These guidelines provide resources for campus departments to help ensure that information technology (IT) products and services they purchase or procure for the University meet accessibility standards and are consistent with institutional values for equity and inclusion.
When a prospective IT product is to be broadly used by students, staff, or the public to carry out or participate in the the University’s core educational and administrative activities, the product should be accessible to people with disabilities, in order to provide them with equally effective access as that provided to people without disabilities.
Campus departments that acquire IT products and services should request proof of accessibility from prospective vendors during the procurement process, and from current vendors during contract renewals.
Departments are encouraged to discuss proposed hosted or on-premise services and products with the Architecture and Security Review team early in the selection process, to help ensure they meet the University's expectations for accessibility.
Consistent with other institutions of higher education, the University relies on the Information Technology Industry Council's Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) for a detailed report of the accessibility of an IT product or service. Vendors should fill out the VPAT 2.4 WCAG version of the report to indicate the conformance of their product or service to the World Wide Web Consortium's Content Accessibility Guidelines.
The VPAT template should be filled out in its entirety and include testing methodology, conformance level, and detailed remarks for any partially-supported or non-supported level per the success criteria of WCAG 2.0 AA.
The University strongly encourages vendors to follow the best practice of having their products accessibility tested by an industry-recognized company or organization.
Vendors are expected to provide the University with an Accessibility Roadmap (.docx) document, structured to match the findings and detailed remarks of accessibility tests. Each issue to be remediated should indicate a date by which it will be fixed.
Departments should ensure the contract requires the vendor to commit to the roadmap, and should follow up with the vendor on a regular basis.
The University may request a product demonstration of the accessibility support features of a given IT product or service, or may conduct its own testing. The vendor should be prepared to provide a test account as well as a tour of the accessibility features (demonstrating both keyboard support and screen reader support) of their product.