Amputee Coalition of America – An extremely informative website that offers a wide variety of information for amputees.
Amputee Coalition of Canada (ACC) – Established in Canada in 2008. Modeled after the Amputee Coalition of America (ACA). Possibly the most valuable program offered by the ACC is the Peer Visitor Program.
Amputee Coalition of Canada's Peer Visitor Program - The Peer Visitor Program is a national network of experienced, trained amputees whose role is to help new amputees begin their transition to a new lifestyle. The Peer Visitor is someone who has experienced a life changing event (limb loss or congenital limb deficiency) and is living a full and productive life. They have had their amputation at least one year, have completed their own rehab, and have completed a training program preparing him/her to visit another individual facing a similar experience. The Peer Visit is free and the Peer Visitors are volunteers. You must first request a peer visit by calling or emailing and you will then be matched to a trained peer visitor who will schedule a visit with you, either in hospital or at home. There is usually only one visit and all visits remain confidential.
To request a visit:
Lower Mainland BC (Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health Authorities): Sheena King, Physiotherapist Amputee Program G.F.Strong Rehab Centre, 778-870-0326 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interior Health and Northern Health Authorities: Beth Marie Murphy. Saskatoon226@gmail.com
Northern Health Authority: Vacant - Contact head office Amputee Coalition of Canada for referrals. email@example.com. 1-866-611-2677
Nanaimo: Tina Jennissen, SW, Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. Tina.Jennissen@viha.ca. 250 755-7691 x 52384
Nanaimo: Elvira Summers, RN, Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. Elvira.Summers@viha.ca. 250 755-7691 x52385
Victoria: Carol Baxter, PT, Royal Jubilee Hospital. Carol.Baxter@viha.ca – (250) 370-8264, and (250) 519-1739
firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-866-611-2677
The War Amps – A National Organization, with Provincial Offices across Canada. Very easy to register with them & request an information package. Once registered an amputee may be eligible for up to a $1,000.00 grant for one new conventional limb every three years.
Disability Alliance British Columbia – This organization is a provincial, cross-disability voice in BC. They act as advocates for persons with disabilities and can assist and provide advice in the filing of applications for benefits for people with disabilities in BC.
Main Office – (604) 875-0188, (604) 875-9227 (fax) 1-800-663-1278 (toll free)
Richmond Center for Disability – This website provides a list of disability benefits help sheets (various forms for benefits – in multi-language format.
GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre – Amputee Support & Education Group – Held on the third Tuesday of the month, with the exception of July, August & December. Please contact email@example.com if you wish to be placed on the email list for notice of upcoming meetings.
Association for Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) – This is a Non-Profit Society registered in BC in 1983 that is very active in assisting injured motorcyclists & their families throughout BC. They do visitations of downed riders regularly in hospitals, ensure they know their rights, often provide financial assistance where deemed fit and provide a Recovery Journal listing available benefits & resources and containing 100 diary pages to record riders recovery, for use by their lawyer in settlement. A.I.M. has Chapters throughout BC, with the mother Chapter being in Surrey, BC. This organization has proven to be very helpful in the recovery of injured motorcyclists in BC – irrespective of their injuries. – www.aimvancouver.com or (604) 580-0112.
Diabetes Association – As numerous amputees have lost their limb(s) as a result of diabetes, this Website may offer valuable information to them. www.diabetes.ca
Recreation – If you are on PWD benefits you may be able to get a leisure centre pass. Check with your city/municipality Recreation Department. Contact numbers can be located in your local phone directory under Parks Recreation & Cultural Services.
Adaptive Sports – There are a tremendous amount of sporting and recreational activities available to amputees. A very informative venue of information guiding interested people to various opportunities is the website of Citizens for Accessible Neighbourhoods – https://www.canbc.org/
Counselling Services – Limb loss is a traumatic experience that can impact in countless different areas of a persons’ life. Counselling services are spread over a wide variety of possibilities. They include, but are not limited to, the following: Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC), Registered Social Worker (RSW), Certified Canadian Counsellor (CCC), Registered Psychologist (R Psych), and a Psychiatrist (Doctor of Psychiatry). There are a number of different considerations that come into play when selecting counselling services that best serve your needs – which may change over time. Only you - the amputee, can ultimately make the choice – which may be adjusted as circumstances dictate. Economics often impact on a persons’ decision on a counselling option. If you feel that your personal circumstances warrant the services of a Psychiatrist – those services are provided at no cost by BC Medical - if you are referred by your family physician. www.counsellingbc.com provides information about a significant number of counselling professionals; it is not by any means, an exhaustive list. For more information speak with your family doctor, specialist, rehab team members, clergyman, your peers etc.
