Evaluating Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) for University Procurement

Handouts Media

Presented at 10:30am in Westminster I on Monday, November 14, 2016.



  • James Jackson, EIT Accessibility Coordinator, Michigan State University

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 3-hr
  • Format:
  • Expertise Level: Intermediate
  • Type of session: Pre-conference


This workshop will help participants develop skills for creating and sustaining effective processes for purchasing accessible EIT. Specific skills covered will include how to interpret accessibility documentation, basic techniques for evaluating EIT, how to do risk assessment, and tips for engaging with vendors.


As documented by the Educause “IT Accessibility Risk Statements and Evidence” report, failure to provide procedures for ensuring the accessibility of Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) and digital content procured through third parties present substantial risks for institutions. In addition, because EIT purchases represent large and often long term investments by universities, they provide important opportunities to improve the long term accessibility of campus technology.

This workshop will provide a high level overview of legal requirements for accessibility of Electronic Information Technology for use at university campuses, and give participants the basic skills needed to implement a processes for reviewing EIT purchases for accessibility. Specific skills covered will include how to interpret accessibility documentation including VPATS, basic techniques for evaluating EIT, how to do risk assessment, and tips for engaging with vendors around EIT accessibility.


  1. Understand the scope of regulatory expectations and how to develop processes to meet them
  2. Learn how to assess VPATs and other accessibility documentation
  3. Learn how to conduct basic evaluation of EIT products and digital content

Disability Areas

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

Topic Areas

Administrative/Campus Policy

Speaker Bio(s)

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 user interface specification for an accessible mobile voting, alternative input devices for individuals with mobility/dexterity impairments, and the use of personal assistive technology at polling places.