Affecting Digital Accessibility Change through Scalable Procurement Workflows


Presented at 10:30am in Gov Square 11 on Friday, November 19, 2021.



  • Michele Bromley, IT Accessibility Coordinator, Portland State University
  • Jerrod Thomas, Senior Director of Academic and Technology Services, Portland State University

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


Portland State University put a great deal of effort into planning, building, and piloting a resource rich, risk and impact based approach to accessibility review for technology procurement. This presentation will detail our accessibility change efforts in this area and lessons we learned while generating associated workflows and resources.


With an IT Accessibility team of one, responsible for the accessibility of PSU’s public-facing digital spaces, we assembled a cross-institutional project team and worked together to develop an accessible procurement workflow for all technology purchases. This involved extensive collaboration with key stakeholders on campus, which allowed us to incorporate critical feedback and ensure high-level buy-in at the onset. We chose to scale our accessible procurement workflows based on expected user impact level, offering tiered levels of accessibility documentation review and functional accessibility testing. By aligning with existing IT Security workflows, we were able to expedite adoption by Contracting Services. The new IT Risk and Accessibility Review has become a cornerstone for nearly all technology procurement on campus. This presentation will detail our accessibility change efforts in technology procurement and lessons we learned while generating associated workflows and resources.


  1. Strategic partnerships with campus stakeholders and comparator institutions are key to accessibility change.
  2. Resource-rich, risk and impact based approaches to accessible procurement reviews are more sustainable.
  3. Modifying existing workflows to include accessibility is more efficient than creating entirely new processes.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Administrative/Campus Policy, Procurement, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Michele Bromley

Michele Bromley, M.A., is the IT Accessibility Coordinator for the Office of Information Technology at Portland State University (PSU). In this capacity, she serves as a digital accessibility resource for the University—providing support, technical direction, and assessment related to the accessibility of new and existing information and communication technologies. Michele also currently serves on the Executive Council for the Access Technology Higher Education Network (ATHEN). Her primary areas of expertise are accessible digital design, digital accessibility validation, and adaptive technology.

Jerrod Thomas

Jerrod Thomas, M.S., is the Senior Director of Academic and Technology Services, providing information technology services to a diverse campus community by working closely with campus senior leadership to plan, design, and deliver the best technology experiences to the Portland State community. Academic & Technology Services facilitates the use and understanding of technology to connect the campus’ needs with the best IT solutions. This work is coordinated through functional units including Service Desk Operations, Academic and Business Application Services, Technology Learning Spaces, AV Events Management, and IT Accessibility.