Acquiring Accessible IT Products for your Campus

Scheduled at 9:00am in Cotton Creek I on Tuesday, November 19.



  • Cheryl Pruitt, Director, Accessible Technology Initiative, California University Chancellor's Office
  • Sue Cullen, Assist Director, Accessible Technology Initiative, California State University, Chancellor's Office
  • Dawn Okinaka, Accessibility Specialist, California State University, Chancellor's Office
  • Lin Mahoney, Accessibility Manager, McGraw-Hill Education

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 3-hr
  • Format: Bring-your-own Device Workshop: laptop or tablet
  • Expertise Level: Intermediate
  • Type of session: Pre-conference


Acquiring accessible IT products is one of the biggest challenges facing an institution when implementing an accessible technology program. To meet this challenge the CSU has developed a process that integrates accessibility requirements into campus business processes and puts the responsibility on vendors for the accessibility of their product.


Campuses are required to acquire accessible products yet vendors are not required to sell accessible products. Requiring accurate accessibility documentation, commitments from the vendor for accessibility improvements to the product, and help information for users is crucial to drive improvements to the product. Accurate documentation gives campuses the opportunity to create Equally Effective Alternative Access Plans so students that encounter barriers can be quickly served with workarounds or accommodations. Hands-on activities will provide attendees with experience in applying the CSU Accessible Procurement Process. Activities will include: Training on critical review procedures for the Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR) and Accessibility Roadmap; Components of an Accessibility Statement: and a guided review of documentation, vendor consultation, and demonstration by McGraw-Hill where purchaser will demonstrate how a reviewer can verify the claims made on the ACR.


  1. Understand a critical review process for accessible IT product review engaging the vendor
  2. Learn how to select from the various levels of accessibility evaluation,from document review to full testing
  3. Acquire strategies for engaging vendors in the accessibility conversation and product demonstrations

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Administrative/Campus Policy, Legal, Procurement, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

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.

Sue Cullen

Sue Cullen is the Assistant Director of the Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) for the California State University (CSU) System. Prior to joining the CSU Office of the Chancellor, Sue served as the campus ATI Executive Sponsor Designee, and created and directed the Universal Design Center (UDC) at California State University, Northridge. Sue trained the professional staff and paraprofessional students at the UDC to provide services to both CSU Northridge and the CSU. In addition, Sue helped build the CSU Accessible Technology Network (ATN), which is comprised of accessibility experts both inside and outside the CSU. Sue has a national reputation for IT Accessibility expertise, and is regularly called upon to present on IT accessibility and usability topics at national conferences. Sue is a Co-Chair of the EDUCAUSE ITACCESS Constituency Group. She has been actively advocating for individuals with different physical abilities and processing styles in higher education since 1995.

Dawn Okinaka

Dawn Okinaka is an ATI Accessibility Specialist for the Accessible Technology Initiative at the CSU Office of the Chancellor. She is a member of the Accessible Technology Initiative team at the CSU Chancellor’s Office since 2013. Dawn has been involved in ATI activities since 2008, first at the Sacramento State and more recently at the Chancellor’s Office. In Dawn earned a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies in 2000 and Master of Arts in Educational Technology in 2009 from California State University, Sacramento. Dawn has made significant contributions to the ATI implementation in the areas of Procurement and Instructional Materials. Dawn leads the CSU Procurement Community of Practice where she engages community members from all twenty-three campuses in collaborative activities. She also leads several projects in the CSU Accessible Technology Network, which provide shared services to the CSU system. Dawn lead the cross campus team tasked with creating a standardized procurement process for the 23 campuses to adopt and adapt. More recently, Dawn has been training campuses in how to critically review a VPAT and work with vendors to obtain meaningful information related to the accessibility of products and services used by the CSU.

Lin Mahoney

Lin Mahoney is Accessibility Manager at McGraw-Hill Education. Throughout her career, Lin has served both as a publisher representative fielding accessible file requests from DSS offices, as well as an campus accessibility coordinator working directly with students. Lin is currently

leading the digital accessibility initiative in McGraw-Hill’s Digital Platform Group focused on training and supporting teams as they strive to develop and deliver innovative and accessible learning technologies.