Amputee Resources for Canadian Amputees – A website created by Larry Gardner, a former Paralympian and above knee amputee since 1973. The site has much to offer amputees. www.amputee.ca
Opportunities For The Disabled Foundation – This Society’s head office in BC is located at Suite 319 – 4538 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC V5H 2B1. One of their functions is the production of the BC Disability Resource Guide. This guide offers contact information for organizations that may be of assistance to people with various disabilities throughout BC. – https://www.communitylivingbc.ca/
Plan Institute - Plan Institute supports individuals with disabilities and their families by providing educational material and initiatives, including workshops and publications, collaborating on community-based projects and engaging with a wide array of partners to host innovative initiatives for change. http://planinstitute.ca/
HealthLinkBC - General information about amputation, and good pre-amputation information. https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/ue4791abc
Greyhound – Check the following website for information related to Disabled Persons Travel via Greyhound – www.greyhound.ca query persons with disabilities.
Ministry of Social Development & Social Innovation (MSDSI) – The BC Bus Pass Program offers a reduced cost, annual bus pass for - low income seniors & individuals receiving disability assistance from the Province of BC. The pass is only valid in communities serviced by BC Transit or TransLink. www.eia.gov.bc.ca/programs/bus-pass.html or 1-866-866-0800.
Airlines – Airlines have varying policies & offer different programs for disabled passengers (and an attendant if necessary). As a traveller, you are recommended to enquire with the airline(s) you intend to travel with well ahead of your travelling time – to familiarize yourself with the options available to you. For example, WestJet offers a Medical Seating Program that provides additional legroom in specific seating areas (the first 3 or 4 rows of the aircraft) for no additional charge over your purchased fare. There are provisions for an attendant to sit with you if necessary. A medical application form must be completed by you and your doctor, and if accepted by WestJet you will be issued an OP number - that in the case of an amputee classifies you with a permanent disability. From that time forward, you quote the number to your ticket agent anytime you book travel, and you will be assigned seating accordingly – at no extra charge - at the front of the aircraft - in seats with more leg room to accommodate your prosthesis. www.westjet.com/guest.en/travel/special-arrangements.
Also, a service offered at most airports, is Wheel Chair or Electric Cart Service for disabled or mobility challenged passengers – to transport them throughout the airport. Amputees should take advantage of this service. Even though you may walk well, or have the ability to handle your carry-on baggage – often the distance down the “fingers” of the airport results in time challenges in catching connecting flights, which proves to be an extra stress or physical challenge for amputees. This service often enables the amputee to “jump” line ups for Security and Immigration/Passport Control points. All amputees should consider this service to enhance their airlines travel experience.
Rail Travel – Via Rail – Special Services offered vary from one region to another, depending on station facilities and train cars. Inquire with Via Rail at 1 888 842-7245 or www.viarail.ca/en/travel-info/special-needs/reduced-mobility
Service Clubs are often a source of assistance for people in the community suffering financial or equipment challenges. Although some of the below noted clubs specialize in assistance to children with a variety of disability challenges, they should all be investigated as to some form of assistance to amputees, dependent upon their individual needs.
Lions Clubs International – www.lionsclubs.org
Shriners – www.bcshriners.com
Elks – www.elks-canada.org
Kidney Foundation – www.kidney.ca/BCHome
Kinsmen – www.kincanada.ca
BCIT + Make – There’s always a lot happening at the BCIT MAKE+ applied research department. Here are a few highlights from earlier this year along with some resources to help you with your product development. Please contact Nancy Paris, Director, MAKE+ for more information.
*This section is a work in progress.*