Before he found Northwest Access Fund in 2007, Chris was spending “day after day methodically searching for funding” that would allow him to pursue self-employment. “The Access Fund were the only ones willing” to take a chance and support him. Chris initially received a loan for a computer, though he has gone on to become an avid user of Access Fund loans. He says that the loans gave him hope that as a person with a disability, he would be able to pursue self-employment that suited his strengths.
The assistive technologies that Chris has attained through the Access Fund have been integral to his personal and professional life. “For years, the only way people could get in touch with me was Skype, and the Access Fund got me the computer and monitor.” More recently, the computer set-up has allowed him to delve into 3D printing with a digital sculpting application called ZBrush, which allows him to produce models that he hopes to sell in the future. Chris has not forgotten any of the devices that he has purchased through the Access Fund: he has steadily been turning his Worksman trike, which he received a loan for over ten years ago, into a steampunk-themed e-trike.
Summing up his experience with Northwest Access Fund, Chris says, “If the Access Fund hadn’t been there, there’s a good chance that at some point in my life, I would’ve lost faith.” He recently purchased a 1968 Airstream and has since converted it into a home and workstation, featuring many of his technologies acquired through the Access Fund. He modified its built-in dining area into a wrap-around computer bench and is adding a rack to mount his trike to the front.