Accessibility will be included as a factor in the procurement process. A Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) is usually required. All University contracts for ICT will contain appropriate provisions concerning accessibility, as prescribed by the Office of General Counsel per the ICT Accessibility Policy.
Information technology and other equipment, systems, technologies, or processes, for which the principal function is the creation, manipulation, storage, display, receipt, or transmission of electronic data and information, as well as any associated content. Examples of ICT include, but are not limited to: computers and peripheral equipment; information kiosks and transaction machines; telecommunications equipment; customer premises equipment; multifunction office machines; software; applications; Web sites; videos; and, electronic documents.
When procuring ICT technology, it is important the following steps with documentation and questions are asked. First and foremost:
1. Request a VPAT and answers to IT Accessibility Questionnaire attached
2. Interpret the VPAT and Questionnaire using the 14-step checklist.
Does the VPAT seem too good to be true?
Does it take a while for the VPAT to be delivered? Are they creating one after you asked?
Is the VPAT updated in the past year?
3. Work with ITS to create the following documents if the technology may not be fully accessible:
IT Assessment Mitigation Form
Equally Effective Alternate Access Plan (EEAAP)
Vendor Accessibility Remediation Plan
Acknowledgment of ICT Accessibility Noncompliance
Questions to Ask Vendors and Document Before Proceeding
- Do you have clients who require accessibility (Federal government, international, local company policies)?
- What standards are followed for coding of interfaces (if 508, what parts, if WCAG 2.0, which level)?
- Do you do testing with users with disabilities? If so, can you explain the process and identify, roughly, the range of disabilities and access technologies used?
- What experience do developers on your team have coding for accessibility?
- Does your company have a road map for accessibility going forward? If so, can you give us a general outline (goals, milestones)?
- Have you tested and/or developed your mobile apps with accessibility in mind?
- If we find that there are changes that need to be made to web/mobile interfaces/apps, what guarantee can we have that these will be implemented to our satisfaction prior to go-live/going forward?
- Is the process for enabling the accessibility mode or alternate interface accessible to a person using assistive technology such that a user would be able to independently enable the mode or access the alternate interface?
- Specifically describe the extent to which your product is accessible to people with disabilities, including people who are blind or have low vision, are Deaf or hard of hearing, have mobility or dexterity limitations, and who have speech impairments.
- What methods did you use to determine the accessibility of your product or service? Third-party user assessment?
- To what extent are you willing to work with the University to improve your product’s accessibility?
- If you know of organizations using your product for whom accessibility was also a priority, please provide contact information.