Creating a Culture of Accessible Procurement at Michigan State University: Library and College/Department Perspectives


Presented at 8:00am in WB I on Thursday, November 17, 2016.



  • Heidi Schroeder, Libraries Accessibility Coordinator, Michigan State University
  • Nate Evans, Manager, Digital Content & Accessibility, Michigan State University
  • James Jackson, EIT Accessibility Coordinator, Michigan State University
  • Arlene Weismantel, Senior Associate Director, Michigan State University

Session Details

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


Learn how Michigan State University is partnering with external vendors and publishers, as well as colleges and departments to begin creating a culture of accessible procurement across the institution.


Michigan State University is committed to purchasing accessible Electronic Information Technology (EIT). MSU has developed guidelines and processes for accessible EIT purchasing. These guidelines, which have been developed by Information Technology, the Office of General Counsel, and the ADA Coordinator, are being applied to EIT purchases being procured through central Purchasing. The MSU Libraries have also developed accessibility purchasing procedures for library EIT. While several aspects of the Libraries’ procedures align with MSU’s central purchasing guidelines, the unique issues surrounding library e-resources/EIT have resulted in some distinct differences. This session will describe the accessibility purchasing guidelines and strategies for centrally purchased MSU EIT and the MSU Libraries’ e-resources. Presenters will discuss the similarities and differences of these procedures and will describe experiences and lessons learned from managing these many vendor relationships.


  1. How MSU IT, Office of General Counsel, and the ADA Coordinator collaborate to develop purchasing guidelines.
  2. Discuss experiences and lessons learned by managing vendor relationships, and how procedures differ on campus.
  3. How the MSU Libraries work with vendors to incorporate accessibility into library EIT/e-resource procurement.

Disability Areas

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

Topic Areas

Administrative/Campus Policy

Speaker Bio(s)

Heidi Schroeder

Heidi M. Schroeder, MLIS, is the Accessibility Coordinator at the Michigan State University (MSU) Libraries in East Lansing, Michigan. She was instrumental in the creation and charge of the Big Ten Academic Alliance Library E-Resource Accessibility Group and currently serves as its Chair. At the MSU Libraries, Heidi currently coordinates and oversees all library accessibility initiatives. She has presented numerous times on accessibility in libraries and recently co-authored a book chapter on accessibility and usability in health sciences collections. She received her MLIS from Wayne State University and her BA from the University of Michigan.

Nate Evans

Nate works with students, faculty, staff, and administrators across the institution to help create better digital experiences by coordinating efforts to ensure campus-wide EIT accessibility compliance. Accessibility, usability, and universal design are the next creative frontiers, and he has the great opportunity to partner with colleges and departments across the institution to grow in this space.

James Jackson

James Jackson is Michigan State University’s EIT Accessibility Coordinator, where he works on the Digital Content and Accessibility team to coordinate campus-wide accessibility initiatives to ensure the accessibility of digital content, software, and other EIT, including EIT purchased from third parties. Previously, James worked as a User Experience Researcher at Usability/Accessibility Research and Consulting, where he consulted with diverse clients on a wide range of usability and accessibility projects, including WCAG 2.0 and Section 508 evaluations of websites and native applications. In addition, James has had the opportunity to work on grant funded research on the accessibility of information technology, including the development of a specifications for an accessible mobile voting user interface, alternative input devices for individuals with mobility/dexterity impairments, and the use of personal assistive technology at polling places.

Arlene Weismantel

Arlene Weismantel is the Senior Associate Director at the Michigan State University Libraries. Her role is to provide administrative support for the Libraries’ accessibility efforts. This includes ensuring the Libraries’ Accessibility Coordinator and Accessibility Working Group have adequate resources, that library staff understand the importance of accessibility efforts and work diligently toward accomplishing the goals stated in the Libraries’ 5-year accessibility plan.



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