Panel: The Power of Collective Negotiation: How can universities work together to require accessible vendor products?

Bios & Handouts

Scheduled at 8:00am in Cotton Creek II on Thursday November, 16.



  • Pramila Patel, ICT Accessibility Program Manager, Univeristy of Colorado Boulder

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 2-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: General Conference


Join a panel discussion on the benefits and challenges of a collective negotiation approach to vendor product accessibility in higher ed. This session will discuss what institutions are already doing and explore collaboration opportunities when working with vendors. The audience is invited to share experiences and bring questions for discussion.


Every year, hundreds of universities expend countless hours and dollars testing vendor software for accessibility and individually appealing to vendors to address the remediation issues that are found, to varying degrees of success. However, many universities use the same LMS software, the same survey software, the same media repositories -- so why don't universities collaborate in this process? Join us for a discussion of the benefits of collective negotiation with vendors, the challenges that must be overcome to attempt it, and the next steps that can be taken to allow institutions to work together to ensure improvements in the accessibility of vendor products. The panel will include representatives from higher educational institutions who currently have established accessibility programs at their institutions as well as a representative from a well-known assistive technology consultant firm who will provide some insight from their perspective on this topic.


  1. Benefits of collective negotiation (efficiency, more pressure on suppliers)
  2. Discuss challenges of collective negotiation (NDAs, consensus on issues, coordination, institutional support)
  3. Process for developing resources for sharing amongst institutions

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Mobility, Vision

Topic Areas

Administrative/Campus Policy, Information Resources, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Pramila Patel

Pramila Patel is the ICT Accessibility Program Manager for the Office of Information Technology (OIT) at the University of Colorado Boulder. Pramila has worked at University of Colorado for six years, four and a half as the Program Manager for Disability Services and the current year a half in her new role in OIT. She helps IT service and process owners to ensure that concepts of usability/accessibility are integrated into future IT service offerings and to lead remediation efforts of existing IT services. She helps to ensure that students, faculty and staff who use assistive technologies are able to access the necessary digital assets at CU Boulder required to meet their educational and employment needs. She also assists in developing policies, guidelines, processes, procedures and educational and outreach collateral as part of the CU Boulder Digital Accessibility program.