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Abstract

Since 1997, the Polus Center for Social & Economic Development, Inc., has been supporting orthotic and prosthetic (O&P) services in Central America. In 1999, Polus expanded its effort and, in collaboration with local citizens of Leon, Nicaragua, opened Walking Unidos, an outreach O&P workshop. Since the success of Walking Unidos, the Polus Center has helped develop two other O&P programs: Vida Nueva in Choluteca, Honduras, and the other in Managua, Nicaragua, a venture made possible with the support of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). In addition, the Polus Center developed several other disability-related programs, including the Disability Leadership Center, an access project entitled "A City for Everyone" and the Ben Linder Café, an economic development project. These programs are based in Leon, Nicaragua, and were developed in response to needs identified through extensive planning processes, which included many individuals with disabilities and various disability organizations. All programs were implemented and are administered by local citizens. None of these programs relies on expatriate staff.

 

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