A very clear message emerged from the results of last year’s Amputee Community Survey, which Amplitude co-sponsored with The Liner Wand: Amputees need an easier way to find programs and services that can make their lives better.
There’s plenty of information out there. But it’s so disorganized, and dispersed across so many sites, that you can exhaust yourself scrolling through Google results without ever finding what you’re looking for.
That helps explain why only 30 percent of the Survey’s respondents say they feel connected to the amputee community. And why half say they’re not connected to an adaptive sports program, but wish they were. And why so many people struggle to find programs to help them afford a prosthesis, get job training, improve their mental health, support amputee kids, understand SSDI benefits, or find a summer camp for their amputee kids.
The 2022 Survey included a question about who amputees rely on for information about limb loss. Here are those results:
Prosthetists are a solid choice, but Google, social media, and “other sources” (whatever that means) are essentially grab-bags of unvetted, unfiltered material of dubious value. So it’s no wonder people can’t find the answers they want and need. They don’t have a repository of information about amputee programs and services that’s reliable, comprehensive, easy to use, and rooted in the limb-loss community itself.
So we decided to build one.
The first draft of this new project, co-sponsored by Amplitude and The Liner Wand, is called the Amputee Community Resource Directory. It’s live on our website as of this week, just in time for Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month. We urge you to check out the new directory, help us spread the word to others in the limb-loss community, and give us feedback about how to improve the amputee resource directory and make future iterations even more useful.
We designed this tool to correct all the shortcomings we observed in other amputee info guides, including Amplitude’s weedy old “Resources” page (which has now been mercifully retired). As far as we know, the Amputee Community Resource Directory is the only limb-loss reference that lets you do all of the following:
- Filter by category
- Search by keyword/phase
- Search by state
- Combine filter and search functions
- Navigate easily on a mobile device
Equally important, you can trust our amputee directory’s information to be accurate and up to date. There shouldn’t be any dead links or defunct programs in it—and if you find one, send us an email and we’ll fix the mistake.
As we said, this is just the start of a long-range project. You’ll find about 250 organizations in the directory as of today, and we’ve already got about 300 additional listings that we’ll enter over the next few weeks. So there’s already a lot of information here, and it’s in a more accessible format than you’ll find it anywhere else.
And we’re still only on v1.0. We’re already working on additional elements that we expect to add to the amputee resource directory before the end of the year.
At present, the Amputee Community Resource Directory only lists nonprofit and government agencies that offer support for the amputee community. Depending on the response from our readers, we may introduce a mechanism to incorporate for-profit companies, too.
And we’ll consider any other idea that will make it easier for amputees to find information, answer questions, solve problems, and live better lives. Send suggestions to email@example.com, or hit us up on social media. Let’s work together to build the Wikipedia of amputee resources.