Procuring accessible goods and services — two alternatives

Whether accessible goods are procured is critical to the success of accessibility programs

Sheri Byrne-Haber, CPACC
6 min readMar 22, 2022


Granite kitchen countertop with a recipe card, spices a net bag with ingredients, and some cooking utensils
Photo by Visual Stories || Micheile on Unsplash

This article is not legal advice. This is a general opinion article and should not be relied upon for any legal situation. Always consult an attorney who specializes in accessibility for your needs.

Authors note: Because of Medium’s refusal to address its accessibility issues for both authors and readers, I’ve moved my last three years of blogs to Substack. Please sign up there for notices of all new articles. Thank you for your continued readership and support.

When I start talking to a new organization about accessibility, I start with three basic questions, none of which have to do with testing the products the company sells.

  1. Does the organization have a robust disability ERG? I’ve written three articles on this topic that you can access from this list.
  2. How difficult is it for the disabled employee to navigate the organization’s accommodations program? I’ve written five articles on accommodations from the perspective of employees, managers, COVID-related requests, and mental health-related requests that you can access from this list.
  3. How does the organization focus on procuring accessible goods and services? That will be the focus of this article.

Repeatedly, I’ve seen these three factors as reliable leading predictive indicators of whether an organization will have a successful and sustainable accessibility program that is holistically integrated throughout the organization.

But what is so special about these three questions that are almost totally unrelated to an accessibility testing program?

  • Even large accessibility programs typically have a ratio of accessibility testing engineers to developers of only 1:600 to 1:1000.
  • Successful accessibility programs require people to talk about accessibility when those accessibility team members are not in the room.
  • To have people talking about accessibility when those accessibility team members are not in the room, organizations need many employees that have disabilities and are…



Sheri Byrne-Haber, CPACC

LinkedIn Top Voice for Social Impact 2022. UX Collective Author of the Year 2020. Disability Inclusion SME. Sr Staff Accessibility Architect @ VMware.