Founder of FrancesWestCo
April 2, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Joyce welcomes Frances West, an internationally recognized thought leader, speaker, author, strategy advisor, and women-in-technology trailblazer known for her work in innovation, technology, and business transformation.   She is the founder of FrancesWestCo, a global strategy advisory company focused on operationalizing inclusion as a business and technology imperative through her unique Authentic Inclusion™ blueprint.   She will discuss her work in-depth during the show.

» Listen
» Transcript
« Back to Schedule



APRIL 2, 2019
Disability Matters
1:00 PM CT

Services provided by:
    Caption First, Inc.
    P.O. Box 3066
    Monument, CO  80132
    800 825 5234

This text, document, or file is based on live transcription.  Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), captioning, and/or live transcription are provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.  This text, document, or file is not to be distributed or used in any way that may violate copyright law.
>> Welcome to "Disability Matters" with your host Joyce Bender.  All comments, views an opinions expressed on this show are solely those of the host, guest, and callers.  Now the host of "Disability Matters."  Here's Joyce Bender.
>> JOYCE BENDER:  Hi, everyone.  And welcome to the show.  How are you today?  It's so great to have you with us and a special shout out to Yoshiko.  Yoshiko Dart, one of the greatest leaders in our area.  Love you, Yoshiko.  
       And a special shout out to Ireland.  Oh, my God.  New Zealand's trying to catch you.  
>> JOYCE BENDER:  If you don't know, we have 17 countries, 17, that listen to this show.  And Ireland, I don't know what you do, but keep on doing it.  You are amazing!  The following is amazing.  Also, I must thank Highmark.  Highmark, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, who has been our lead sponsor for the past year, let's see, three, three years in a row.  And AudioEye who is the first four months of the year and, hey, we appreciate every single sponsor of this show.  
       Well, I am very excited about today because I have known our esteemed guest for a long time.  I mean, really very few events have I ever been to about accessibility that she has not been at.  And every disability conference and event she is so awesome.  And Frances West, it is an honor to have you with us today.  She is the author and founder of Frances West Co because she just can't retire.  Not that she wasn't like going a hundred miles an hour before.  And she still is today.  Frances, welcome to the show.  
>> FRANCES WEST:  Thank you so much, Joyce.  This is such an honor to be on your show in my new role and in my new capacity.  
>> JOYCE BENDER:  Well, thank you.  As I just mentioned, when I think of accessibility expertise, I mean, I think of you as a giant in the industry.  You did so much for the world when you were at IBM.  And now you are continuing to help companies on an international basis for our listeners around the world.  I would like to begin with you telling your story which is so powerful of moving from an immigrant to a senior executive.  
>> FRANCES WEST:  Well, thank you, Joyce.  I'm so, again, honored to have you wanting to know my personal story.  This is a story about immigrant.  I came to the United States at a tender age of 19.  Originally just trying to study English and get to know the culture for a year as an exchange student in sophomore year.  But when I came to the little school in Shenandoah Valley in Lexington, Virginia, I fell in love with the freedom, academic freedom, the fact that I can choose any courses I want to take and also the exposure to different culture.  I was staying with a Jewish professor family learning how to make blintzes and making matza ball soup and celebrating Passover and Hanukkah.  Even though I was in the U.S. only six months, I made a decision on my own that I want to continue my studying in the United States.  
       So I became a student, had to transfer to Lexington, Kentucky, to go to the school of the University of Kentucky, so I'm a wild cat.  From there
>> FRANCES WEST:  I was very fortunate when I graduated from college.  At the time IBM had a big presence in the Lexington, Kentucky, town and I intrude with IBM and entered in IBM sales and marketing division basically marketing and selling mainframe computers.  This is back in the late '70s and early '80s.  The computer or technology was just on the rise.  And for the next three and a half decades or so, I was able to take on a different responsibilities and was given the opportunity to work in different divisions in IBM, including one of the highlights was that I was actually asked to go back to China in the mid '90s to help IBM open sectors.  We opened the central bank of China.  We put in the system stock exchange back office.  We also implemented the biggest insurance agent management system for Chinese insurance companies.  
