My Personal Profile
As an Accessibility Information Technology Specialist, with more than 30 years of working experience, in software design and development, project management, diversity leadership, and disability advocacy, I am persistent in seeking out accessibility business best practice solutions. I am recognized for developing performance-driven strategies that accelerate business growth by helping organizations to increase productivity and market growth through innovation and collaboration. With a focus on digital communications that can unleash hidden talents, I am a frequent guest speaker and workshop facilitator.
At the age of five years I developed glaucoma, and by the age of twenty I lost all of my vision. However, this did not prevent me from pursuing a challenging and successful career, and experience life to its full potential. Over the years I have hiked and canoed the beautiful wild woodland of Northern Ontario, and the wild Rockies of the Canadian west. I greatly appreciate the untamed nature of Canada's parks, and believes the diverse population enriches Canadian society. I believe that people with disabilities can achieve a satisfied quality of life, The benefits of which will be passed on to the aging population, from the corporate shift in recognizing their social and legal responsibilities.
I was one of the first blind individuals to graduate with a B.Sc. in computer science from a Canadian university. I graduated from the University Of Western Ontario in 1978, and while at the University I established and directed the first Canadian Braille facility and digital information research centre for people experiencing vision loss. I served on the University Presidential Advisory Council for student accommodations. My career started at Air Canada as a systems application designer, and helped develop the first back office PC based accounting system for travel agencies. As an IT Specialist I have had the opportunity to work for five major Canadian corporations. I bring more than 30 years of IT work experience in Performing tasks in software development, technical support, product design, and project management. While at IBM, I was actively involved in supporting the IBM Accessibility Team as a subject matter expert with Web Accessibility testing and analysis. This presented opportunities to gain experience on many different client projects. I actively participated in IBM diversity initiatives as an advocate for workplace diversity and inclusion. I served on the IBM CEO Diversity leadership council, advised IBM recruitment on identifying top talent despite a disability, spoke at government employment conferences and student campus recruitment events, presented at IBM diversity and educational events, and founded the IBM Canada People With Disabilities Diversity Business Resource Group.
My life experiences and Information Technology knowledge skills has given me a unique opportunity to advocate for disabled professionals. In 1985 I formed my own consulting service, Business and Educational Services in Technology (BEST Consulting), to meet the growing demand for accessibility employment issues. As a consultant I have created education and accommodation strategies for business and nonprofit organizations, that enable people to reach their potential. This unique experience has been instrumental in creating practical and dynamic solutions for information technologies that enable people to experience a better quality of life. I have worked, as a project lead, with several nonprofit organizations to help develop strategies and best practices to serve client and employer inclusion needs. I served as the National Director Of Technology for a Canadian national nonprofit organization to initiate a complete IT infrastructure transformation process. I have had the opportunity to work with some assistive devices technology manufacturers to assist with product design and user training for Braille and speech recognition devices.
I am self-motivated, resourceful, and persistent in looking for ways to seek profitable solutions when confronted with a challenge. I would like to share my effective communication skills and creative problem solving solutions with you, to make your business a winner in the marketplace and a recognized leader in society. In a rapidly changing world of increasing on demand services, high speed communication technologies, and globally expanding economies, knowledge skills despite a disability are critical to your business success.