate Report Back
Have you engaged with your lawmaker or submitted a Limb Loss Awareness Month Proclamation Request? Let us know by emailing details to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advocating with the Amputee Coalition
The Amputee Coalition is the only national non-profit representing the limb loss and limb difference community in Washington, D.C. As the independent, unbiased, evidence-based voice of people living with limb loss and limb difference, we work to improve care through advocacy, education, support, and prevention. We can’t do it alone. With your help, we can improve the lives of more than 2.1 million Americans living with limb loss and limb difference and the 28 million more at risk to lose a limb.
What is Advocacy?
Advocacy is how we make change happen. Your voice matters. You’re an expert on living with limb loss or limb difference. We empower you with the skills to tell your story and the know how about the latest policy issues to make a difference for yourself and millions of people living with limb loss and limb difference.
2023 Advocacy Priorities
Support Funding for the National Limb Loss Resource Center
Have you ever had a peer visit? Joined a support group? Attended the Amputee Coalition’s annual National Conference or a Limb Loss Education Day? Has your child spent a week at Youth Camp? Have you ever read one of our publications, like First Step or Take a Seat, Check Your Feet? Those resources are made possible by funding for the National Limb Loss Resource Center.
The Amputee Coalition operates the National Limb Loss Resource Center through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Funding for the National Limb Loss Resource Center is decided every year through the Congressional appropriations process.
If you want to ensure that the Amputee Coalition can continue to provide the support services, informational materials, and events you’ve come to count on, we need you to ask your Senators and Representative to support funding for the National Limb Loss Resource Center!
The Triple A Study Act
The Amputee Coalition applauds a major development in support of the limb loss and limb difference community, as the federal government initiates a study of the barriers to prosthetic device assessment and access for 2.1 million Americans with limb loss. After nearly two years of grassroots and Congressional support for the Triple A Study Act (a bipartisan bill that calls for the study), the authors of the legislation sought to move the study forward either through legislation or through direct engagement with the Government Accountability Office (GAO). In recent weeks, the Congressional champions wrote to the GAO requesting that the office begin the study as soon as possible. The GAO responded within weeks, writing to Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Representative G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), and Representative Brett Guthrie (R-KY) that the office will initiate the study this year. The Amputee Coalition has proudly worked to develop, support, and advocate for the Triple A Study Act to ensure equitable health care for people living with limb loss or limb difference, and to uphold a common standard for best practices in our nation’s health systems. With the active leadership and engagement of advocates from across the country, the Triple A Study Act garnered bicameral, bipartisan support prompting the legislation’s original sponsors to send a letter to GAO to request that the study commence immediately – shortcutting the longer legislative process of consideration, passage, and enactment. With 28 million Americans currently at risk of limb loss, it is critical to understand the barriers to care and identify solutions to positively impact members of our community. Learnings from the GAO study will help identify ways to improve the quality of life for everyone with limb loss or limb difference. The Amputee Coalition is committed to disseminating these new discoveries through all of its programs, including the National Limb Loss Resource Center and in partnership with the Administration of Community Living.
Expanding Access to Care
Every person living with limb loss and limb difference or at risk to lose a limb should have access to the care they need. The Amputee Coalition is committed to expanding access to care. We work in coalition with our partner health organizations, top health care providers, cutting-edge researchers, and industry leaders to expand access to care for prevention, healing, rehabilitation, pain management, prosthetic care, and more to support recovery, reintegration, and long-term health.
COVID-19 Disproportionately Affects Limb Loss and Limb Difference Community
COVID-19 has disproportionately affected the limb loss and limb difference community. People living with limb loss and limb difference are at higher risk for COVID-19 infection because the same underlying health conditions that most often result in amputation, such as diabetes, Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), and cancer, are the same conditions that make people more vulnerable to COVID-19. In fact, early evidence shows that complications from COVID-19, such as severe blood clotting, have resulted in an increased number of amputations performed in 2020. Even with telehealth options, the pandemic has made it more difficult for people living with limb loss and limb difference to access the care they need, from at-risk patients forgoing routine doctor’s visits that might prevent amputation to challenges visiting specialists to adjust assistive devices to prevent further limb damage. Worse still, social isolation has taken its toll on mental health and well-being across the community — particularly veterans with limb loss, whose suicide rates have increased.
Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month Proclamations
The Amputee Coalition continues to seek proclamations every April in all 50 states to declare April as Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month. A copy of the proclamation language is available along with a spreadsheet providing a link to your state’s proclamation request form and a guide to completing your request is available for those who would like to help raise awareness. A push for recognition and support during Limb Loss Awareness Month will help the Amputee Coalition raise awareness about limb loss and provide a mechanism for the whole community to increase their awareness about limb loss.