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Taking on the elephant in the room: Implementing innovative procurement processes in a large University system

Proposal No: 2978

Bios & Handouts


  • Tom Siechert, ATI Procurement Program Manager, California State University, Fresno
  • Cheryl Pruitt, Director, Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI), CSU Office of the Chancellor

Disability Area:          

Topic Area:                  

Length of Session (in hours): 1-hrFormat: Lecture Expertise Level: All Levels Type of session: Not provided

Summary of Session

The CSU has developed a standardized Accessible Procurement Process that can be adapted or adopted to assist campuses in developing their own accessible procurement processes.


The CSU Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) was established to target the elimination of accessibility barriers, with a focus on web-based resources and materials, instructional materials, and procurement. Eliminating access barriers in Electronic and Information Technology benefits all people, not only persons with a disability. The cost to provide accommodations often can be reduced or eliminated by considering accessibility considerations at the time of purchase. Across the 23 CSU campuses, several different approaches to establishing Accessible Procurement processes emerged over the first few years of the ATI. In response, the CSU embarked on a systemwide project to provide a standardized framework and recommended best practices. The project team included staff from six diverse CSU campuses and the CSU Office of the Chancellor, and led to the creation of the CSU Standardized Accessible Procurement process – a process which could then be adopted or adapted by any CSU campus.


  1. Learn how to implement an accessible procurement process on a campus
  2. Learn how to proactively plan for providing equally effective access for products which aren't 100% accessible
  3. Understand the campus roles and responsibilities involved in implementing an accessible procurement process

Speaker Bio(s)

Tom Siechert

Tom Siechert is the Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) Procurement Program Manager at Fresno State. In addition to his ATI-related responsibilities, Tom also serves at the campus’ Senior IT Buyer in the Procurement department. Since 2007, Tom has chaired the campus ATI Procurement subcommittee and has served as a member of the campus ATI Steering committee. He is a member of the CSU Accessible Technology Network (CSU ATN) and has been an active contributor to the CSU Accessible Procurement standardization workgroup since its inception. In 2014, Tom was an invited panelist at EDUCAUSE and gave a presentation on the topic of IT Accessibility and Procurement. He is currently leading campus efforts to pilot the recently established CSU Accessible Procurement process at Fresno State.

Cheryl Pruitt

Cheryl is the Director of the Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) for the California State University (CSU) System. She oversees the ATI implementation across the CSU 23 campus system. Cheryl has been involved with the ATI since the beginning in 2007, first at the campus level, then at the systemwide level. Under her leadership the system has made significant progress towards implementing ATI process improvement in the areas of web accessibility, accessible procurement, and accessible instructional materials. She is currently managing several projects that are moving the initiative forward they include implementation of an ATI reporting process to measure the systemwide progress towards the ATI goals; creation of synergy projects resulting in systemwide shared services that are delivering cost savings; and a high level of cross-campus collaboration through the ATI Communities of Practice.


Powerpoint: Implementing Innovative Procurement Processes