June 7, 2018 | Written by: Si McAleer
Categorized: Inclusive Workforce
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Today IBM Accessibility evangelist Erich Manser was inducted into The Carroll Center for the Blind’s Carroll Society. Each year the Carroll Center for the Blind and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind recognize blind and visually impaired professionals who have made significant contributions to the companies for which they work.
Established in 1936, The Carroll Center has pioneered many innovative services that teach independence skills in the home, classroom, and workplace for people who are blind or visually impaired.
At IBM, Erich is responsible for spreading the word about accessibility as a critical need in technology – both inside and outside of IBM. He advises teams working on emerging and future technologies about the importance of accessibility and contributes to breakthrough projects that have the potential to change what’s possible for people of all abilities. Whether it’s AI, augmented reality, self-driving or voice activated technology, Erich helps shape the future of equal tech access for all.
When asked what he’s most proud of from his work at IBM, Erich describes Team Able, an all-IBM employee group of volunteers who engage directly with IBM product design and development teams to share their experiences using IBM products. Each volunteer has a disability, ranging in terms of type or severity.
“Very soon after joining IBM, I saw how much product teams can learn by witnessing how people of different abilities experience their products, as well as how much users can learn by sharing their experiences.” Team Able was started as a result of Erich’s involvement with various IBM groups for employees with disabilities.
Beyond the workplace, Erich is an active mentor, disability rights advocate, and fundraiser. He also speaks frequently on topics such as the Future of Accessible Tech, Inclusive Hiring and Career Planning for Young People with Disabilities.
Erich is also a nationally recognized blind athlete in marathon and triathlon racing, and he will compete in the prestigious 2018 IRONMAN World Championship on October 13 in Kona, Hawaii.
Congratulations to Erich on his achievements.