Four months after its opening, the Adaptive Design Center in Yucatan, Mexico, designed, built, and delivered its first chair. This was made of cardboard and other low-cost and locally available materials. A bright yellow chair was delivered to Sara Catalina Martin-Avilés, a 4-year-old with cerebral palsy who needed special accommodation for seating. This chair stabilizes Sara’s position, improving her access to communication and learning. Sara attends the Special Education Public School Jacinto Canek in the city of Merida.
Sara’s chair and other 5 pieces of furniture were built with Perkins’ advice. Perkins’ own Assistive Device Center in Watertown created bilingual tutorials on how to build some assistive pieces, translated building guides to Spanish, and helped coordinate three training sessions held at the facilities of the Adaptive Design Center in Yucatan. Additionally, Perkins led video calls with Mexico’s Adaptive Design Center to help them identify the best materials to use and guide them on the techniques to follow.
Perkins’ Assistive Device Center in Watertown has been improving the lives of children with multiple disabilities in New England for more than 30 years. Now, thanks to Perkins’ partnership with the Ministry of Education of Yucatan (SEGEY), the Center is making education more accessible to children in Mexico.
Perkins School for the Blind is building a sustainable, scalable model for quality education in Mexico through Project PIXAN. Perkins, with the support of local governments, is training teachers, empowering families, and engaging communities to help children with multiple, complex disabilities. Today, more than 50% of these children are out of school. By 2030, Perkins’ model school program will improve access to high quality, inclusive education in over 70 public schools across Mexico.