Howard Fund

Providing Assistance for the Blind and Low Vision

In 1932, Mrs. Ida B. Howard bequeathed $10,000 to the Colorado Workshop for the Blind. The bequest was made for the sole purpose of helping Coloradans with low vision or blindness increase their independence and ability to participate in all aspects of life. Mrs. Howard's generosity established The Howard Fund.

The fund has grown through the years with the inclusion of gifts and bequests, which have been donated to benefit blind and low vision people in Colorado. The Howard Fund provides funding for important training and/or equipment that would not otherwise be available to help blind or low vision Coloradans to gain greater independence. Please consider making a donation to this fund. You can contact the Howard Fund by sending email to cdle_thehowardfund@state.co.us or by calling 720-392-6856.

The Howard Fund is administered by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) through the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). Howard Fund board members review applications for grant funding and notice of grant awards are made through the Howard Fund administrator. Board members consist of DVR and CDLE employees as well as non-employee stakeholders from the blind and low vision community.

The Howard Fund Board generally meets every other month on the third Thursday of the month. If you would like to attend a Howard Fund Board Meeting and/or need accommodations to attend, please contact cdle_thehowardfund@state.co.us or 720-392-6856 for details and assistance.


Fund Awards and Applications

To honor the spirit in which the Howard Fund was established, funding will be awarded for direct services benefiting persons who are blind or low vision and a resident of Colorado. Funding priority will be given to people with a financial need and no access to other funding sources.

To be considered for the Howard Fund:
  • To apply for funding you must complete either an Individual or Organizational Application for assistance.
  • You must be a resident of Colorado.
  • The form must be filled out completely and contain the required documents.
  • The Individual Application should include a written statement of the specific need or request and proof of income must be attached.
  • The Organizational Application must include a written proposal and measurable benefits expected from the usage of these funds.


Fund Award Eligibility

The disbursements from the fund shall be made for the purpose of contributing to the ability of people who are blind or low vision to participate in all aspects of life.

Disbursements may be made for:
  • Paying expenses incidental to meetings and conferences which promote the rehabilitation and independence of blind people.
  • Assessing the skills and needs for rehabilitation for people who are blind or low vision such as travel, personal care, grooming, eating, financial management, home management and other social skills and providing for costs of equipment needed to teach these skills for which appropriated funds are not available.
  • Matching funds or providing direct funds for demonstration projects directed toward continuing services by other resources.
  • Purchasing equipment for demonstration or training purposes.
  • Providing for costs of disseminating public information regarding the Howard Fund and capabilities of blind and low vision persons.
Purchase Examples

Tools: for accessing information visually, tactilely, or auditory.

Optical Devices: CCTV Video Magnifiers, hand held and electronic magnifiers, telescopes and monocular devices.

Adaptive Software: screen readers, optical character recognition systems, screen magnification.

Non-optical Tools/Devices: white cane, lighting, reading/book stands, large print books, digital players and recorders, talking devices (alarm clock, timer, watch, money reader).

Assistive Technology: smart phones, iPads, Braille translation software, embossers, keyboards, audible - tactile signs and warning devices, telephone amplifiers, smart phone applications, mobile devices, GPS devices and computer applications.

Other Devices: Household, recreational, personal, kitchen aids, kitchen gadgets and other independent living products.