If you live in the Washington, DC area, you may have seen this poster: 2012_PR_Poster_Walk at local bus stops. At issue is the question of whether or not the US government (probably in the form of Medicaid, for low-income individuals, and Medicare, for the elderly) will cover the costs of “custom fabricated artificial limbs.” Now, all prosthetic devices are custom-made for the wearers; there is no standard size that would be comfortable, functional or wearable. Prosthetics aren’t like shoes that can be mass-produced in the same sizes and forms.
The tag line for this campaign is “Let’s help disabled people get the prosthetics they need to lead full productive lives” and the action item is for people to got to the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association’s website, www.AOPAnet.org for more information. The action item is fine for the US audience, but I think the tag line is applicable globally, especially in the context of landmine victim assistance.
I bring up this campaign to simply say, if amputees in the United States have difficulty getting the support they need, if they are “left confused and isolated;” imagine how amputees in post-conflict, landmine affected countries must feel.
Michael P. Moore, July 24, 2012