Autonomia Libertad de movimiento (ALEM) is an extraordinary story about a circle of young men and women with disabilities who have become a wheelchair production and repair team. They design and fabricate specialty wheelchairs and provide a much-needed wheelchair repair service through a program known as “Enchulame la Silla” or Jazz my Chair.
Offering this repair service on the road in 5 states of Mexico, today ALEM is replicating the model in Mexico City. The ALEM team challenges people’s unexamined assumptions about what people with disabilities can and cannot do. In 2013, the team repaired 350 wheelchairs in the entire year, in 2019 the team repaired 3,500 wheelchairs. The 12 technicians with disabilities now have full-time, fair wage employment, and work in highly visible public areas.