       Fast forward.  Came back and became an executive.  And then and did more kind of a global job.  And then I landed in this job of my    at the time I didn't know but to head up the IBM accessibility center in IBM research.  It turned out to be a very transformative job.  And here I am even after serving in that role for ten plus years, I decided to continue to do that.  
       So that is my journey in a nutshell.  Hello?  
>> JOYCE BENDER:  Frances, what an honor and how exciting it must have been for you to go back to China.  And pay it forward for everyone there.  I can't even imagine how that felt to you.  
>> FRANCES WEST:  It was quite an experience.  But I have to say, it was very interesting.  I went back and six months into my foreign assignment in Beijing China, I came to my husband who happened to be a psychologist, and I said to him, you know what?  I'm not Chinese.  I'm actually American, because by then, you know, all my thinking, especially my business knowledge and ethics and everything was very much Americanized, so it was very interesting to have to    even though I speak the language.  I speak Chinese, I write Chinese, but culturally I became more American.  So to deal with the cross cultural issues in a business setting; that in itself was a very interesting journey.  
>> JOYCE BENDER:  Oh, that is so interesting.  That is.  I can see that, though.  Because of the western culture that you would seem that way to them.  I'm sure the dichotomy was very interesting to you also.  That really is.  But I can see that.  I can see how that would happen.  
       I have traveled through the State depth to Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Japan, Panama, South Korea.  You're right.  When I think of people there visiting from the United States, it is a little bit different, it is.  That's really a good point.  Well, you mentioned IBM.  Two questions I have.  Why did you choose that company to join?  And why were you interested in technology?  
>> FRANCES WEST:  So when I was getting ready to graduate from college, I    I mean, of course at that time I only had three years in the United States, and I was actually still learning English.  But I knew I wanted to join a company that has    that have very good training programs.  On top of my list was actually proctor and gamble based in Cincinnati and then also IBM, because both companies had a very, very good reputation in terms of training their employees and also both companies are global.  That was one of the things I saw because of my different background, perhaps I can bring more to the table, so to speak, if I work with a global company.  
       And as it turned out, even though I had a short list of companies, I was not    I was in the process of getting the green card.  I was not a permanent resident of the United States yet.  I only had a student Visa.  This day and age you see a lot of    news about immigration policies, the HB1 Visa and all that.  I went through all that.  And IBM in this case, I was very fortunate, there was a manager who was on campus to recruit.  And he listened to my story and my aspiration to join a global company.  
       Even though my green card was not in hand but it was    it was still in process, he was encouraging me to actually pick IBM to be the company because he felt like that I could add value to IBM.  So he offered me the job contingent upon me getting the visa few months later, which is unheard of.  So I was very lucky to have somebody like Frank, that's his name, to step out his kind of process, HR process and really see me as a human, as a person, and gave me that big break.  
>> JOYCE BENDER:  Yeah.  You know what I always say about that.  I say one person, one decision.  Something happens in your life where you have that opportunity to make that one decision and look what this decision costs.  You ended up impacting the world by him giving you that chance.  
>> FRANCES WEST:  That's why I feel very grateful, right.  So everything I do, after I joined IBM, I try not to just give it my all but give it double, because it was a very    I was very fortunate.  And the part two of your question, why was I interested in technology?  Truth be told, I was actually a business marriage.  I had zero technology background at the time.  
       But in this case, I guess a lot of people associate Asian with technical jobs or technology.  So Frank, he gave me the job.  He said I think we're going to make you an assistant engineer which is a technology job but I was smart enough to say I will just learn it as I go.  That's how I got in.  After I got the job, I had to study very hard to catch up.  
       So technology even was kind of accidental.  
>> JOYCE BENDER:  Wow.  But see the initiative that you showed.  Great for the young people link to the show.  That's great, great advice for them.  But right now we've got to get ready to go to break.  If you just joined us, we are talking to Frances West, the author and founder of Frances West Company and former giant in the accessibility area at IBM.  We'll be right back with Frances.  Don't go away.   
