Despite the COVID-19 physical distancing rules causing many events getting cancelled in the month of April, the Amputee Coalition of Toronto group has found ways to not only stay connected but also observe and celebrate April Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month in Toronto. Here’s the recap…
Proclamations Across Ontario
We were able to organize 13 of the 29 Large Urban Mayor’s Caucus in the province of Ontario to proclaim April Limb Loss & Limb Difference Awareness Month.
Proclamations brings awareness to local amputees especially to those making a difference with positive impacts in their local communities like Erin Ball who owns and runs Kingston Circus Arts and writes for the Kingston Whig Standard.
It is an important movement for the local mayors to not only recognize but include the limb loss and limb difference community in policies that affect their municipality – be it clearing icy roads, accessibility standards and compliance, municipal or community funding assistance for assistive devices amputees need. In fact, our proclamation request for the City of London, Ontario brought about a public discussion and how a small policy change affects everyone. Check this story on The London Free Press. You can see the outcome here.
Innovation in our Meet-ups
We had to get creative to ensure we can still hold our meet-ups while practicing physical distancing. Thankfully, we are tech-savvy and we were able to move our meet-ups online via Zoom. Our weekly virtual meet-ups provided a way to connect with our members not only across Ontario, but across Canada who does not have peer support groups operating in their areas or are shut down because of COVID-19. It is very important to stay connected especially during these times where self-isolation or social isolation has been recommended to stop the spread of COVID-19. But we all know that isolation often leads to developing or worsening mental health issues. Allowing our members a platform to talk with one another, share laughs, talk about their days, supporting one another, and sharing tips for coping in this pandemic have received positive responses from our members. We will continue to hold virtual meetups in the coming weeks. You can ask to join us here.
Individual Certified Peer Support Visits
Although our in-person certified peer visits has been postponed due to COVID-19, our certified peer visitors continue to meet pre-amputation and post-amputation patients virtually or telephone. We are more than happy to link you with a certified peer visitor by sending a request here.
One of the events we hold during April Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month is Education Day. Our founder, Aristotle Domingo, held 2 Education Days that focused both on lower and upper limb topics. It was held on Facebook Live and included the following guests – Joan MacDonald (Entrepreneur and owner of Socket Socks), Tom McIntyre (Para Athlete), Jeff Tiessen (3x Medalist and publisher of Thrive Magazine), Jason Goldberg (Performer/Actor), Mary Anne Jackson (Entrepreneur and owner of Jackson’s Body Essentials) and Mandy Pursley (Cosplayer known as Cinderella with a glass hand). You can watch the recorded Part 1 and Part 2 talks on Facebook.
Lighting of the CN Tower
Once again, the CN Tower was lit orange on April 15th in recognition of April Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month. We wanted to thank the CN Tower for this gesture to help us bring awareness to the thousands of Canadians living with limb loss and limb difference.