It is important that you consider accessibility well before you purchase the product. Accessibility review consists of multiple steps and often involves communication between multiple parties. Contact the Electronic and Information Resources (EIR) Accessibility Coordinator for assistance and guidance.
Technology is important in our daily lives, workplaces, and learning environments, so we want to make sure our technology is accessible for all our users, whether they are our prospective or current faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends, retirees, donors or visitors. In order to do this, technology that is to be used by more than yourself (knowing your own abilities) must go through an accessibility review process.
Entering the Review Process
Your technology purchase may go into this review process via:
- University Project Management Committee for Information Technology (UPMC)
- Buy A&M (BAM)
If you are using your procurement card, we recommend you contact the EIR Accessibility Coordinator regarding anything that may be linked to or embedded on any Tarleton website or through any official Tarleton communication.
Review by the EIR Accessibility Coordinator
We may ask you a number of questions regarding how your technology works in order to determine the compliance of the product before you purchase it:
- Is it a new or renewed purchase?
- Who (all) is using the product?
- What is/are the goal(s) of the product?
- What does the product itself produce, if anything (e.g. word processor document format, video application)?
These questions allow us to interpret the answers the vendor selling you the product provide on the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT).
The VPAT is a rubric designed to help vendors determine how they are compliant with each guideline in our accessibility standards. The latest VPAT version (VPAT version 2.4 Rev) aligns with WCAG 2.1 guidelines.
Once the vendor completes the VPAT (which is then referred to as an ACR), the Information Technology Service (ITS) department analyzes the results and the EIR Accessibility Coordinator reviews it for compliance or non-compliance.
If it is approved, the Coordinator will move it through procurement routes or inform the purchaser that no further action is needed at this time.
Note: An exemption from accessibility standards can be approved for certain technologies. Please review the list and inform the EIR Accessibility Coordinator of any exemption status the vendor may be able to provide
Exception Requests for Non-Compliant Products
If it is not approved, you will be provided with a template to fill out and have signed by the president. The Coordinator will provide the reasons for non-compliance. You will provide the reason an exception should be allowed (e.g. strategic goals, learning outcomes, legal mandates) and what support your department or unit will provide users. If the president approves your exception request, all parties will receive a copy of the exception request, and you will be approved to move forward with your purchase.
State Rules and Guidelines
- Software Applications and Operating Systems (TAC §213.30)
- Web-based Internet Information and Applications (TAC §206.70)
- Telecommunications Products (TAC §213.31)
- Video and Multimedia Products (TAC §213.32)
- Self Contained, Closed Products (TAC §213.33)
- Desktop and Portable Computers (TAC §213.34)
- Functional Performance Criteria (TAC §213.35)
- Information, Documentation, and Support (TAC §213.36)
- Compliance Exceptions and Exemptions (TAC §213.37)
- Procurements (TAC §213.38)