By Guest Blogger Dan Ignaszewski, Director of Government Relations and Development, the Amputee Coalition
At the Amputee Coalition, we advocate for the limb loss community on policy issues and also encourage and empower amputees to advocate for themselves. The Amputee Coalition works on a variety of issues, including adequate insurance coverage for prosthetic devices, Medicare and Medicaid, funding for research and programs that help the limb loss community, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, Social Security disability benefits, veterans’ issues and reasonable travel procedures for amputees, among others. This article is meant to provide insight and tips on how to be a good advocate for yourself, your cause and your community.
Advocacy is the process by which an individual or group aims to influence policies or practices; it is, by its very nature, the art of standing up for yourself to make a positive difference in your circumstances. You can advocate for your personal life on many fronts, and you can also work with groups to advocate for the larger community by getting involved in policies and regulations at the local, state or national levels.
Every day, you have opportunities to be an advocate. Whether it’s calling a service provider to try to reduce your monthly payments, dealing with travel issues with flight or baggage delays, or even addressing your healthcare and insurance needs—you always have an opportunity to stand up for yourself. It’s important to know how to be your own advocate, so that you can ensure you are treated fairly and appropriately and that you are getting the device(s) or service(s) that you need.