>> JOYCE BENDER:  Hey, welcome back, everyone.  We're talking today to Frances West, author and founder of Frances West Company and former giant in the accessibility area and actually let's get right to it.  That is my next question.  
       I have seen you present at many national conferences, Frances, throughout the years.  I think I can say the majority of people in this industry know who you are.  But my question is, why accessibility?  Why did you choose to go into that area?  
>> FRANCES WEST:  Well, the accessibility actually chose me.  Like I mentioned earlier, my life in IBM started out to be kind of sales and marketing, more of the business aspect of work.  And actually I had zero exposure to, you know, the advocacy work, especially in the disability area.  But in the early 2000s, I had the opportunity to head up IBM accessibility.  At the time because the organization was in IBM research.  I was actually more interested in the job, the fact that it's IBM research, I get to work with the technologists, the researchers, innovation, which, to me, is a new and exciting area.  
       And then accessibility is the area that they focused on.  But once I got into it, what I realized that this is an area where the technology really matters and also that technology data that really have a purpose.  And then I actually had a chance through the job get to know, not so much the traditional customer that I've known, you know, for 20 plus years up to that point, but I began to get in contact with organization like yours, Joyce.  Like you recall, but you were one of the first one to reach out and frankly taught me a lot about disability, about employment, and what a talent they can be.  
       So as I was learning more about this work, even though my whole background has been technology, but fact that it combines with humanity made it incredibly interesting.  So I always jokingly said, this job, I start out to be a job and then became a career and then became a calling.  In a way I have to give thanks to people like yourself who really educated to me that technology is there to serve a purpose.  In this case, people with disabilities.  
>> JOYCE BENDER:  Well, as I said, if you knew Frances, you would know after the past years I've heard her speak so many places.  She speaks internationally.  She's spoken at large conferences.  I mean, her expertise in the area of accessibility is bar none.  It's just fabulous.  And actually, she became the first chief accessibility officer.  What an honor that is, Frances.  
       And what was that?  What did your role mean?  What all did it cover?  
>> FRANCES WEST:  So being the chief accessibility officer at IBM basically I had kind of a twofold responsibility at the time.  One fold which is most important was making sure that IBM's internal processes, governance, and policies and also day to day operation is such a way that we provide the most accessible workplace environment for our employees around the world.  I mean, we're talking about 350,000 plus 170 country operation.  And how do you innovate and making sure that the company grows and evolves on day to day level, that when we hire, let's say, a blind programmer in India, you can get online and do the work just like we hire somebody in Boston, Massachusetts.  And then also working with our product development team to make sure the hardware, the software, the services anything that IBM sells to the commerce is as accessible as possible.  
       The other part of my job is looking into the future, innovating tools and technology, address the technology challenges.  So, for example, in the mid 2,000s, we saw the emergence of mobile technology like iPhone and all that.  So we created tools to make sure that the mobile apps is as accessible as the Internet, web based apps.  Another area we saw and we participated, for example, some of the policy work with the U.S. government, and we know that video is becoming a very important medium for both communication and also for business, just in general as a new media.  So how do you make sure that video is captioned, you know, quickly?  So we developed some of the technology from speech to text.  
       And then, of course, acting as an ambassador an behalf of IBM working with advocacy groups like yours to always learn and anticipating what the needs of what the constituency needs and how do we use technology to address that?  
>> JOYCE BENDER:  Yeah.  And I remember when I was at the White House several years ago and I heard Eve Hill from the Justice Department speak and she said if you want to hire people with disabilities but your website is not accessible, then the door is closed.  And that is so true still today, that if your website or internal applications are not accessible, then how could you employ people with disabilities?  Inaccessibility by the way covers more than the blind, learning disabilities, people who are deaf, people with speech difficulty or mobility issues.  And, you know, you just aren't going to be able to employ people with disabilities successfully if you are in fact not accessible.  
       Here you are, Frances.  You've done all this work all these years, and now you have your own company, Frances West Company.  What is your company?  Tell us all about it.  
