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Launch: Accessible ICT procurement in Higher Education

ADCET and the NDCO Program in partnership with an expert advisory panel and Intopia have developed an implementation guide which will provide universities with practical guidance about procuring ICT products and services with accessibility as an essential criterion. The guide will be incorporated by the Council of Australasian University Directors of Information Technology (CAUDIT) as a part of the suite of strategic procurement guidance they provide to universities.

The resource focuses on demonstrating how to adopt relevant standards - AS EN 301 549 and WCAG 2.1 in procurement policies, procedures, and practice, with a view to building a more accessible future by design in Higher Education. This shift toward buying ICT products and services that all staff and students can use is an extremely positive step universities can take to reduce the number of barriers encountered by people with disability and create welcoming and accessible education and work experiences, by design.

Facilitator: Matt Brett, Director, Academic Governance and Standards, Deakin University and ADCET Advisory Committee member.


Head shot of Ben Gauntlett wearing a dark gray suit and tie

Dr Ben Gauntlett, Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission

Dr Ben Gauntlett commenced his 5 year term as Disability Discrimination Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission on May 7, 2019.

Prior to commencing as Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Ben worked as a barrister in Western Australia and Victoria with a broad ranging practice. He has also worked as an associate at the High Court of Australia, as Counsel Assisting the Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth, a solicitor for a large commercial law firm and taught law in Australia and the United Kingdom. Ben studied at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.

As Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Ben advocates to remove barriers to people with disability participating in society and to ensure the human rights of people with disability are respected.

Bruce Maguire, Lead Policy Advisor, Vision Australia

As Lead Policy Advisor with Vision Australia, Bruce Maguire focuses on the development of the organisation’s public policy positions on issues that affect people who are blind or have low vision. He is also involved with developing responses to government consultations and reviews, and works with government, industry and the broader disability sector on topics such as access to information, access to the built environment, and access to new and emerging technologies. In 2017-18 Bruce led Vision Australia's research into the barriers that university students who are blind or have low vision experience when using online learning systems.

Bruce has had a professional involvement in the print disability field for over 35 years, and has served on various national and international committees. He was President of the Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities Inc from 1994-96, and has been Chair of the Australian Braille Authority on several occasions, most recently from 2006-10. Before joining Vision Australia, Bruce worked as a Policy Officer for nine years at the Australian Human Rights Commission, and before that he was Manager of Alternative-Format Publications at the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children.

In 2009 Bruce was presented with the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award for services to print disability by the Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities Inc. 

Bruce has a Master’s degree in Policy and Applied Social Research from Macquarie University, and a Graduate Certificate in Analytical Psychology from the University of Western Sydney.

Neil Jarvis, Senior Digital Accessibility Consultant, Intopia

Neil Jarvis is a digital accessibility obsessive with over 20 years’ experience working for not-for-profit, governmental and private sector organisations. In that time, he spent ten years on the Leadership Team of the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind, establishing its digital library and spearheading its international relations work. He played a leading role in the international campaign for the adoption and implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty, an international copyright exceptions instrument helping to end the book famine experienced by blind and low vision people around the world. He was also a leading member of the Transforming Braille Group, an international consortium which designed and helped bring to market the world’s first electronic braille device for less than US$500.

He is a past President of the Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities, and spent ten years on the Board of the DAISY Consortium which is a leading organisation in the field of inclusive publishing. Neil is a totally blind person and is therefore reliant on software and hardware which are digitally accessible.

Black and White headshot of Steve Johnston

Stephen Johnston, Director Strategic Procurement, CAUDIT

Stephen Johnston joined CAUDIT in 2011, having departed Edith Cowan University (ECU) after 13 years of service. At ECU he held a number of senior IT roles including the Manager, IT Infrastructure and Manager, IT Project Governance. He has had over 15 years’ experience in Higher Education, previously working for both Curtin University and the University of Western Australia.

His Engineering background and understanding of various elements of IT Infrastructure (ranging from laboratory, desktop, server and network support to the provision of voice and video services) provides a technical basis for providing systems, services, applications and equipment able to solve real business issues. Through the establishment of standards (in technology, services, equipment, staffing and procurement) he has been able to work with staff across ECU and the Higher Education sector to improve outcomes for staff, students and the community.

Stephen holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Computing Systems). He is a Senior Member of the Australian Computer Society and is recognised by the Society as a Certified Professional. He is a graduate of the 2009 CAUDIT/EDUCAUSE Leadership Institute.

(October 2022)

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