Profile For David Best

Background

As an Accessibility IT Specialist, with more than 30 years of working experience, in software design and development, project management, diversity leadership, and disability advocacy, David is persistent in seeking out accessibility business best practice solutions. He is 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, he is a frequent guest speaker and workshop facilitator.

At the age of five years David developed glaucoma, and by the age of twenty he lost all of his vision. However, he did not allow this situation to prevent him from pursuing a challenging and successful career, and experience life to its full potential. Over the years David has hiked and canoed the beautiful wild woodland of Northern Ontario, and the wild Rockies of the Canadian west. He appreciates the untamed nature of Canada's parks, and believes the diverse population enriches Canadian society. David feels 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.

David was one of the first blind individuals to graduate with a B.Sc. in computer science from a Canadian university. He graduated from the University Of Western Ontario in 1978, and while at the University he established and directed the first Canadian Braille facility and digital information research centre for people experiencing vision loss. He served on the University Presidential Advisory Council for student accommodations. His 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 I/T Specialist he has had the opportunity to work for five major Canadian corporations. He brings with him more than 30 years of I/T work experience in Performing tasks in software development, technical support, product design, and project management. While at IBM, David 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. David actively participated in IBM diversity initiatives as an advocate for workplace diversity and inclusion. He 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.

David's life experiences and I/T knowledge skills has given him a unique opportunity to advocate for disabled professionals. In 1985 David formed his own consulting service, Business and Educational Services in Technology (BEST Consulting), to meet the growing demand for accessibility employment issues. In his consulting role David has created education and accommodation strategies for business and nonprofit organizations, that enable people to reach their potential. His unique experience has been instrumental in creating practical and dynamic solutions for information technologies that enable people to experience a better quality of life. He has worked, as a project lead, with several nonprofit organizations to help develop strategies and best practices to serve client and employer inclusion needs. He served as the National Director Of Technology for a Canadian national nonprofit organization to initiate a complete IT infrastructure transformation process. He has 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.

David, who is self-motivated, resourceful, and persistent, looks for ways to seek profitable solutions when confronted with a challenge. He would like to share his 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 physical disability are critical to your business success.

One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar (Helen Keller, American social activist 1880-1968)

Activities