Accessible Procurement Standards
Hampshire strives to purchase and develop technology that is accessible to all users, so it's important to consider accessibility when procuring a new product or service for the College.
All software procurement must be done in consultation with IT (Information Technology) to ensure appropriate compliance steps are followed. When appropriate, IT staff will negotiate accessibility contract language with vendors as part of standard contract negotiation processes. Below is some information about steps that must be taken to best address accessibility when selecting and procuring new software. The IT Accessibility Working Group can help facilitate this process.
Initial Steps to Assess Accessibility
- Determine the scope and impact of the purchase by answering the following questions:
- Is this technology public facing or only available with campus authentication?
- How many people will see/use this technology?
- Who will use this technology? (students, faculty, staff, and/or public?)
- Who requested this technology? (you or someone else?)
- Do a web search for the name of the product and the word "accessibility". You can also add site:.edu to the search terms to see results from higher education institutions.
- Ask the Vendor to complete and return the Vendor/Bidder EIT Accessibility Questionnaire (pdf).
- Run some simple Accessibility tests:
- Can you navigate the web pages without mouse?
- Use the WebAIM WAVE browser tool to scan the page, and see how many errors it finds.
Vendor/Bidder Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Questionnaire
Vendors are often able to provide accessibility information about their products. We suggest asking the following:
Describe your efforts to be compliant with WCAG 2.0 Level AA for web-based technology, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Does your company have a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) for a current version of your product that documents product conformance with Section 508 Standards?
- If your company has a VPAT, please provide it as an attachment in response to this email. If your company does not have a VPAT, please describe your perspective on accessibility and any exceptions you believe are applicable.
- Please describe your accessibility conformance testing process.
- Does your company have an Accessibility Roadmap to remediate any accessibility gaps in a reasonable period of time? An Accessibility Roadmap can be a list and description of accessibility gaps, including current resolution status of each gap and a specific timeline for remediation. An Accessibility Roadmap also lists any known workarounds to provide end-users access until the vendor has resolved each of the accessibility gaps. If an Accessibility Roadmap is available, please provide it as an attachment in response to this email.
- Can you share with us your company Accessibility Mission Statement or equivalent?
- To whom in your company should we direct our accessibility questions should we have any (name and contact information)?
The Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) Clause (see ABC Contract Clauses), which ensures compliance to accessibility standards and regulations, must be included in any contract or RFP involving the purchase or procurement of EITs.
Vendor/Bidder EIT Accessibility Questionnaire (pdf)
Submit a request to the IT Accessibility Working Group to help facilitate an accessibility evaluation or contact the IT Accessibility Working Group with questions about additional best practices in selecting and procuring accessible products and services.