Limb Difference Awareness Week 19-25 October 2020 is promoting the resilience, adaptability and innovation of Australians living with a hand or upper limb difference.
First Officer on a Fokker 100 jet for Alliance Airlines, Jay Bowerman, didn’t allow his missing right hand and forearm to stop him from pursuing his dream of becoming a pilot.
‘After taking my first flight I was hooked. After much hard work, I won a scholarship and with the help of a specially designed and built attachment for a prosthetic arm, I started flying lessons. I flew solo at 17 years of age,’ says Bowerman.
- sharing stories at school, work and in the community
- ‘Rock a Sock’ where school students wear a sock on their dominant hand to experience having a hand difference for a day as an in-class activity
- sharing examples of how assistive devices like 3D printed hands help make daily activities like sport, playing an instrument or using technology easier
‘Hand difference’ refers to congenital hand or upper limb differences ranging from the absence of one or all fingers on a hand and in some cases the absence of part or the entire arm. Around 5 in 10,000 babies are born with a hand difference. The main difficulties are functional limitations, negative social interactions, concerns about physical appearances and adaptation challenges.
Limb Difference Awareness Week is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness and celebrate the differences that make us all unique. It’s important to help both children and adults understand that being different is OK. It’s important to share stories and learn from one another to learn to be more accepting and inclusive,’ said Aussie Hands President, Brooke Young
‘Having a hand or limb difference should not stop anyone from doing the things that most of us take for granted. Aussie Hands is celebrating 20 years of providing support and encouragement to help every person achieve their potential in life. Limb Difference Awareness Week helps us to celebrate difference, get inspired and see opportunities, not limitations.’
Related to Limb Difference Awareness Week is a major research initiative at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute called the Australian Hand Difference Register (AHDR). The AHDR is a database of children born with a hand difference. The purpose is to determine the prevalence and causes of hand differences. The AHDR is co-funded by Aussie Hands and the Australasian Foundation for Plastic Surgery.
#LDAW2020 #CelebrateDifference #limbdifference
About Aussie Hands
The Aussie Hands Foundation Inc. is a voluntary not for profit organisation of parents, carers, associated professionals and other interested people. We provide support, understanding and encouragement to individuals with a hand difference. https://www.aussiehands.org/ | www.mcri.edu.au/ahdr