What is Ampuseek?
Ampuseek started when Emery explained how she had wanted to change the way prosthetic devices are made available to amputees in Canada. We decided to document her everyday experiences living with a prosthetic. We feel this could change how disability is viewed, and provide information to the public on a demographic that isn't often in the media. We also are actively seeking to change how Canada's system of funding and access to prosthetic care works, and to end a system that bases how much support you get on how you lost your limb.
We make art, we write articles, and we do anything that comes to mind that could help round out public knowledge of limb loss, or connect people with similar experiences. Primarily, Ampuseek is a collection of snapshots of what living with this disability is like right now in Canada, and our insights surrounding that. In talking about and revealing some aspects of that life, issues crop up; prosthetic technology is not easily accessed in Canada, there are a lot of discrepancies in how funding is allocated, accessibility legislation is constantly debated. We follow current events and trends, hoping to gain an understanding of what we can expect in the future, and how we can change things.
Making prosthetic care more accessible in Canada is a priority. We believe we can achieve this by raising awareness and fulfilling all the steps of our 3 stage plan. Stage one has begun, and involves gathering the information and resources concerning the current system of prosthetic care and transforming this disparate information into a simpler, more coherent format to be showcased on our website and used to help amputees navigate the currently available resources. Stage two entails using this full picture of the current system in order to come up with viable, effective solutions. This will be done with the collaboration of all involved- the amputee community, innovators, and medical, governmental, and business professionals. The final stage will be putting these plans into action and ensuring that all parties have a voice as changes are made. Throughout every stage of this process, we will produce content to inform the public of our findings. The engaging artistic content will be used to increase interest and create pressure for progress that will lead to better policy making and more funding opportunities so that better technology will become more viable to make and acquire.
Meet The Team
I confess, I’m that excitable kid who would boss their brother around and force him to wear capes, faceprint or even the occasional feather boa while we explored the diverse realm of Orchard Land in Grimsby, Ontario. My love for adventure (and top hats) has only grown in my years, but now I have the most amazing opportunity to explore in a way that will hopefully empower change not just for myself, but for a whole community of people who deserve a voice. My obsession over poetry, puns, art, photography and music might make this Ampuseek endeavor a lil’ more interesting, but at the end of the day, I’m a person who has had a second chance at life and who is lucky enough to make a difference; even if I’m one leg short. *tips top hat*
Hi, I grew up exploring, reading, and playing music surrounded by the forests and lakes of central B.C. I'm really focused on and passionate about pursuing the most diverse field of interests I can- from poetry, writing and music to media, french, and fishing. I relish taking on big projects and missions, as well as any opportunity to learn more about this big loveable mudball we call home. Social issues are something I look at as bringing people together, and as an opportunity to learn about someone’s life experience, which lets us gain insight on our own lives and improve ourselves. I’m excited to work on Ampuseek because I get to do all the things I love (learning, hearing stories, writing, photography, doodles, music, and video) with as much energy and positivity I can muster, and have it impact others in a meaningful way.
Above all, we stand by our mission:
to create an active, knowledgeable and confident community of amputees and other people with disabilities in Canada
Today, disability affects approximately one billion people worldwide, representing 15% of the total population (WHO, 2011). Ampuseek has focused on issues relating to amputees, and we’ve found that the issues we care about are either present or paralleled in the larger disability community. Systemic and social barriers affect many aspects of life for disabled people, relating to everything from inaccessible infrastructure to stigma and lack of understanding causing uncomfortable interactions in public.
The Social Model of Disability
The social model of disability makes an important distinction: mental illness, physical limitations and other alleged “causes” of disability are called impairments, while the status of disability is something that society hands to those who experience impairments. This model states that people are held back by regressive social policy and practice that excludes them by not being accommodating for their impairments. Another important point to remember here is that disabled people are the largest minority group on the planet, making up 15% of the world’s population (WHO, 2011). All people will also have an impairment at some point of their lives, for a certain amount of time, whether due to ageing, illness, or an impairment from birth. So, maybe there is nothing particularly "abnormal" about having a disability. This also means that there is all the more reason for society to promote equity and make sure those with impairments are able to participate equally. As a society we are more than capable of creating environments and opportunities that enable our citizens with different needs and abilities. Canada has non-discrimination policies in its charter and health acts (as well as throughout other areas of policy) that would seem to support this ideal. These facts considered, it is astounding that our employment, infrastructure, and social practices still hold disabled people back.
Social Determinants of Health
In Canada (and many other countries), public health care practice is increasingly looking at social determinants of health. The social determinants of health are life course indicators that tend to be strongly related to the level of health and wellness that someone is likely to experience, like education, income, and dis/ability status (Davidson, 2015). Socioeconomic status is tied to health, but it is also tied to disability; disabled people are prone to poverty because of high medical costs, low employment opportunities, and little coverage (WHO, 2011). For many, this economic impact means that they are unable to afford healthy food choices, proper medical attention, and other resources. Because of how interrelated things like education, income and food security are, disabled people tend to have poorer health than the average population (Davidson, 2015).