Cynthia Ice Type 1 Diabetic

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2011-07-03 08:15:15 -0500
Started 2011-07-02 08:21:00 -0500

Cynthia Ice Biography by

Claim to Fame: IBM's Lotus Accessibility Lead and software developer
DOB: 1959
Date of Death: May 14, 2008
Diabetes Type: 1

Cynthia Ice was born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1959, to Inez L Busch, MD, and John F. Ice, MD. Ice’s parents were both employed by the US Public Health Service, and the family moved often. At the age of seven, Cynthia was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She excelled in school, graduating from Blue Hill Academy and Sarah Lawrence College. After graduation she returned to Sarah Lawrence to work with the school’s housing and student activities departments.

While studying engineering at Brown University, Ice lost her eyesight to diabetic retinopathy. She insisted on living alone, although everything from taking insulin shots to testing blood glucose levels was suddenly much more difficult. She got a guide dog, learned to use a computer, and went to work for Iris Associates.

With the advent of the Internet came new challenges for the visually impaired, and Ice was determined to tackle them from the inside. She worked for Lotus, then IBM, to develop and test programs to make computers more accessible. "She just seemed to have this bottomless pit of patience to educate us all," said Mary Beth Raven, a colleague at IBM. "She approached issues with a practicality and a sense of humor that ended up being more of a motivator. Many times we went the extra distance to make something more accessible just because we liked Cynthia."

Cynthia Ice died of a heart attack in her home in May of 2008. She is survived by two sisters, a brother, and her mother, who remember her with affection and admiration. Sister Shelley Ice said of her younger sister, “She was always very bold and brave.”

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