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Black Friday, Cyber Monday. . .Now it’s #GivingTuesday!

Be a part of #GivingTuesday

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December 2, 2014

Today is the day! It’s the day that you can make a big impact on the Washington Access Fund and people with disabilities in Washington State.

With your help, we’ll raise funds to enroll applicants currently waiting to take part in our Assistive Technology Matched Savings IDA Program. This matched savings program provides $1 or grant money for every $1 a saver with a disability puts into their savings account with the goal of purchasing a new piece of assistive technology. Much assistive technology (like hearing aids or ipads) are not covered by insurance or medicaid, which means that at least 40% of the time these devices are paid for out of pocket. Savings programs like our Assistive Technology Matched Savings IDA Program are key to making these vital technologies affordable.

If you make a gift online TODAY, we will earn matching funds from our partner,
Network for Good-making your support go even further.

How can you be part of it? Here are a few simple ideas:

  • Consider making a gift on #GivingTuesday.
  • Join us as a volunteer.
  • ‘Like’ us on Facebook.(leave a post to let us know you stopped by)
  • Do something kind for another person.
  • Today is the day we we need your help to grow our impact on people with disabilities in Washington State with improved access to technology and economic opportunity.

    Webinar: A Review of Lesser Known Funding Sources and Strategies for Work-Related Assistive Technology

    A Review of Lesser Known Funding Sources and Funding Strategies for Work-Related Assistive TechnologyCheck out this archived webinar from the archived RESNA Webinar Series. The original webinar aired November 19, 2014, so the information should be timely. Click here to view the webinar. Several accessible formats are available for your viewing convenience.

    Press Release: Announcing 2014 Award Winners

    WAF Logo

    For immediate release: November 4, 2014

    Announcing 2014 Awards Program Winners

    The Washington Access Fund will present awards to businesses, organizations and individuals who have made noteworthy efforts to include, serve, and help people with disabilities across the state. The awards will be presented at the Washington Access Fund 10 Year Anniversary Celebration & Benefit set to take place at Town Hall Seattle with featured guest speaker John Hockenberry, host of Public Radio’s International’s The Takeaway.


    Best Practice Award: Ark Lodge Cinemas

    When members of the deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing community requested open captioning at his theater, David McRae willingly incurred the additional expenses so it was available for the premier of “the Hobbit”. He has also purchased a close captioned system and a descriptive video system for all three of his movie screens.

    Innovation Award: MagicWheels

    The challenge of negotiating hills, ramps, curb cuts and door thresholds in a non-motorized wheelchair is made easier with MagicWheels. Invented and manufactured locally, they were perfected with federal and state research funds. They offer self-contained 2-to-1 gearing and hill holding, all built into the wheel.

    Frances Pennell Economic Opportunity Award: Caryl Wolf

    Caryl Wolf volunteered her counseling and training services when the nonprofit she had been working at closed its doors. She then founded a new nonprofit – Benefits Central – and she continues to go the extra mile to guide people with disabilities who want to work and become self-sufficient.

    Recreational Engagement Award: Outdoors for All

    Utilizing over 700 volunteers, Outdoors for All enriches the lives of children and adults with physical, developmental, and sensory disabilities. Their all season programming offers hiking, winter sports, boating, campind and rock climbing to thousands of people with disabilities each year.

    Ron Adams Outstanding Client Award: Melissa “echo” Greenlee

    echo’s participation in the Washington Access Fund’s Individual Development Account program allowed her to found a web-based business: With she guides deaf and hard of hearing consumers to welcoming businesses through reviews. She helps businesses learn how to become more deaf-friendly through articles and advice.

    Award Event

    Date: Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

    Time: 5:00 p.m. VIP reception/Cocktail hour; 6:00 p.m. Awards Ceremony. To be followed by 7:30 p.m. presentation in the Great Hall by John Hockenberry.

    Where: Town Hall Seattle, 1119 Eighth Avenue

    About the Washington Access Fund

    The Washington Access Fund uses asset-building tools like Microcredit and Individual Development Accounts to promote access to technology and economic opportunity for individuals with disabilities in Washington State. Washington Access Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). 

    Andrea Dimond, Director of Communications & Marketing
    Washington Access Fund
    100 S. King St, Suite 280
    Seattle, WA 98104
    Phone: (206) 328-5116

    Click here to buy tickets to the VIP Awards Banquet.

    Buy Tickets for John Hockenberry at Town Hall Seattle

    John Hockenberry from the Take Away on NPR (Marco Antonio)

    Come see John Hockenberry speak on the Future of Universal Design, Assistive Technology, and Disability Rights at the Washington Access Fund 10 Year Anniversary Celebration and Benefit! The event will take place at Town Hall Seattle on Tuesday November 11, 2014 at 7:30pm.

    Hockenberry’s presentation will be preceded by a VIP Awards Banquet in which the Washington Access Fund will be presenting awards to businesses, organizations and individuals who have made a positive impact on people with disabilities in Washington State.

    Click here to buy your tickets: VIP Awards Banquet: $100 | General Admission: $15

    Sneak peak of John Hockenberry in FIXED

    Picture on woman scuba diving in a wheelchair. FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement

    We are so excited that John Hockenberry is coming to Seattle in 6 short weeks! Get a sneak peak of what’s on his mind in this exciting new documentary about technology and disability.

    The documentary FIXED is playing at the Varsity Theater on October 9 (7-9 p.m.). This screening is organized by the UW Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering, and is a fundraiser for the neuroethics group there. After the film, they will have a panel of speakers, including Joanne Woiak from UW Disability Studies, Kayla Brown from DO-IT, and Sara Goering from UW Philosophy and Disability Studies which should make for an interesting and lively discussion.

    Cost is $5/student with ID, and $10 for others. Buy student tickets at the Varsity Box Office and regular tickets at this link:

    Info on the film

    A haunting, subtle, urgent documentary, FIXED questions commonly held beliefs about disability and normalcy by exploring technologies that promise to change our bodies and minds forever. Told primarily through the perspectives of five people with disabilities: a scientist, journalist, disability justice educator, bionics engineer and exoskeleton test pilot, FIXED takes a close look at the implications of emerging human enhancement technologies for the future of humanity.

    Patty Berne works at the Center for Genetics and Society as Project Director on Race, Disability and Eugenics, where she focuses on raising awareness about the ethical implications of emerging prenatal screening technologies. Fernanda Castelo works with Ekso Bionics as a test pilot, helping them develop the Ekso, a bionic exoskeleton which allows people with no or limited function in their legs to walk. Engineer Hugh Herr runs the Biomechatronics Lab at the MIT Media Lab where he designs bionic legs which allow himself, a double amputee, and others, to rock climb, trail run, play tennis, etc. John Hockenberry is an Emmy and Peabody award winning journalist, author, radio host (WNYC’s “The Takeaway”) and distinguished fellow at the MIT Media Lab, where he works to promote research into human-machine collaborations. Gregor Wolbring is a biochemist and ability studies scholar at the University of Calgary, in Calgary, Alberta, who lectures worldwide on human enhancement technologies and ableism.