>> FRANCES WEST:  Okay.  So Frances West Co is a company that I decided to set up because just like you mentioned, I think technology's so intertwined with the society now.  Like it really impacts how we live, how we learn, how we play.  It's really permeating everything we do and that when we talk about employment, which is the most important thing for any individual is to have, you know, a sustainable economic independence, we have to make sure that company, large or small or enterprise, global companies, or start up really understand that you must have accessible    accessibility built into your, quote, unquote, workplace infrastructure, right?  And that hiring is one part.  But making sure that individual with different abilities whether deaf, blindness or mobility and cognitive, that when they come to work every day, day in and day out, there is parity, there is productivity.  That is so important.  I feel so strongly about that message and also that's why I started Frances West Co to really help organizations, whether it's government, like I said, or nonprofit, or start up, to view this as a, you know, it really is a foundational play for the future of their company, future work, future of society because we really have to operationalize inclusion through technology.  And that's what Frances West Co is about, providing strategy and advisory services.  
       I recently wrote a book.  And that book called Authentic Inclusion drives disruptive innovation is giving me a platform to discuss this at the highest level of both government and the business.  
>> JOYCE BENDER:  Yeah.  I think that is so exciting.  And I have to ask you, if someone is listening to the show today and they are interested in your company and your services, what would you say are the main programs or the main areas of expertise that you have?  
>> FRANCES WEST:  So I would say, first, go to my website. not dot com.  I would say it's really understanding a new way of thinking about accessibility and also inclusion at the highest level of the business.  In other words, it's transformational thinking that my company can offer of executives, of changing the perspective, understanding the market trends at a global level, and then help them to shift their business strategy to encompass accessibility as a business imperative.  That's one thing.  
       Another area is that I actually work with a lot of affiliates so that if a company is really interested in operationalizing accessibility, whether it's    for example, product development or their marketing or their internal, you know, CIO office, then we can provide different, again, strategy guidance as to how to operationalize accessibility in these different contexts.  
>> JOYCE BENDER:  Right.  And in addition to this executive management consulting, which would most likely be in the C suite at any company, do you also speak at conferences?  
>> FRANCES WEST:  Absolutely.  Key noting, speaking conferences is my way of bringing perspective into this topic.  Joyce, you know    on one hand we've been very lucky with American disability act, that kind of set the baseline, but on the other hand, I think sometimes, especially at the highest level organizations in business, accessibility can be put in under the compliance area, which in itself is not a problem, but if you really want to have a disruptive kind of thinking, it has to be, you know, viewed as an initiative that impact the future growth, future differentiation of a company.  So my key noting at conferences I recently very    I was very honored to be invited to be one of the few, what they call, noted authors, at CES, consumer electronics show in Las Vegas where they have over 200,000 attendees to talk about my book and also just a couple weeks ago south by southwest, probably one of the coolest conference where the film industry, the music industry and technology industries all come together to talk about innovation.  
       I was invited to speak there.  And these are, what I call, the main stream conferences, which I'm very happy to see that there seems to be emerging needs and wants and desire to learn more about the topic of diversity and inclusion in a technology context, which of course translate into accessibility.  
       So all the hard work and key noting that I did with the disability community where there is USBLN now called disability IN helped me and prepared me to help shape the messaging for the big general audience in the business world.  
>> JOYCE BENDER:  Right.  And you have a plethora, really, of information to provide to them.  And so I assume if someone is interested, they would just go to your website to contact you.  And if they do, would they also know when you were speaking at different events?  
>> FRANCES WEST:  I don't have that published yet.  It's a brand new website.  It's definitely something I'm thinking about putting on there so peek[[]] can do that.  I think the best way is for them to follow me on Twitter F West 34th or LinkedIn and also a lot of my thinking is articulated in the book, like I mentioned, Authentic Inclusion drives disruptive innovation, which if they go to the website they can follow the link to Amazon or Barnes & Noble because that kind of gives the audience and reader to a chance to understand the point of view I'm bringing forward.  I would like to get feedback from your readers about their perception and input about this book as well.  
>> JOYCE BENDER:  And where do you purchase this book?  
