When issuing an RFP for software or software
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Accessible Software Services or Product Purchasing Guide Specific language for inclusion in an RFP or RFQ When issuing an RFP for software or software development through a vendor, use the following language in the RFP, to ensure that the software solution is accessible: The AGENCY considers universal accessibility to information a priority for all its employees and external customers, including individuals with disabilities. Under Sections 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. sections 794 and 794d, as amended), the AGENCY elects to ensure the accessibility of its programs and activities, specifically its obligation to acquire and use accessible electronic and information technology. The contractor shall comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, and the State of Washington’s Division of Information Services Web Accessibility Guidelines. Condition of payment – The contractor agrees that compliance with the provisions of this clause upon delivery of its product as a condition of payment under this contract. In addition the product should include the following: a) Product support documentation provided to end-users shall be made available in alternate formats upon request, at no additional charge b) End-users shall have access to a description of the accessibility and compatibility features of products in alternate formats or alternate methods upon request, at no additional charge; and In addition to required printed hard copy, all printed and/or multimedia deliverables shall be delivered in an electronic format compatible with the Assistive Technology. Multimedia deliverables shall meet the federal accessibility requirements. Considerations in selecting off-the-shelf software When purchasing a COTS solution, consider one of the following options (presented in priority order): Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) (http://www.section508.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Content&ID=99): o Electronic and Information Technology vendors may elect to fill- out the “Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)” created for evaluating Section 508 compliance by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI). Responses specifically address each requirement and greatly improve the ability to assess a product’s compliance. Examples: Adobe - http:/www.adobe.com/enterprise/accessibility/section508.ht ml Microsoft - http://www.microsoft.com/resources/government/section50 8.aspx Panasonic - http://panasonic.com/accessibility/vpats.html Center for Technology and Disabilities Studies - University of Washington o If no VPATs are available, then the next resource is to contact Debbie Cook at the Center for Technology and Disabilities Studies. The Center has information on many of the products available and can often provide input as to which ones are accessible and what accessible criteria they meet. Review evaluation copy o If there is not matrix and the Center for Technology and Disabilities Studies is not able to verify the products accessibility, then the final step would be to request an evaluation copy of the software and actually test it for accessibility.