Reflections and sharing gratitude

Last week, WITH Foundation invited local grantees, community partners, disability advocates, and other funders to a holiday reception to show gratitude for their work, and also to share updates of the foundation’s busy and productive year. The reception was held at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley, California.

WITH Foundation promotes comprehensive and accessible healthcare for adults with developmental disabilities. At the reception, Ryan Easterly, WITH’s Executive Director, highlighted how our grantees are doing critical work, Ryan shared that this past fiscal year the foundation provided more than $917,000 in grants and programmatic support. Some of the efforts supported include projects related to supported decision-making within healthcare settings as well as general operating support to organizations such as the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund. Ryan shared an example of the Autism Care Collaborative at Massachusetts General Hospital. The Autism Care Collaborative recently secured additional funding to expand the program from the Ruderman Family Foundation. “As a smaller foundation ourselves,” said Ryan, “we love to support work in the initial stages and then continue to see it grow and build through other funders. The Autism Care Collaborative is a great example of that.”

Ryan also recognized WITH’s self-advocate advisory committee for the important role that the committee plays in our grantmaking. Read more about the committee here.

WITH’s influence on philanthropic peers

The remarks at the reception also included discussion of how the foundation is influencing our peers in philanthropy to include the lens of disability in their work. WITH recently held a larger forum that included non-profit organizations as well as funders in the L.A. area in which we discussed including disability into diversity equity inclusion efforts. To learn more about these efforts, please go to our Funder Education Initiative webpage.

The Compass Award

Ryan also announced WITH’s Compass Award. The award is given to an individual who embodies the ideals of foundation and advances comprehensive healthcare for adults with developmental disabilities. The inaugural recipient of WITH’s Compass Award was John O’Hara, John’s leadership and passion have been an asset to the foundation’s Board of Directors, since the very beginning of the foundation.

(Image Description: A black man wearing glasses a purple shirt, and a grey jacket sits next to a taller white man wearing a green sweater. Both are smiling. The taller man holds an award plaque.)


In closing, Ryan thanked attendees of the holiday reception for their work. “It is so critical and you are such a great reflection of the foundation’s goals and the power of the disability community.”

To learn more about WITH’s grantees, please go to the Previous Grant Recipients webpage.


Happy Holidays from WITH!!!