Radically Different Alinker Walking Bike Matches Design with Determination
"Ididn't design the Alinker for a body with a problem, I designed it for how we want to live."
BE did not set out to design the Alinker. She set out to design a vehicle that was cool, attractive and could help people move around comfortably. However, she soon realised what was truly needed was a vehicle for social change, confronting our assumptions about people with mobility challenges. So, BE built the Alinker AND the movement that has attracted everyone from American actresses, Selma Blair and Katie Sackhoff, producers of the television show CBS Innovation Nation, journalists from Inc. and Forbes and countless others that have joined her on this remarkable journey.
Maintain an active lifestyle with mobility challenges
The Alinker has always been about mindset. How do we see ourselves? How do we see others? Who do we not see? The Alinker is for people who identify with being an active person (who they are), but happen to have an illness or condition that impacts their mobility (what they have). It is for people who want to maintain an active life and support their wellness practices. We need to move our muscles to stay healthy and the goal with the Alinker is to make it as easy and fun as possible for people to stay physically active, socially connected, and emotionally engaged in the community.
Building the community and creating different ways for people to connect has been a major focus over the past few years with several initiatives launched including: crowdfunding campaigns, weekly newsletters, Alinker Academy—a digital platform for Alinker users to take yoga and exercises classes, all specially designed for the Alinker—Alinker Family Farm and monthly seminars, where people can meet other Alinker users and form new connections.
It's the community, and the amazing stories they share on a regular basis, that keeps the Alinker moving forward. Recently, after a monthly Zoom seminar, a customer shared the following:
I am thankful for the opportunity of the Zoom meeting this morning. I have only been an observer on medical zoom calls for M.S. I have never actively participated, (just as an observer). Today, was the day, I woke up to reality and began to live.
With the group chat opportunity, in such a small group, I was able to speak the truth to others, who are living with their own journey of invisible scars. This is something that I never knew I could do. It was only my own judgement, on my own self, that has been holding me back. My life since my diagnosis has been a quiet introverted life of privacy and secrecy. A life often directed by fear of the unknown and what this label, of this disease, might imply. Prior to my diagnosis, I have lived in a world caring for persons with disabilities and seen how cruel some humans can be. I have seen how families can be heavily stressed and torn apart by the many aspects of caring for individuals less gifted than others. I know that kindness and love hold the power of strength and success for one that is challenged. But knowing and having this awareness has itself, been a challenge."
Because I am aware of what might lie ahead for me, I am not aware of how my challenges could affect others. I always want to do my best and not inconvenience others or my family.
The more I have denied the existence of this disease, the more hidden and inverted I have become. So today, because of my action in the past of purchasing an Alinker, I had to step up and join the world. Participate as a participant and no longer the quiet observer in my own small space.'
Allison Bonanno, Alinker user
Everything is possible when we show up for one another and that's exactly what we do, day in, day out, at the Alinker.
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