Live out loud.
The Eric Fund, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit, was established in memory of Eric C. Savader, a disability rights advocate who died of cancer in 1997 but lived his short life “out loud.”
His vision and ours is to provide greater independence in the lives of people with disabilities.
The goal of the Eric Fund is to help children and adults with disabilities in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area lead more independent, productive lives by purchasing assistive technology not covered by insurance or other funding streams. Each year The Eric Fund awards grants to deserving individuals based on financial need.
Since its inception in 1998, The Eric Fund has been helping individuals with disabilities live, work, go to school and participate actively in community life in and around Washington, D.C
We are constantly amazed and impressed with the strength and boundless determination of both the people who need and seek assistive devices and their sponsors, teachers and family who often represent them in their pursuit to find that one thing that will make a major difference in their ability to lead a more independent life.
In the 20 years The Eric Fund has been operating, we have watched our awards go from bulky, expensive equipment to a laptop with special software costing $1,000 or less. Still, there’s a need for specialized wheelchairs, accessible ramps, custom bicycles, a talking microwave or even a guide dog. These items allow people with disabilities to better communicate with their families, friends, school classmates and their work colleagues. More mobility and less dependence mean greater freedom and opportunity.
Our dedication is inspired by Eric, a man who lived his life “out loud” and thought everyone should have a fair shake at an opportunity to do the same. Eric believed people with disabilities should have a level playing field in life and The Eric Fund was our answer to his last wishes. Eric also felt strongly about bureaucracy and small talk. He was the epitome of the Nike slogan, “Just do it!” This is why The Eric Fund remains a small group of volunteers who meet at the kitchen table after work, keeps overhead costs to a bare minimum, reviews all applicants, solicits pro bono help and ensures that the appropriate equipment goes directly to the recipients.
Our vision remains steady – provide greater opportunities for independent lives for people with disabilities. And we couldn’t do it without the generous support of our Eric Fund supporters. Thank you!