AMBUCS: Creating mobility and independence for individuals with special needs
In 1919 William L. White had a dream to begin a national service organization for young business and professional men. The organization was called the American Business Club and in 1961 it was shortened to AMBUCS.
93 years later William Whites vision has evolved into a grassroots non-profit service organization dedicated to creating mobility and independence for people with disabilities.
Today, there are approximately 5,500 AMBUCS members in over 130 chapters in 28 states. Each chapter is dedicated to serving a local area.
What AMBUCS does
AMBUCS runs a host of programs that are designed to enhance mobility and accessibility to individuals with special needs.
AmTryke Therapeutic Tricycles
One of the most successful programs in recent years has been the distribution of the AmTryke® therapeutic tricycle. This unique tricycle can be hand and/or foot-operated and helps to improve a rider’s muscle strength, motor coordination and self esteem.
AmTryke is about abilities, not disabilities. AMBUCS believes riding a bike is a rite of passage everyone deserves to experience. AmTrykes allow riders to be out in the neighborhood riding with their friends and family and while improving health and fitness.
They partner with physical and occupational therapists to evaluate riders for the AmTryke program. Therapists help by making sure tryke placements are safe and effective. They help with fitting and choosing the size and type of the trykes as well as the adapted parts each rider needs.
Building ramps to create accessible homes and businesses is another project which AMBUCS™ chapters hold close to their hearts. With the help of a ramp guide AMBUCS members build wheelchair accessible ramps for individuals with disabilities.
Building and refurbishing playgrounds that can be used by children regardless of ability level is becoming an increasingly popular project among AMBUCS™ chapters. Whether it is adding universal usage playground equipment or building all-new playgrounds, members are acknowledging how important these playgrounds are.
Since 1955, National AMBUCS™, Inc. has been awarding scholarships to therapy students in their junior/senior year in a bachelor’s degree program, or a graduate program leading to a master’s or doctoral degree. To date, more than $7.6 million in scholarships have been awarded to over 14,000 students pursuing degrees in physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology and audiology.
Becoming an AMBUCS Member
AMBUCS provides fun, innovative service opportunities for people who want to help their community but do not necessarily have a lot of time to do so. By working together, AMBUCS volunteers make their spare time go a long, long way.
Many AMBUCS chapters are also committed to performing valuable civic service and improving their communities. Their niche is to provide small, meaningful projects that go unfunded by government or insurance. This is realized by projects like home ramp building for people in wheelchairs and the funding of college scholarships for therapists via the AMBUCS Scholars program.