Panel: The Power of Collective Negotiation: How can universities work together to require accessible vendor products?


Presented at 8:00am in Meadowbrook I/II on Thursday, November 16, 2017.



  • Pramila Patel, ICT Accessibility Program Manager, Univeristy of Colorado Boulder
  • Lucy Greco, Web Accessibility Evangelist, University of California Berkeley
  • Terrill Thompson, Technology Accessibility Specialist, University of Washington
  • Jiatyan Chen, Online Accessibility Program Manager, Stanford University
  • Sharon Trerise, Accessibility Analyst, Syracuse University

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 2-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: General Conference


Join a panel discussion on the benefits and challenges of a collective negotiation approach to vendor product accessibility in higher ed. This session will discuss what institutions are already doing and explore collaboration opportunities when working with vendors. The audience is invited to share experiences and bring questions for discussion.


Every year, hundreds of universities expend countless hours and dollars testing vendor software for accessibility and individually appealing to vendors to address the remediation issues that are found, to varying degrees of success. However, many universities use the same LMS software, the same survey software, the same media repositories -- so why don't universities collaborate in this process? Join us for a discussion of the benefits of collective negotiation with vendors, the challenges that must be overcome to attempt it, and the next steps that can be taken to allow institutions to work together to ensure improvements in the accessibility of vendor products. The panel will include representatives from higher educational institutions who currently have established accessibility programs at their institutions as well as a representative from a well-known assistive technology consultant firm who will provide some insight from their perspective on this topic.

The panel will be moderated by Laura Hamrick from the University of Colorado Boulder.


  1. Benefits of collective negotiation (efficiency, more pressure on suppliers)
  2. Discuss challenges of collective negotiation (NDAs, consensus on issues, coordination, institutional support)
  3. Process for developing resources for sharing amongst institutions

Disability Areas

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

Topic Areas

Administrative/Campus Policy, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Pramila Patel

Pramila Patel is the ICT Accessibility Program Manager for the Office of Information Technology (OIT) at the University of Colorado Boulder. In her role, Pramila ensures that students, faculty, and staff who use assistive technologies have access to the necessary digital assets needed to meet their educational and employment needs at CU Boulder. She works with IT service and process owners to ensure that concepts of usability and accessibility are integrated into future IT service offerings. In addition, she leads the remediation efforts of existing IT services. Pramila also assists in developing policies, processes, procedures, guidelines, and educational and outreach collateral as part of the CU Boulder Digital Accessibility program. Pramila has been at CU Boulder for 6 years. Before her role in OIT, she was the Program Manager for Disability Services.

Lucy Greco

Lucy Greco is the Web Accessibility Evangelist for UC Berkeley. Blind since birth, she first started using computers in 1985. Upon graduating from college, instead of continuing with her interest in literature and physical therapy, Lucy became an Accessible Technology Specialist. Since then, people have come to Lucy asking questions, such as: How can I experience email as a blind person? How can I experience using a word processor as a person with no hands? Today Lucy is teaching developers and educators to make their products more accessible so these questions don't have to be asked.

Terrill Thompson

Terrill Thompson is technology accessibility specialist at the University of Washington, where his work is supported in part by AccessComputing, a project funded by the National Science Foundation to increase the participation of people with disabilities.

Jiatyan Chen

Jiatyan Chen is the Stanford Online Accessibility Program (SOAP) Manager, providing directions and resources to improve the accessibility and usability of Stanford's websites and courses. She has experience in web, course, and interactive media design and production. Her interests are usability, problem solving, learning and leadership, and she has a background in computer science and digital media arts.

Sharon Trerise

Sharon Trerise is an Analyst with Information Technology Services at Syracuse University working to move the campus toward a technology environment that is accessible to students, staff and faculty with disabilities. This work includes teaching techniques for creating accessible electronic content, evaluating new and existing software and web-based applications for accessibility, working with web developers to ensure that all web content meets accessibility guidelines and working with faculty to retrofit and create digital course content that all students can readily utilize.