5. Procurement and Accessibility Policy

Procurement as Part of Digital Accessibility Policy

While the focus of this chapter is on procuring accessible information technology (IT), accessible procurement in general should be part of a larger policy that addresses accessibility at the organizational level. A digital accessibility policy can also fall within a larger accessibility policy which addresses other aspects such as access to physical spaces and access to customer service.

Digital accessibility as a policy on its own will be introduced here to set the context for our discussion of procurement in this chapter and the discussion of hiring practices in the next chapter.

Video: Creating a Culture of Accessibility

Procurement in Accessibility Policy

Procuring accessible IT will affect numerous elements of an accessibility policy.

In the early stages of developing an accessibility policy, assessing the baseline accessibility level will include taking stock of third-party software used by the organization. These might include a content management system (CMS), a learning management system (LMS), point-of-sale systems, human resource management systems, and a variety of other types of systems for administering day-to-day operations. Each of these at some point would have gone through a procurement process.

Here are some examples of how procurement fits into an organization’s overall digital accessibility policy:

  • In order to implement accessible procurement requirements, agreement is needed from the organization’s top level.
  • When providing training and support, staff need to be taught how to use accessibility features within the systems procured.
  • Ongoing monitoring is needed to ensure that upgrades to systems don’t compromise accessibility. Often, when software as a service (SaaS) is being used, system updates behind the scenes go unnoticed by typical users of the system.

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Digital Accessibility as a Business Practice by Digital Education Strategies, The Chang School is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.