ARSOBO, Exemplar Cross-Border Initiative, Continues to Grow through Bi-National Support

ARSOBO - Arizona Sonora Border Projects for InclusionSonoran UCEDD Updates
Spring 2017

ARSOBO (Arizona Sonoran Border) Projects for Inclusion is a non-governmental organization registered in Mexico with a 501c3 non-profit status in the United States that is a direct result of the first Border Conference on Disabilities in 2008 held in Nogales, Sonora by the Sonoran UCEDD in partnership with DIF (Desarrollo Integral de la Familia). It is a social business that provides appropriate, adaptive-technology, low-cost, assisted devices which improve access and participation for individuals with disabilities in their communities. Not only does ARSOBO train and employ people with disabilities to construct medical equipment they need and use, it has also developed cross-border public private partnerships and networks to support its mission and vision. ARSOBO began manufacturing standard and customized RoughRider all-terrain wheelchairs in 2011, and since then the workshop has expanded to fabricating prosthetic limbs and hearing aid molds, as well as assembling solar-powered hearing aid re-chargers, as a result of their partnerships, grant funding, and donations. With equipment purchased from U.S. Northern Command and alteration in wheelchair production, ARSOBO has increased construction from 1 to 3 wheelchairs in a week. With grant funding from the Tichi Munoz Fundacion in Obregon and the Shipley Family Foundation, ARSOBO has extended the training of two prosthetic technicians who can now fabricate below the knee prosthesis at the ARSOBO workshop in Nogales, Sonoran instead of at Hanger in Tucson, which has shortened the time a person receives a prosthesis from 2 months to 3-4 days. ARSOBO is now working with the Technical University in Nogales, Sonora whose faculty and students are assisting with the electrical circuitry of the hearing aid re-chargers. To learn more about ARSOBO and how you can be involved, visit

U.S. Northern Command’s Public Private Partnership Workshop

Ralf HotchkissNorthern Command organized and presented a Public Private Partnership Workshop on February 10 – 11, 2017 that featured ARSOBO as an exemplary example of a Public Private Partnership. The event was held at the DoubleTree Suites in Tucson on Friday afternoon and in the ARSOBO workshop in Nogales, Mexico on Saturday morning. After a welcome from Christopher Teal, US Consulate General Nogales Vice Consul, and Paul McKean, Northern Command Humanitarian Assistance Program, Sonoran UCEDD director, Leslie Cohen, gave a presentation about the origins of ARSOBO. This was followed by a panel discussion on what ARSOBO is today by ARSOBO staff and board members (Dr. Duke Duncan, Francisco Trujillo, Dr. Bill Neubauer) and Alma Cota de Yanez, Executive Director of Fundación del Empresario Sonorense, A.C. (private community foundation formed of Sonoran business owners and ARSOBO partner). The keynote address was given by David Werner, author of Where there is no Doctor and Disabled Village Children books that are widely used throughout the developing world. Ralf Hotchkiss, the inventor of the RoughRider wheelchair that ARSOBO makes and for which he received the McArthur Genesis Award, gave a demonstration of the chair; he stayed in Nogales for the entire week working with ARSOBO wheelchair technicians, Gabriele and Lupe.

Pictured right: Ralf Hotchkiss, inventor of the RoughRrider wheelchair demonstrating the chair’s ability to traverse steps and rough terrain

ARSOBO invites you to a Concert Event – Adrienne O: Coming Home Tour

Adrienne O band photoSunday, March 26th at 2pm
Rock Corral Ranch

Tumacacori, Arizona

The Band “Adrienne O” is known for its polished live shows and thoughtful yet energetic pop/rock songs, which includes both their original flavor of 80’s-inspired pop and re-envisioned cover songs from 80’s and early 90’s bands such as Simple Minds, New Order, Depeche Mode, the Cure, Blur, Blind Melon, and The Fixx. The band has been featured on 93.3, 107.1, Channel 8 TV, and KGNU, and has played at venues such as Coors Field; the Bluebird, Gothic, and Fox Theatres; the Hard Rock Cafe; and the Soiled Dove Underground.

Tickets are available at $35 per person. Seating is limited, so get your tickets today at

ARSOBO Seeking Rider for 2017 El Tour de Tucson Race

Since 2014, people from both sides of the border have rode in the El Tour de Tucson to benefit ARSOBO. This year will be no different, with the exception that ARSOBO is looking for someone to ride an amazing racing wheelchair in Arizona’s largest and longest running bicycling event. Bill Neubauer and Tom Barber, owner of Cloud Dancer in Tubac, AZ donated to ARSOBO a new, white Invacare® Top End® Eliminator™ OSR Racing Wheelchair with the U Cage design for athletes who use the kneeling position or need an amputee seat. It is made for speed with carbon fiber wheels, making it extremely light and fast. If you or someone you know may be interested in riding this race wheelchair for ARSOBO in the 35th Annual El Tour de Tucson on November 18th, please contact Duke Duncan at

Top End Racing Wheelchair and additional carbon fiber wheels