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Andi Snow-Weaver: Closing the gap with open source


Andy Snow-WeaverWhen you're all about standards, there's a tendency to set your own pretty high. At least that's the way it worked out for IBM's Andi Snow-Weaver. And apparently that's how Sun Microsystems saw it, too, when it awarded her one of its very first Innovation in Government Technology Awards.

Snow-Weaver is the worldwide accessibility standards program manager for IBM, and the award — presented during a recent event in Washington, D.C. — recognized her work as a member of the Telecommunications and Electronic Information Technology Advisory Committee (TEITAC), which developed recommendations for updating the federal government's Section 508 and 255 accessibility standards. She also served as co-chair of a TEITAC subcommittee that addressed Web, software and electronic content.

At IBM, Snow-Weaver leads the company's involvement in international accessibility standards organizations such as the W3C, ISO and JTC-1. Her work with TEITAC involved driving improved standards for interoperability between software and assistive technologies used by people with disabilities.

"We see the real power of open source when the community comes together to close the digital divide affecting people with disabilities, the aging community and a diverse, multilingual world population," she says. "With open-source software, anyone can add features, enabling a faster path to inclusion in today's new global community than any single company or individual acting alone can offer."

Sun Microsystems may be an IBM competitor, but it knows the business value of high standards, especially when it comes to accessibility. Snow-Weaver's TEITAC contributions helped make both Sun and IBM products more competitive in the federal procurement arena.

Profiles of human ability

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