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Guidelines for Vendors

Electronic Information Technology and Software Accessibility

Demonstrating Accessibility - What We Need To Know

Below are examples of questions we ask to help us understand the level of accessibility your application provides:

  • Does your company have a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) and/or Higher Education Community Vendor Assessment Toolkit (HECVAT) for a current version of your product that documents product conformance with WCAG standards?
    • If your company has a VPAT and/or a HECVAT, please provide it to your College contact.
    • If your company does not have a VPAT or HECVAT, please describe your perspective on accessibility and any exceptions you believe are applicable.
  • What is your internal development standard for web content accessibility? (e.g. WCAG 2.0 AA, WCAG 2.1 AA)
  • Do you rely on an accessibility overlay? Is the product coded to natively support accessibility?
  • Which Assistive Technology do you test with in order to review accessibility of your product(s)?
  • Describe your commitment to quality assurance and best practices in the area of accessibility. Additionally describe how you track and prioritize accessibility issues.

  • What percentage of your software development and QA testing team is focused on accessibility?

  • Describe your practices for training developers and leadership about their obligations related to providing accessible products.

  • To whom in your company should we direct our accessibility questions should we have any (name and contact information)?
  • How do you discover accessibility issues, and once identified, what is your process to document and fix those issues?
  • Which Assistive Technology do you test with in order to review accessibility of your product(s)?
  • 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.
  • What is your policy and process for responding to issues identified as an accessibility error for applications in development and production environments?
  • Can you share with us your company's Accessibility Mission Statement or equivalent?
  • Does all functionality work using a keyboard (no mouse)? If not, have you documented work arounds?

    • Can you show us how your application works with a screen reader? Acceptable screen readers are JAWS and NVDA for windows or VoiceOver for Macs.

    • If you are unable to show us how the application works with a screen reader, would you demonstrate your product, both front and back end, using only a keyboard (without a mouse)?

Tools We Use When Testing for Accessibility

* these tools are ones we have found most informative

WCAG Information

If you are interested or need to know more about how to apply WCAG standards, the W3C has a very useful reference guide that provides a good starting point.  The other resource we have found useful when learning about web accessibility is WebAIM.


In the United States, approximately 1 in 4 persons have an identified disability. In addition, the World Health Organization estimates that about 15% of the world's population lives with a disability.


The clause below must be included in all contracts involved in the purchase or subscription use of electronic information technology (EIT).

Compliance with Laws/Policies. Other Party warrants and certifies that in performance of this Agreement, it will comply with all applicable statutes, rules, regulations, including laws and regulations pertaining to the subject matter of this Agreement. Other party also agrees to maintain compliance with WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standards.


This procedure applies to all purchases of EIT goods and/or services that fall into one of the following ten categories:

  • Telecommunications products
  • Information kiosks
  • Transaction machines
  • World Wide Web sites
  • Software and mobile applications
  • Computer operating systems
  • Computers
  • Multimedia
  • Electronic Office Equipment (such as copiers and multi-function devices)
  • Any device or system that is used in the creation, conversion, or duplication of data or information