Alvaro, Ray and Tony from Cooper-Hewitt’s Facilities team

We help teachers learn how to teach design by engaging them in the design process through active observation, discussion, strategies for visual communication, and critique. Yesterday our education team was hosting a professional development teacher training program with the New York City Department of Education. One of their participants came in very upset because his wheel chair had broken a block away from the museum and he was not able to be mobile without it.

The front entrance to the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum

Kim Robledo-Diga was running the program when she heard about the problem. She knew that the two wheel chairs owned by the Museum were being used in the galleries, so she immediately called the locker room and told Alvaro about the situation and he said he knew who could help. Alvaro, Tony and Ray from the Facilities team helped the participant get to the lecture room, and while he was attending the training Ray and Tony showed their amazing versatility by fixing the wheel chair.

Disclaimer: this is not the actual wheelchair in this incident

The chair magically appeared outside the lecture room an hour later. The participant was almost in tears when he saw the fixed chair and he said it was sturdier than before it broke thanks to their great craftsmanship. The wheelchair frame had looked to be beyond repair, so when one of the DOE staff saw what a great job had been done, he said to the participant, “Aren’t you lucky your chair broke in a Design Museum!” Thank you to Ray, Tony, Alvaro and all of your great team for always stepping up to help!

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