Deborah Robles

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 1990


This profile was prepared when Deborah Robles was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1990.
The New Idea
Alicia and Deborah are designing and producing a varied set of low-cost aids for disabled children that range from walkers, wheelchairs and pushchairs to special standing supports, exercise equipment and tricycles. Although they are currently only producing custom-built goods, they are getting ready to expand, with a retail outlet offering goods to a wider distribution network. They have been getting orders from all over Mexico and countries as far away as Canada, Argentina and Chile.

In addition to providing equipment produced in Mexico (normally available only to those able to pay for imported items), Alicia and Deborah are setting up a documentation center where parents of handicapped children can come to obtain information on support groups, schools, dentists, doctors, therapists, and recreation facilities—not only in Mexico City but also in other major cities in the country. A newsletter will complement the documentation center. They are also planning in the long term to set up a counseling service for parents and children to help tackle the psychological as opposed to the physical problems posed by a disabled member of the family.
The Problem

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