Global Giving 2019 Recognitions: “Effective,” “Vetted,” “Superstar: Top-Ranked 501(c)(3) Non-Profit”


The Enable Alliance is the trade name for The Alliance for Project Based Learning Solutions (APBLS). It is a Maryland-based nonprofit with 501(c)(3) designation founded by Maria Esquela, Ivan Owen and others in the summer of 2016. We started the Enable Alliance to develop and maintain and share resources in the global e-NABLE community, promote scientific practices and lifelong learning that would make it easier for one person to help another and make the community more sustainable and resilient.


Our Mission:

Address everyday needs of individuals and communities by building inclusive, collaborative networks of individuals dedicated to humanitarian, project-based learning, boosting access to education, technology and opportunity to develop workforce skills.


What That Looks Like in Action:

The Enable Alliance advocates for students of all ages to learn by doing, using the e-NABLE model of collaboration and innovation to address everyday needs of individuals and communities, particularly in underserved areas. It builds inclusive, collaborative networks of individuals and organizations to support humanitarian, project-based learning. It actively pursues boosting safe access to education, technology and opportunity to develop workforce skills, which also makes e-NABLE a sustainable and resilient ecosystem.

The e-NABLE community is known for designing for upper limbs. It also responds to challenges and individual’s requests for tools, assistive devices for people with vision impairments, teaching manipulatives for kinesthetic learners, beaks and legs for animals, creates art rooted in the perspectives of its projects, and addresses mobile power and connectivity solutions for using technology the field, during disaster response, or planning for disaster recovery.


The Enable Alliance gives the e-NABLE Community:
  • Fiscal sponsorship to those who do not have their own tax-exempt status, with 100% of the funds passing through to the designee.
  • Fundraising, purchasing and shipping solutions and resource sharing to decrease the financial burdens on volunteers.
  • Credentialing, including background checks
  • Development of a shared, transparent, global inventory for a crowdsourced movement through the Living Classroom project at SUNY Polytechnic Institute. This process allows students to gain experience using enterprise software, and allows the community to track receipt of pledged resources, their distribution and impact.
  • Outreach to candidates.
  • Follow-up and sharing outcomes and feedback.
  • Collection and review of evidence of processes in service learning, fabrication, research and community development.
  • Brokering collaboration between subject matter experts engaged in design, fabrication and device distribution and including formal and informal education programs using citizen science and project-based learning
  • Distance learning and mentoring experiences using Open Recognitions. Digital recognitions or badges are key to individuals, groups and the community sharing evidence of their activities and testimony about the skills acquired.  They can leverage these to create social, educational and employment opportunities, have a free and web based portfolio about their learning and achievements, or even assert identity (The Humanitarian Passport Project).
  • Events coordination to ensure that volunteers’ service is focused on creating the devices to medical volunteers who will ensure free fitting, distribution and a point of contact for gathering and sharing user’s feedback.
  • Exploration of scalable solutions to support citizen science and open science, including private and secure communication and data collection, an Institutional Review Board for the community serving and collaborating with vulnerable populations, and a credible journal for community science publications.
  • Promotion of open source practices and defense of intellectual property.
  • Exploration and implementation of blockchain solutions for establishing provenance, supply chain management, credentialing, and more.
  • Advocacy for IRB studies of device recipients and the members of the e-NABLE ecosystem, to increase the sharing of information in credible conferences and publications.
  • Support for our community’s young scientists engaged in presentations, publications, poster sessions or panels.
  • Collecting, curating and sharing community history through images, drawings, prototypes, ephemera from our history, worn devices and other evidence for study as part of a the community legacy.
  • Development of Open Data projects for discussions about the state of the science and technology used by the community.
  • EA Educators’ Exchange, supporting formal and informal educators using Creative Commons Licenses, web-based conferences and resources
  • Organizing and supporting collaborative programming to encourage and further the credibility, conscience and community spirit that goes into e-NABLE projects, including leadership development, teambuilding activities, tours and field experiences, internships, STEM camps, engagement in arts and more.