Information Technology Procurement Accessibility Guidelines

Overview

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.  

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 and provide them with an equally effective experience as people without disabilities.

Campus departments that acquire IT products and services should request proof of accessibility from a prospective vendor during the procurement process, and during contract renewals with current vendors. 

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.

Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)

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 a product or service. Vendors should fill out the most current WCAG version of the VPAT format to report 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 expects vendors to follow the best practice for testing by having their products tested by a third party, industry recognized accessibility testing organization.

Product Accessibility Roadmap

Vendors are expected to provide the University with a formal Accessibility Roadmap document, structured to match the findings and detailed remarks of the accessibility test. 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.

Product Demonstration

At its discretion, the University may request a product demonstration of the accessibility support features of a given IT product or service. The vendor should be prepared to create a test account and provide a tour of the accessibility features (demonstrating both keyboard support and screen reader support) of their product via a web conference or in-person meeting. 

Related Policies and Guidelines