>> FRANCES WEST:  Amazon and Barnes & Noble and also there's a kindle version available.  All that information is on my website  
>> JOYCE BENDER:  Authentic Inclusion.  What is this disruptive innovation you talk about?  What do you mean by that?  
>> FRANCES WEST:  So you know nowadays people talk about inclusion, right.  It's almost politically incorrect not to talk about inclusion.  So I have this point of view that when you talk about inclusion, especially in today's context, you have to think about both hiring obviously which is what I call the talent, the first T.  But then you also have to think about the second T, the T plus T.  The second T stands for technology.  
       So the whole construct of Authentic Inclusion says that in order to operationalize diversity inclusion in your company and in order to really recognize that every person can make a difference and that they have a different ability and potentially will require different augmentation by technology, then you as a company executives or you as a company need to invest in this area, right?  So it's not treated just as an afterthought.  It's not just about accommodation but to view this investment, when I say investment, I mean investment in time, in energy, in strategy, in dollars, that you really view this of working or hiring and having people to have the ability to participate in the innovation process as the way of going forward, as the way of creating disruptive innovation.  
       Because going back    and actually some of these original thoughts come from, you know, a giant    talk about giants like yourself, right, that help people with disability actually brings about the most creativity.  And then I observed of course firsthand in IBM research where I have blind scientists and deaf engineers working on the most advanced and complex problems.  
       So innovation is not actually enough to differentiate any business.  You really need the disruptive innovation.  And that disruption can come from creativity that can be brought upon by people with disabilities.  So I'm really pushing the executives think differently about this investment, not just about accommodation but disruptive innovation.  
>> JOYCE BENDER:  Yeah.  I just love that.  As you know, Frances, for many, many years, when I would go to a company    I know you would see this also    it was like diversity was here with all the minority groups and then disability was somewhere else.  It was not part of diversity.  And then it did become part, and now through the years we have inclusion in the diversity area.  But I like this disruptive innovation because it takes it to another level and it's a new way of thinking.  
       You know, we always have to be careful that we don't just get caught up in one mantra.  We really have to be careful about that.  So I really like that.  I think that is a great concept.  
       Once again,  If you go, you can find out more about authentic inclusion or go to Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Kindle to purchase the book.  You know what?  I not only hope you purchase it.  I hope you tell a lot of people about it because this is written by a woman with incredible expertise in this area at the level, at that C suite level and that is what makes so much of a difference.  
       I do want to ask you one thing, Frances.  You know, I don't know why this is.  But even today companies are in an immature state when it comes to buying into complete accessibility.  You know, Jenny Lay Flurrie from Microsoft says if someone says, well, I'm not sure, I think we're accessible, then I can assure you they aren't accessible.  What is amazing to me is that there are companies when I talk to them, they say, yes, we need to do that.  I mean, this absolutely blew my mind, but just last week I met with the CEO of a company that a very well known person referred me to.  
       And in the meeting they said, yes, I know about accessibility, but right now we have a way of accommodating.  If someone can't get in, we have someone else call them and figure this out.  I'm sitting there thinking, you've got to be kidding.  Oh, my goodness.  
       So, Frances, how can that be in 2019?  
>> FRANCES WEST:  I know.  This is the thing going back to where we started, I think on one hand, you know, the ADA really set a good, you know, kind of a policy position, but the implementation of that    at least in the business community become very compliance based.  And we all know    if you are in business, if you want to become compliant, people actually try to meet the minimum, right?  
       This is another reason why I feel so strongly timing wise to write this book, because I understand and frankly, I feel the frustration even on myself.  Like for the longest time there are few companies, Microsoft is certainly one of them, are beginning to really, you know, differentiate themselves in the marketplace.  But there's still just a handful of companies.  By now you would think it should be droves, right?  So I think this is a problem because the C suite executive probably looking at this exactly how they were kind of brought up to view as a compliance, they're not looking at it as a market differentiation play necessarily.  
       I remember in the beginning of the show you talked about 17 countries.  So in my book I actually referenced different country kind of scenario.  So you have, for example, in Australia, I mean, the NDIS, National Disability Insurance Schema is changing the thinking about disability services and using technology to give the people with disabilities direct access to the services funding.  And they're using, again, very innovative approach and thinking to complete change the process.  
