Depending on your needs, there are a variety of resources and strategies to help you buy accessible products, solutions, and services. Most purchases require buyers to provide accessibility information about the product, and/or accept accessibility language in contracts.

VPAT

Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates┬« (VPATs) are a tool to measure an organization’s ability to demonstrate their product’s support for accessibility within the confines of a proposal or bid. It does not replace acceptance testing upon delivery, third-party testing, other accessibility verification, and end-user testing. It is best used as a component when scoring vendor proposals.

All solicitations for IT products, whether COTS (commercial off the shelf) or as part of an integration offering, must include a requirement for a VPAT. When including requirements for a VPAT, be sure to request separate VPATs for each user interface.

 

Standards for access extends to a state contractor ICT.   Include accessibility standards in your contracts with clearly stated expectations.   Here are a few resources to learn from when determining Procurement ICT Accessibility standards or policies. 

Suggested Contract Language

  1. Web Accessibility Compliance Requirements:
    RSMO 161.935 requires that the procurement of information technologies comply with the provisions of Section 508 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 regarding development, procurement, maintenance or use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The Missouri State ICT Standard (https://at.mo.gov/it-access/ict-laws-standards.html) outlines compliance, equivalent facilitation and exceptions. The contractor shall provide a description and assurance of conformance to the Missouri State ICT Standard through completion of a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) or other comparable document.
    1. The contractor shall include information on what testing methods they use to check for accessibility Examples include, but are not limited to: automated testing tools, using an accessibility standards checklist, keyboard only testing, content scaling testing and assistive technology testing such as a screen reader.
    2. The contractor shall identify an accessibility coordinator who will be responsible for ensuring conformance with ICT accessibility standards during product development and in the final version deployment and shall provide a description of the accessibility coordinator’s experience and expertise in developing/customizing products to conform with ICT accessibility standards.
    3. The contractor shall promptly respond to any complaint brought to its attention regarding accessibility of the products provided hereunder that were specified in the contractor’s awarded bid response as compliant products. The contractor shall resolve such complaints by bringing the product into compliance with the applicable Missouri State ICT Standard at no additional cost to the state. The contractor shall indemnify and hold harmless the State of Missouri and any Missouri government entity purchasing the contractor’s products from any claim arising out of the contractor’s failure to comply with the aforementioned requirements.


Have a resource for ICT Accessibility to share with us?  Email your resource to info@mo-at.org