Gaining Ground with HECVAT 3.02 for IT Purchasing: Evaluating third-party application accessibility risk


Presented at 8:00am in Penrose 2 on Thursday, November 17, 2022.



  • Laura Fathauer, Senior Web Accessibility Specialist, Miami University
  • Jill Bateman, Digital Accessibility Coordinator, Ohio University

Session Details

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


Recently, accessibility professionals from Educause joined forces with security professionals to introduce a new section of the Higher Education Community Vendor Assessment Tool (HECVAT) for digital accessibility. Schools without accessibility staff can now evaluate the accessibility risk of IT purchases. Two of the members of the accessibility community will share their experience making this change a reality and show how it can help you better assess the risk of IT procurements.


Want to know more about accessible procurement? Struggling to make sense of VPATs? This session will review a tool that can assist with assessing the accessibility of IT purchases. The Higher Education Community Vendor Assessment Tool (HECVAT) was developed by EDUCAUSE members to standardize the security information provided by third-party vendors who provide technology to higher education institutions, and is used to evaluate the risk of IT purchases. In 2021, accessibility experts met to expand the HECVAT to include accessibility, by developing a standardized set of questions regarding the accessibility maturity of vendors. This session will review the accessibility questions included in the updated HECVAT and discuss how it can supplement vendor Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPAT) conformance reports. Find out how this flexible tool might fit into your procurement assessment process even if you don’t have accessibility specialists on staff.


  1. Gain a better understanding of the addition of accessibility to the HECVAT v3.xx
  2. Examine each new question added
  3. Gain a better understanding of accessibility risk in the purchasing process

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Administrative/Campus Policy, Procurement, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Laura Fathauer

Laura Fathauer is the Senior Web Accessibility Specialist at Miami University. She has previously presented at the CSUN Assistive Technology conference on accessibility processes in Higher Education and managing a captioning program. Other presentations include Miami University’s annual accessibility symposium and the Ohio Higher Education Computing Council. She was previously an educational technologist and instructional designer, and is interested in accessible education technology, including accessible virtual reality. Laura is a graduate of Antioch College and Wright State University.

Jill Bateman

Jill Bateman focuses on digital inclusion so that as many people as possible can participate in the digital transformation taking place in the world. Jill has worked at Ohio University for 20 years, the past 3 serving as the Digital Accessibility Coordinator. Her background includes content strategy, video production, graphic design, social media management, marketing, teaching, web design and web development all of which strengthens her work in digital accessibility. Jill has a BA in Journalism from Seattle University and an MA in Interactive Multimedia Design from Ohio University.