When to test or trust vendor accessibility evaluations.


Presented at 2:15pm in Cotton Creek I on Thursday, November 17, 2016.



  • Susan Cullen, Asst Dir, Accessible Technology Initia, California State University
  • Dawn Okinaka, Accessible Technology Specialist, California State University
  • Rosa Padilla, Web Accessibility Coordinator, California State University, San Bernardino
  • Alen Davoudian, Senior Information Systems Analyst/Web Developer, California State University, Northridge

Session Details

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


Requiring vendors fill out Section 1194.31 & nec. sections 1194.21-26 captures functionality from WCAG 2.0 within the general criteria of Section 508. Resources to understand the criteria and what the CSU requires for the ATI are provided to the vendor with further training materials. Decision model to test or trust will be shared.


The VPAT document is based on old technology standards; but it does not mean that the information obtained could not be valid or useful. Requiring that vendors fill out Section 1194.31 in addition to the other appropriate sections of 1194.21-26 we capture functionality from WCAG 2.0 within the general criteria of Section 508. Resources to understand the criteria and what the CSU requires within the Accessible Technology Initiative are provided to the vendor with appropriate links to further training materials. This shared documentation helps vendors understand the goals of providing more accessible and useable products. When combining the information from the VPAT, (and vendor accessibility demos) with an accessibility roadmap and an accessibility statement a robust proactive plan develops that shows status, commitment and future improvements. Presentation will provide an outline on when to accept a VPAT or conduct evaluations, also considering the impact and limited resources.


  1. Understand the relationship between WCAG 2.0 guidelines and Section 1194.31 Functional Performance Criteria
  2. Understand obtaining useful supporting information in the VPAT “Remarks and Explanations” section
  3. Know the most important criteria to focus on when time and resources are in short supply.

Disability Areas

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

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Administrative/Campus Policy, Assistive Technology, Legal, Web/Media/App Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Susan Cullen

Sue Cullen is the Assistant Director of the Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) for the California State University (CSU) System. Prior to joining the CSU Office of the Chancellor, Sue served as the campus ATI Executive Sponsor Designee, and created and directed the Universal Design Center (UDC) at California State University, Northridge. Sue trained the professional staff and paraprofessional students at the UDC to provide services to both CSU Northridge and the CSU. In addition, Sue helped build the CSU Accessible Technology Network (ATN), which is comprised of accessibility experts both inside and outside the CSU. Sue has a national reputation for IT Accessibility expertise, and is regularly called upon to present on IT accessibility and usability topics at national conferences. She has been actively advocating for individuals with different physical abilities and processing styles in higher education for many years.

Dawn Okinaka

Dawn Okinaka is an Accessible Technology Specialist for the California State University (CSU) System. She is a member of the Accessible Technology Initiative team at the CSU Chancellor’s Office. She has been involved in ATI activities since 2008, first at the Sacramento State and more recently at the Chancellor’s Office. Dawn has made significant contributions to the ATI implementation in the areas of Procurement and Instructional Materials. Dawn leads the CSU Procurement Community of Practice where she engages community members from all twenty-three campuses in collaborative activities. She also leads several projects in the CSU Accessible Technology Network which provide shared services to the CSU system.

Rosa Padilla

Rosa Padilla has been the Web Accessibility Coordinator at California State University, San Bernardino for 10 years. She conducts accessibility evaluations on over 300 campus websites and works with various stakeholders to remediate inaccessible content. She regularly holds workshops and training for faculty and staff regarding best practices in web accessibility. She actively participates in the CSU-wide Accessible Technology Initiative. Rosa is JAWS certified and received her Bachelor's in Business Administration from CSUSB in 2005.

Alen Davoudian

Alen Davoudian Senior Information Systems Analyst and Web Developer for the Universal Design Center (UDC) California State University, Northridge. Currenlty, his principle area of research & development has been web content accessibility & usability to overcome challenges in creating accessible web content. Alen leads a technical evaluation team and works with web developers and directors to re-design, customize and develop accessible coding methodologies. He provides consultation and expertise to CSU Chancellor's Office, Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) and accessibility coordinators and experts at CSU Campuses. As the campus accessibility expert Alen is regularly conducting research, development and training for CSUN and CSU system. He helps and guides campus entities, directors and working groups in developing and implementing procedures to ensure accessibility in all aspects of web, document and product development cycle. Alen has an MS in Information Systems, CSULA.