is a collaboration of men and women promoting the benefits and pleasure of Prosthetics and Orthotics to young African Americans. The Coalition also strides to keep those in the field up to date on current technologies and policies in P&O. This all got started back in 1990 when two young men of African ancestry spotted each other at a national meeting and decided that together they could do more.
The first organizational meeting was held in Louisville, KY. It was there in September 1991 that Sam D. Benson, C.O. signed the Articles of Incorporation of International African-American Prosthetic-Orthotic Coalition, Inc. The founding members of the IAAPOC are Sam D. Benson, C.O., Frank Daniels, C.O., Count Fields, C.O., Charles Grantham, C.P., Michael A. Lewis, C.P.O., Timothy Howard McCluney, C.O., Charles "Lucky" Moore, C.P., Otis V. Petties, C.O., and Jack Steele, C.O.
Early on, the meetings were held in Memphis, TN. These early meeting were mainly about business. Basic topics such as membership, meeting location, and the Coalition's role in P&O were discussed.. Well attended, these meeting were often energetic and very intense. Now the meetings have expanded to include educational programing, vendor exhibitions, and continuing educational credits. Ths IAAPOC has also established a scholarship fund to assist students who pursue their education in P & O.
At the 2013 Annual Meeting the Membership of the IAAPOC voted to accept an amendment to the By-Laws extending full participation to BOC certified practitioners.
The Amendment to Article ll, Section 1, reads:
Active members shall be any African-American individual certified by the American Board for Certification in Prosthetics and Orthotics (ABC), or the Board for Orthotic-Prosthetic Certification (BOC), with which the general authority and responsibility for the policies and affairs of the association lie.
This change, underscored, was made to make full participation possible regardless of certification credentials. A membership application can be found at the bottom of the ‘Welcome’ page on the web site.