Dear Friends and Colleagues,
It is with heavy hearts that we must inform you that a pioneer and active advocate of the Independent Living community, David Burds, passed away on January 30, 2016. Dave was an advocate for the rights of people with disabilities for over 35 years. He worked at the Endependence Center of Northern Virginia (ECNV) in Arlington, Virginia for a total of 15 years, including working as the Executive Director for 6 years. Dave also served on the Board of the National Council on Independent Living from 2009-2011.
Dave believed in the Independent Living philosophy – the idea that people with disabilities are the best experts on their own needs, having crucial and valuable perspective to contribute and deserving of equal opportunity to decide how to live, work, and take part in their communities, particularly in reference to services that powerfully affect their day-to-day lives and access to independence. With this philosophy, Dave pushed for the inclusion of people with disabilities.
We know Dave best as a quiet yet strong leader. He was not afraid to work on a grassroots level, which allowed him to ensure consumer directed options and transition services at ECNV. He stayed true to disability advocacy through his active participation in both NCIL and ADAPT. Dave was a husband, father, grandfather, and a big sports lover. We will miss his amazing dedication and passion.
A memorial service is set for 2:00 p.m. February 21 at Key Bridge Marriott Hotel. The burial will be in Epworth, IA, at a later date. Donations in lieu of flowers can be sent to ECNV: 2300 Clarendon Blvd, #305 / Arlington, VA 22201.