The Amputee Coalition National Conference is the premier event for the limb loss and limb difference community. The Conference is an event where people with limb loss and limb difference are the norm, not the exception. It is a perfect opportunity to meet new friends, socialize with others, attend courses, and experience new activities. The exhibit hall features dozens of manufacturers and providers of prosthetic and assistive devices. You will also find accessories, such as home and vehicle modifications, and many other tools to help you live a full and productive life. The Amputee Coalition understands that budgeting to attend the National Conference is a challenge for many. We have put together some tips on how you might secure assistance for attending this exceptional event.
Bridge to Ability Scholarships
We have three scholarships available to first-time attendees to Conference. The goal of these scholarships is to reduce or eliminate the financial barriers to attending Conference. All scholarships require an application, proof of income, a letter of recommendation, brief biography and a written essay. Applications, deadlines and announcements regarding the current year’s scholarships can be found on our Web site at: amputee-coalition.org/events-programs/national-conference/conference-scholarships/. In order to apply for the following scholarships, please submit a completed application with all required documents listed in the application.
- Kathy Spozio Scholarship
The Kathy Spozio Bridge to Ability Scholarship Fund is an opportunity for individuals who have experienced the loss of one (1) or more limbs within the last two (2) years and who have not attended Conference in the past. The Bridge to Ability Scholarship provides full Conference registration (which includes health and wellness education, technology sessions, special clinics and social networking), lodging expenses, and up to $600 in reimbursement for travel expenses.
- Second Chance Scholarship
The Bridge to Ability Second Chance Scholarship is open to individuals with limb loss or limb difference who have not attended Conference in the past. If you are an individual with limb loss, it must be more than two (2) years since your initial amputation surgery. The Second Chance Scholarship provides full Conference registration (which includes health and wellness education, technology sessions, special clinics and social networking), lodging expenses, and up to $600 in reimbursement for travel expenses.
Options for Reducing Costs
There are several options to help you raise money or reduce the overall costs of Conference. These options will require a bit of planning and commitment on your part. Even if the following options are unable to provide the full amount of funding needed to send you to the Conference, they may subsidize your cost to attend. The Amputee Coalition is not able to assist you with these fundraising efforts at this time.
The following are suggestions. We do not guarantee that funding will be available from these options.
- If you have a friend who is also attending Conference, you may wish to share a room with that individual. This will reduce your costs of attendance significantly if you do not mind sharing a room with another conference attendee and can split the total room cost.
- Connect with your prosthetist to see if they might be willing or able to sponsor you to attend the Conference. This partnership with your prosthetic provider is beneficial for both parties. You will have the opportunity to bring information and resources back to the region you live in and positively impact others in your community as well as the community in which your prosthetist practices.
- Consider calling the manufacturer of your prosthetic device. Much like the relationship with your prosthetist, the manufacturer of your prosthetic device may be willing to donate funds to allow you to attend the Conference and network with others with limb loss.
- Use online funding tools, such as CrowdRise (crowdrise.com) or GoFundMe (gofundme.com), to seek assistance with funding from the public. If you have a story to tell about why you need to go to the Conference to make a difference in your community, using an online funding campaign can help you reach a wide audience without having to leave your home.
- Check to see if your local support group offers fundraising or scholarship opportunities to attend the Conference. You can search for support groups in your area on the Amputee Coalition’s Web site via the following link: amputee-coalition.org/support-groups-peer-support/support-group-network. If you need assistance in locating these resources in your area, please contact the Amputee Coalition Resource Center at 888/267-5669 or via this link: https://www.amputee-coalition.org/limb-loss-resource-center/ask-an-information-specialist.
- Use local resources, such as your Center for Independent Living, Office on Aging, or Vocational Rehabilitation to inquire about whether local funding opportunities exist.
- Look for grant opportunities. You can search for grant funding opportunities targeted to individuals with a disability. This option will require some research into whether your situation would qualify you to apply for the grant funding options.
It is not the intention of the Amputee Coalition to provide specific medical or legal advice but rather to provide consumers with information to better understand their health and healthcare issues. The Amputee Coalition does not endorse any specific treatment, technology, company, service or device. Consumers are urged to consult with their healthcare providers for specific medical advice or before making any purchasing decisions involving their care.
National Limb Loss Resource Center, a program of the Amputee Coalition, located at 900 East Hill Ave., Suite 390, Knoxville, TN 37915 | 888/267-5669
© Amputee Coalition. Local reproduction for use by Amputee Coalition constituents is permitted as long as this copyright information is included. Organizations or individuals wishing to reprint this article in other publications, including other World Wide Web sites must contact the Amputee Coalition for permission to do so.