Frances West Named to ATIA Board

Frances W. West elected to the Assistive Technology Industry Association board of directors

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Armonk, NY, USA - 21 Jan 2005:

Frances W. West, Director of the Worldwide Accessibility Center for IBM, was elected today to the Board of Directors of the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA), a non-profit trade group of companies involved in providing products and services which use technology to assist people with disabilities.

"We are pleased to have someone with Frances' expertise join our Board," said David Dikter, executive director of ATIA. "Her comprehensive experience in assistive technology will be a valuable asset in achieving ATIA's fundamental goal of providing enhanced benefits and opportunities to people with disabilities.

"ATIA provides a dynamic forum in which organizations can collaborate to move the issue of accessibility into the mainstream of business," said Ms. West. "Together we can make accessibility a strategic priority and help spark a societal transformation, making information technology equally available to everyone."

ATIA represents the interests of its members to business, government, education, and the many agencies that serve people with disabilities. The organization "speaks with a common voice" for the assistive technology industry, and works closely with electronics and information technology companies and government, on matters of common interest such as Section 508 of the Rehablitation Act, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and comparable continuing issues. The Board of Directors, ATIA's management body, consists of ten elected board members.

Frances West has been working at IBM for 25 years. As the Director of the Worldwide Accessibility Center for IBM, she is charged with the responsibility of establishing IBM leadership in accessibility through IBM technology, thought-leadership, products and solutions on a worldwide basis. Her team is based in IBM Research but works across all divisions of IBM.

Prior to joining IBM Research, West was the Director, Channels, Alliances and Business Development for the IBM Lotus Software Group. She recruited and managed IBM Business Partners globally that specialize in Lotus solutions. In addition, West was the Director, Global Financial Services Solutions in the IBM Global Services organization. She established global financial services solution strategies, assessed financial services industry application needs, and created end-to-end, value-based financial services solutions throughout the world.

West has also held numerous management positions in the IBM Sales and Marketing organization and was responsible for hardware and software sales, business partner/alliance management and strategic investment in emerging markets, such as Latin America, Eastern Europe, etc. One of the highlights earlier in her career was serving as the Business Unit Executive of the Banking, Financial Services, Securities and Insurance Unit for the IBM Greater China Group. Currently, she is a member of the IBM Asian Executive Diversity team.

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