Honouring Brad Erhardt

Brad Erhardt was widely known in his community as an active volunteer and leader.

Brad Erhardt was widely known in his community as an active volunteer and leader.

By Michael McLellan and Shelley Marinus

We are writing this article to honour a friend and self advocate leader who passed away suddenly last December 2014. His name was Brad Erhardt.

Everyone learned a lot from Brad. He went out of his way to help others. That was just who he was. Independence and technology were two things that were really important to Brad. I remember how excited he was when he discovered a program called JAWS that could help people who can’t see or read print use computers just like anyone else. He was always happy to show others how to use JAWS and computers. Brad was also a gifted writer, poet and musician.

Brad was known in his community of the Comox Valley for his leadership with kids and youth. He went to schools and spoke about being visually impaired. He helped kids to be more aware and understand the experience of being blind or visually impaired. He taught them about people with diverse abilities and how we are all the same.

Brad was an active volunteer and leader with different organizations in our community. He was the President of the White Cane Society, Beaufort Association and Volunteer Comox Valley. Brad played a big role in Boy Scouts and in 1981 was honoured with the Jack Cornwall award for overcoming obstacles and received his award from the Governor General in Ottawa. He also participated in the first World Games For The Physically Disabled in England.

Brad owned his own business called Three Blind Mice where he did computer training. He was also a valued employee at Home Depot.

Brad’s final gift to the world was that he donated his eyes and now six people will be able to see as a result.

Today there is a Brad Erhardt Memorial Award that will be given to a person with diverse abilities who, like Brad, has gone above and beyond to volunteer in their community.

But most of all Brad was a good and loyal friend and we miss him very much.

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