- Andrew Drummond, Director of IT Accessibility Policy & Programs, State of Maryland
- Length of Session: 1-hr
- Format: Lecture
- Expertise Level: Beginner
- Type of session: General Conference
Participants will learn some fundamentals of digital accessibility and how it can be interwoven in to your organization's procurement. Furthermore, the bulk of the session will focus on how to educate your organization so they can make accessible IT procurements. The session will cover: basics of accessibility, the inclusion of accessibility requirements in the procurement process, introduction to VPAT and how to decipher the VPAT.
The session has been authored to provide participants with enough information to get the conversation started and the proverbial ball rolling around integrating accessibility in to your organization's procurement cycle/practices. One's ability to procure accessible IT solutions for your organization is essential and this presentation provides stakeholders with the techniques, best practices and strategies to get accessibility in to the forefront of any IT procurement. This new found knowledge will help to ensure future IT solutions will work for all end users with and without disabilities, which is a huge win in these litigious times. Intra-agency education is paramount if you are going to make organizational change in regards to procuring accessible IT solutions and this presentation will equip you with the know-how to affect change within your organization. Participants will leave with an introductory level of understanding of how to interpret and decipher VPATs.
- It is paramount to integrate accessibility best practices and checkpoints throughout your organization's procurement processes
- Intra-agency/organization education is vital when changing organizational behavior
- Ability to properly decipher completed VPATs (known as accessibility conformance reports)is essential during the pre-award process.
With 14 years of experience supporting individuals with disabilities, working in the field of special education, higher education disability support services, assistive technology evaluation and now specializing in digital content accessibility, I have gained a unique and diverse skillset, as it relates to digital and web accessibility. Currently, I am serving as the Director of IT Accessibility and I am the state's lead subject-matter expert (SMEs) on all matters that relate to digital/web accessibility. I have been certified as an accessibility professional by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals and as an expert witness in the area of assistive and inclusive technologies in legal and administrative hearings. Finally, I am the recipient of Governor Hogan’s Citation Award (2021) for my team’s efforts around digital accessibility during the COVID-19 pandemic.