       Then you've got China.  I was just in China in March.  I was the only invited speaker at their first industry accessibility summit where you have big name global players like Alibaba, bye do,[[]] talking about accessibility.  Now they don't have Manner Disability Act.[[]]  They don't have this legislative measurement.  What happened because the aging population, China's going to have over 360 million people over age 65 which equates the entire population of the United States.  So the government and also the businesses are beginning to see this as an opportunity, right?  
       So they are now hiring people with disabilities to help them, for example, to perfect their mobile payment system because they want in this case in China we're talking about maybe 65 million blind people, you know, to shop online; to buy things online.  
       So making the mobile app accessible becomes a business opportunity.  I think that opportunity's actually upon us.  That's why we really have to engage the C suite on this line of thinking which is really a market differentiation and disruptive innovation versus more of what I call the    kind of the traditional approach because I think if we keep going after more of a compliance approach, we won't be able to break away from the current reality as fast.  
>> JOYCE BENDER:  Yes, I agree with you completely.  I think you have to go to the business.  The business, the return on investment, how this is good business from a bottom line perspective because let's face it.  We've had the ADA all these years, but we still have 70% of people with disabilities not counted in the workforce.  That is why is so awesome what Ted Kennedy, Junior did getting Accenture doing that study pro bono showing to corporations that employ people with disabilities and having disability inclusion are four times more profitable than their competitors.  And it isn't until you show data, the bottom line    I mean, just talking about, for example, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, that won't do it.  That will not do.  Everyone thought it would but it didn't.  You have to show the business.  That is an excellent example that you gave from China.  You know right here in the United States we're going to have all these baby boomers.  
>> FRANCES WEST:  Right.  Actually in my book I talked about in reference to all these latest research by Accenture by disability and by AAPD and also I think the Kessler foundation quoted as much as people talk about inclusion with executives, very few executives are directly involved, you know, in making, you know, kind of a business strategic decision in this area.  
       A lot of times it's more on the HR side.  Not to say that HR is not important but HR in my way of thinking is a corporate function, but what we need as business is a revenue generating part of the business to recognize that this could be attracting new customers and all that.  That's when, you know, things actually get interesting and can have sustained frankly attention of the C suites or the board executives.  
       So that's why I kind of lay out this particular point of view in my book is to really change the perspective and the narrative and also give out some best practices around the world.  Because this is, as you know    I mean, this aging or disability phenomena is not going away.  If anything, it's going to accelerate.  
       We already see more and more companies, for example, specializing in elder care and all that.  By definition, if you design with people with disabilities/aging in mind, you are actually creating foundational differentiation.  That could be lasting for the next decade.  
>> JOYCE BENDER:  Right.  And I will tell you I myself am going to take that book to different people in the C suite because I    you cannot see a big improvement in employment if you are not committed to accessibility across the board.  And too many say, well, this part is accessible.  
       It still amazes me.  I cannot fathom why people don't understand that.  But I think your book is going    you know, you have such credibility.  So I think coming from you that's very powerful, Frances.  
       And you, Frances, have done so much already for so many people, which tells me you had a role model that impacted your life to make all those things happen.  So who, Frances, is your role model?  
>> FRANCES WEST:  Well, when I was growing up in Taiwan and Hong Kong as a little girl, my role model at the time was Moulan.  I think there's a Disney movie about her.  For those of you who don't know Moulan, Moulan is a girl in ancient China.  There was during a war time, she was afraid her father would be drafted to serving in the military, so she disguised herself as a boy and joined the army to fight the bad guys.  Then later on    and she became so good in her job as soldier in army or whatever, then later on people realized that she actually is a girl.  
       So to me, you know, you can download by the way from the Disney collection the movie Moulan.  And then later on it was really people like Madam Curie who, of course, kind of invented radiology.  If you read her story, you know, how she was really, not only despised or set aside, people would dismiss her, because back then not many women scientists are supposed to be successful.  She ended up being the first Nobel Prize winner.  
