Photo of participants at Build-a-thon event

After COVID-19 became a public health concern FUSE Makerspace closed to the public along with the rest of CNM, soon after FUSE’s resources became focused on helping the efforts to fight COVID-19. Alice was one of the first members to contact us.  

She had heard an NPR story about an open-source face shield that could be 3D printed and contacted friends in the local maker community. Tanda Headrick of Vanguard-Tech, was one on the list whom she worked with to modify the design. Instead of 3D printing, they changed the design to be cut out by water-jet or laser, allowing hundreds to be made in the time it took to 3D print one. Other elements were changed to make the shields more functional, stay together better, and last longer. She has made and delivered over 1,000 face shields to a local hospital with FUSE staff members’ assistance.  

Alice is also the founder of 505 Access, which designs and customizes assistive technologies. She founded the company after several life-changing incidents, including separate severe car accidents involving her and her sister, to help make accessibility more affordable. After her accident, which involved a yearlong rehabilitation to return to work, she became aware of the actor Christopher Reeve’s horse-riding accident and believed, like her, he would make a full recovery.  When he did not, she became interested in learning more about neuroscience. In the process, she grew to be involved in helping the mobility impaired. Finding solutions to help them perform everyday actions most of us take for granted.  

Sixteen years after her accident, Alice’s sister was involved in a car accident, which left her in the hospital for two months. During this time, due to being unable to work, Alice’s sister lost her job and access to health insurance. Realizing how common her sister’s situation was and how much her own ability to keep working aided in her recovery, she decided to do something to help. 

505Access has worked with the state and local non-profits in New Mexico and has done outreach with local schools. There are several open-source designs for assistive technologies available on their website. One of which is a DIY cell phone stand that allows ASL (American Sign Language) speakers to communicate easier. 

She is currently working with a group of friends to form a new non-profit Nexus Abilities