Building an Accessibility Procurement Process in Higher Education

Handouts Media

Presented at 4:00pm in Cotton Creek I on Thursday, November 17, 2016.



  • Kara Zirkle, Accessible Technology Coordinator, Miami University

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format:
  • Expertise Level: Not provided
  • Type of session: General Conference


Looking at how accessibility can be built into a Procurement Process, we'll cover lessons learned, success and failures for building accessibility into procurement, specifically at George Mason University. Areas of this presentation will also discuss the beginning steps of building a similar process at University of Miami Ohio.


Trying to find a fine line of how to begin reviewing accessibility of purchased products is difficult. Building accessibility into the review of purchased products can be even harder. We'll cover lessons learned, success and failures for accessibility in procurement. We'll be focusing specifically on how the help and/or use of Purchasing Review Board could build in areas beyond just accessibility. This presentation is meant to be generic enough to help any University focus on accessibility within procurement but will also touch on various areas at once such as security, integration, duplication of products and how combining these areas could build a much larger project. This will touch on areas such as policy, procurement, testing, reporting and risk analysis.


  1. How accessibility can apply to procurement.
  2. Determining areas that may directly affect accessibility within purchasing.
  3. Learn options to begin or build on accessibility reviews of new or renewed applications within purchasing.

Disability Areas

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

Topic Areas

Administrative/Campus Policy, Legal

Speaker Bio(s)

Kara Zirkle

Ms. Zirkle has over 15 years experience working with individuals with disabilities. Kara has worked in Government and Higher Education. She is currently working at Miami University building accessibility procurement and policy. She worked at George Mason University prior for 9 years working closely with Enterprise Architecture reviewing accessibility. She works to ensure that Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 compliance of electronic and information technology (E&IT) is accessible to faculty, staff, students and public both with and without disabilities.