inMotion Magazine

September | October 2019 12 For some time now, access to care has been at the forefront of discussions in regard to the Amputee Coalition’s advocacy efforts. The goal of our advocacy efforts is to ensure that everyone living with limb loss/difference has access to the care they need and can live the lives they want to live. Each policy issue that the Coalition works on under the access to care umbrella coincides with this mission in some way, be it Insurance Fairness, access to qualified providers, increased support for programs and research, or others. But to ensure we continue the pursuit, the Amputee Coalition needs your support to make living independently a reality for those who have to fight for access to the care they deserve. The Amputee Coalition conveys this messaging in the dialogue we have with elected officials, regulators and beyond. We incorporate the impact that access to care has on an individual’s ability to live the life they want to live in our advocacy communications because we want to convey the positive outcomes that can occur when people with limb loss/difference have the proper access to care. You may have noticed there are multiple ways we convey this message. If you have ever responded to one of the Coalition’s calls to action for Insurance Fairness or another issue, there is a distinct possibility that somewhere in the text there was a reference to living well. In these asks, we may also ask you to convey what access to proper care has done or could do for you, specifically the opportunities that access to care offers for your ability to live the life you choose. Your story and experience are what elevate and connect decision makers with these issues. When your experience is shared, it brings the issue home and allows them to connect and understand it in a more profound way. With this in mind, as the Coalition ramps up its grassroots engagement, we want you to provide your story in these calls to action to help elevate the issue to a better place of understanding. Grassroots engagement with legislators is all about the feedback and communications legislators receive from the community. The Amputee Coalition’s advocacy efforts can’t be accomplished without the help and support that your stories and experiences provide. Face-to-face interactions with elected officials are a part of the Coalition’s advocacy strategy, as are meetings with federal agencies and commercial payers to try to improve policies and access to care. We focus on building the case for policy improvements, providing evidence, and sharing community impacts. The principals around independent living, individual decision making, and what access to care means for individual and community outcomes are essential for legislators to understand to make progress on issues. As you engage in advocacy efforts, you can also use that face-to-face interaction to explain how access to care correlates with living independently and identifying what that means for you. The Amputee Coalition has events throughout the year that help promote living well with limb loss/ difference and events that