       I would say once I started getting in touch with the world of accessibility, Helen Keller has to be probably one of the biggest role model that I look up to because I also saw the letter between her and our CEO, T.J. Watson back in 1950s, how she actually wrote to him about you don't have to, you know, vision to have vision, right?  And then in that letter they exchange, you know, the talk about how important it is for technology to help people with different abilities.  
       But in the current world I would say one of the business role models I have is the ex CEO of PepsiCo and (?) because she is a woman that came from India and became the CEO of Pepsi and also she kind of transformed the Pepsi business to really go into what she called, you know, foods that's fun for you, better for you, and good for you, and started the whole effort of introducing healthier snack and drink and all that.  She's a mom.  She's a CEO.  And then she truly    really believes in her personal belief of better food and better well- being is important to business.  
       So, anyway, these are my role models as I was growing up and also during my journey.  
>> JOYCE BENDER:  You know what's amazing, Frances, is I don't think anyone in all these years has ever mentioned Marie Currie.  You know what?  I just bought her book.  
>> FRANCES WEST:  Oh, really?  
>> JOYCE BENDER:  Yeah.  That is so amazing that you would say that.  I too, think, look at how much she did and what a time that she did this in, just as you pointed out, a very difficult time by the way she was treated.  Yeah, did not give up.  Never gave up.  
       I want to ask you before we end the show today, Frances, you have accomplished so very much in your life it's amazing.  What would you say is the accomplishment you're the proudest of?  
>> FRANCES WEST:  I guess (laughing) it's funny you ask that question.  I guess the accomplishment is that I now have a granddaughter.  I just became a grandma about three months ago.  To look back, you know, you work hard at everything you do, but to me be able to have it all, I guess in a way, have a career, have a job, have friends, but then have family, and to be there with me through this journey.  And now to have, not just the next generation but a third generation.  I grew up with two brothers and then I had two sons.  So there's no girl in my immediate kind of family.  And to have a little baby Camille West joining our family and I look at her every day, you know, and to think what kind of world will she be living in?  It's just been an incredibly actually motivating because our time here on this earth is limited.  I mean, God knows right now we have a bit of a challenge all around.  
       So I think having family, having friends, having people believe in you and despite all the challenges along the way, and then having hope, you know, into the next generation.  On that note, I do think that the millennial generation, I think potentially will embrace the topic that you and I have been spending our lives on a lot more authentically.  So that's, you know    I would say that's the thing that motivates me and then I would say I guess my accomplishment is really having family and in this case a third generation, you know, coming up.  
>> JOYCE BENDER:  Oh, well, what a beautiful story and congratulations to you.  You can't put any price tag on that.  You know that?  It's just a miracle of joy.  So congratulations to you.  
       And, Frances, thank you so much for being our guest today.  I so much enjoyed reconnecting with you.  
>> FRANCES WEST:  Well, thank you for the opportunity.  Like I said, I want to thank you from the very beginning, you and Mary Brougher, you were the first wave of teaching me everything about the disability world and how to advocate in a positive and energetic way.  So I'm just trying to    I'm just trying to keep up with you two.  
>> JOYCE BENDER:  Oh, well, you are definitely on the move.  No question about that.  One more time for everyone.  It's and the name of the cook is Authentic Inclusion.  I want you to send me the book autographed so when it becomes best seller, I can say I know Frances West and her name is on this book.  And I will be telling everyone about this.  You tell everyone about it.  Remember, if you know someone else you want to hear this, you can get the podcast from Apple, Spotify, don't miss out sharing it other people.  And we end every show with a quote.  
       Oh, my goodness, how appropriate this is today.  That would be, hold your head high.  Look the world straight in the eye, said Helen Keller.  This is Joyce Bender, America's voice where disability matters at  Talk to you all next week.  
(Radio show concluded at 1:55 PM CT)

Services provided by:
    Caption First, Inc.
    P.O. Box 3066
    Monument, CO  80132
    800 825 5234

This text, document, or file is based on live transcription.  Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), captioning, and/or live transcription are provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.  This text, document, or file is not to be distributed or used in any way that may violate copyright law.