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Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) Accessibility Standards and Procedures

Introduction

It is important that accessibility is in the forefront as Mount Holyoke community members select and procure new electronic and information technology (EIT).  All EIT procurement at Mount Holyoke College must be done in consultation with LITS (Library, Information & Technology Services) to ensure appropriate compliance steps are followed.  To consult LITS on a software product or service purchase, please fill out the MHC Software Purchasing Form.  When appropriate, LITS staff will negotiate EIT 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 EIT.  LITS can help facilitate this process.

Initial Steps to Assess Accessibility When Selecting and Procuring New Technologies

Here are some initial steps to assess accessibility when selecting and procuring new technologies.  LITS can help facilitate this process.

  1. Answer four initial questions (to determine relative impact):
    • 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?)
  2. Web search:
    • “[PRODUCT NAME]” “accessibility”
    • “[PRODUCT NAME]” “accessibility” site:.edu
  3. Contact the vendor:
    • “Vendor/Bidder EIT Accessibility Questionnaire" (available on this page)
  4. Accessibility tests:

Vendor/Bidder Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Questionnaire

LITS uses the questionnaire below to engage vendors about EIT accessibility and help gather information about accessibility of products and services:

Vendor/Bidder Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Questionnaire

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.

  1. 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?          
  2. 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.
  3. Please describe your accessibility conformance testing process.       
  4. 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.       
  5. Can you share with us your company Accessibility Mission Statement or equivalent?      
  6. To whom in your company should we direct our accessibility questions should we have any (name and contact information)?

Accessibility Evaluations of Electronic and Information Technologies

The Mount Holyoke College Technology Access Committee can help facilitate accessibility evaluations of EIT products and services.  Please email techaccess@mtholyoke.edu with questions about additional best practices in selecting procuring accessible products and services.

Springshare's information on Accessibility in Libguides - - MHC Accessibility Barriers Form