Purchasing Accessible EIT Products: A Suggested Campus Procurement Process

Presenters:  Cheryl Pruitt and Dawn Futrell from California State University, CSU Office of the Chancellor, Tom Siechert from California State University, Fresno, Susan Cullen from California State University, Northridge

@seichert | @cullensus

This was my sixth session and final session at the CSUN conference on Friday, March 6.  Showing some love to my CSU people before heading home.   I should be able to avoid some of the San Diego – Los Angeles traffic, but not all of it 🙁  Anyway, procurement is a great place to start when ensuring that you’re meeting accessibility requirements; the CSU has made a commitment to ensuring that everything it buys is accessible.

Controlling Purchasing can be a Daunting Task

  • Implementing accessibility into the purchasing process for a 23-campus system is tough…
  • Every campus implements accessible procurement differently:  different forms, processes and evaluation techniques
  • We Wanted to Break Down the Problem
  • Document the process that can be adopted and adapted by every campus
  • Expectations:  buy the most accessibile products, create a plan for providing accommodations, promote a culture of accessibility, institution wide ever, speak with one voice
  • We have 7 people/campuses on the ATI standardization team

Findings and recommendations

  • Keys to implementing accessible procurement:  strong sustainable executive level support, roles and responsibilities, shared responsibility across the campus
  • It’s not JUST an ATI process or JUST a procurement process
  • Roles:  ATI designee or other designees, purchase requester, admin support staff, buyer, vendor, IT support staff, disability services staff, executive sponsor

4-step Process for Campuses

Documentation of the steps below can be found here:  http://teachingcommons.cdl.edu/access/procurement_process/index.shtml

  1. Gather information
  2. Review information
  3. Review product
  4. Place order

Equally Effective Alternative Access Process (aka “EEAAP”)

  • Sometimes a product cannot meet everyone’s needs.  The EEAAP is how accommodations will be met for people who cannot be served by the product.

Challenges

  • Reqs often don’t include critical info:  what are we buying, how will it be used, who will use it, end users reqd to use product, what are future plans for product use
  • Need for speed (RUSH orders)
  • Large numbers of IT purchases
  • Over 1,600 IT items in 2014 were ordered!  About 203 were reviewed for a11y
  • Of those 203, almost 100 were for “smart classrooms,” 44 were for Multi Function Devices, 54 were for departments and colleges, 8 were for students

Procurement + Accessibility

  • Integrate accessibility into the existing procurement process
  • Integration types:  one-size fits all (aka shotgun approach)
  • Impact-based process and intelligent workflow

Review Process

  • Minimum reqs:  needs to work for both reactive and proactive review requests, and needs to work regardless of funding source (i.e. gifts, auxiliaries, etc.)
  • Successful adoption:  easy for end-users, isn’t heavy
  • Tom reviewed a workflow diagram and the CSU online requisition form

Campus Impact Policy – We’re Moving Away from Dollar Thresholds When Reviewing

  • Litigation does not consider product $ amount or if it is free
  • Consideration of level of accessibility and business need
  • We do a functional analysis to determine the overall value of the product.  Sometimes the most accessible product is not the best one.
  • Targeted:  software, applications, devices, copy-scan-fax
  • Not targeted:  servers, security systems, wires & plugs, software for individuals
  • The big cultural change is that people need to start thinking about this when they start thinking about buying the product

Language is the Key to Communications

We need to make sure that the language we’re using makes sense to people who just want to make the right choices.

  • 1194.21 & 22 = modern web applications, software
  • 1194.24 = video, multimedia, YouTube
  • 1194.25 = iPads, Phones, Copy-Scan-fax
  • 1194.31 = usable to individuals with different abilities
  • 1194.41 = documentation for use for individuals with different abilities

Campus Department Requests

  • Bulk purchase and commonly purchased items (i.e. Dell, HP, Lenovo computers)
  • VPAT forms

Universal Design Center Evaluation Categories

  • Alt Descriptions
  • Multimedia
  • Structure
  • Comprehensive Visual Display
  • User Interface
  • Navigation