The ‘d’ in diversity

Changing the game

“I’m the pink elephant in the room,” says Alexandra Cartier, who is hard of hearing, summing up the frustration and isolation she sometimes feels during conversations. In meetings, for example, she may miss things as she turns to find the speaker and read their lips. Worse, during COVID-19, the necessity of mask-wearing makes reading lips impossible.

Through Zaniology Consulting, Cartier assists organizations with accessibility compliance and provides resources for communicating with people with disabilities in the workplace. To connect with other business owners, Cartier completed the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership’s Allstate Minority and Women Emerging Entrepreneurs program in 2018.

“Everybody is a consultant, so I had to think about how to separate myself in the market,” says Cartier, a serial entrepreneur who also earned her BA from UB. “Who knows the market of people who are deaf or hard of hearing better? I understand what it’s like to communicate with a language barrier and decided I needed to solve this problem.”

Alexandra Cartier.

“My company is about people helping people be people—to be independent, work independently and engage fully with others. This is a game-changer. ”Alexandra Cartier, Founder and CEO Vü


Spring 2021 UB School of Management