Thank you Frances West!

Lowell Spinners Inspiration Night 2015 - Frances West with Erich Manser, Moe Kraft and Erich's daughter Grace.
Lowell Spinners Inspiration Night 2015 – Frances West with Erich Manser, Moe Kraft and Erich’s daughter Grace.

Today we say good bye to one of IBM’s finest. After 37 years, Frances West, IBM’s Chief Accessibility Officer, is retiring. We all thank Frances for her passionate work over the last 12+ years to bring accessibility from compliance to human experience and hyper-personalization that includes everyone; persons with disabilities, the aging demographic, foreign language speakers, those who think and learn differently and mobile workers. Yes, that’s just about all of us.

Personally I would like to thank Frances for teaching me to THINK differently. Every time you meet with Frances, your good work is rewarded with more work. Frances pushes you to deliver only your best. She asks, Why are we doing this? Who can we work with? What are they looking for? What is our message?

She has taught me that IBM is not a company that just sells products but a company of ideas. Worldwide IBM’s thought leadership and technical eminence are highly regarded by our customers, business partners, academia and greater technical community. We strive to deliver innovation that changes the world.

Enjoying layered cake from Flour Bakery in honor of Frances’ retirement.

Today we say good bye but I know it is only the beginning of Frances’ next chapter. With her energy, passion and perseverance, you cannot keep Frances down. I am excited to see what she does next. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “… to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” Frances has changed many lives and made this world a better place for all. Thank you!

Congratulations on your retirement from IBM!


Published by

Moe Kraft

For 16+ years, Moe has defended the rights of all abilities to access Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Specializing in Accessibility (#a11y), Moe fights for hyper-personalization of software and web applications including support for the blind, low vision users, deaf, mobility challenged, the aging population, foreign language speakers and those who learn differently. Basically Moe has disciplined herself to create apps for everyone. She is an active member of the W3C WCAG Working Group and the Boston a11y group. She received a B.S. in Computer and Information Science from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA and has been a software engineer at IBM and Lotus Development for 26 years. “This blog post and postings on this site are of my own opinion and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.” – Moe Kraft

8 thoughts on “Thank you Frances West!”

  1. Moe, I’m deeply honored by your kind words. I and IBM could not have achieved what we have achieved without talent like you. I am blessed to have great people like you on our team. I hope our path will cross again as this is an area that I can’t and won’t be far away. Thank you.

  2. My best wishes to Frances & her family !

    Andy Ma, Your classmate in Fu Hsing elementary school

  3. I have had the honor and the pleasure of working with Francis West since 2005, when we met for the first time in the United Nations in New York. Her leadership on behalf of the accessibility of ITCs for Persons with Disabilities is not only in IBM, but on a world wide scope.
    Her intellegence, vision and energy has made life different for hundreds of milliones of persons with disabilities.
    She is an inspiration to us all! I wish her the best in this new time, in which I am sure she will continue to make a difference in the world wide stage.

    Ambassador Luis Gallegos,
    President of the Board of G3ICT

    1. Thank you, Anbassador. You have been a great champion for the cause. Without your pushing the UN to adopt the pwd treaty, we would not have been able to make much progress both on the human rights and technology front. Thank YOU for making things possible for the rest of us.

    2. Ambassador, you are the true pioneer. Without your foresight and leadership to push the UN to focus on technology in the PWD human rights treaty, there would not have been a platform for us and for innovation. I hope to stay in contact and to have your continuing mentorship.

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