Campus Requester Information

Make accessibility a criteria when choosing electronic and information technology (EIT). Keep in mind that NIU must comply with state and federal accessibility laws and may be audited to ensure compliance. This applies to day to day purchases as well as to the formal bidding process.

The current Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) report is the standard way to show accessibility compliance. Some vendors post it on their website or you can request one. Note where a VPAT reports "Supports with exceptions" or uses most, as in "Most of the interface can be operated using just a keyboard." These mean a person with disabilities cannot access everything.

Some EIT doesn't have an interface, such as data storage devices. Some technology is purchased for use by one or two people or is not used by the public, such as server maintenance applications. These purchases, by P-card or purchase requisition, are exceptions to accessibility law.

Quick Accessibility Checks You Can Do Yourself

Here are some easy ways to check accessibility (this is not a complete accessibility check). If the answer is no to any of the following questions, there is an accessibility issue.

  • Using just the tab key can you get to all the links, form fields, and buttons?
  • Can you click on links using the Enter key?
  • Can you click buttons using the spacebar or Enter key?
  • Are videos captioned?
  • Are there controls that let you pause or stop videos?
  • If you click on a form field's label, does the cursor move into that form field?
  • Nothing flashes more than three times per second?

What to Tell Vendors

Let vendors know that NIU is required to comply with state and federal laws regarding electronic and information technology (EIT) accessibility.

If a vendor responds negatively, point out that

  • All public universities are required to have accessible electronic and information technology according to
  • Rehabilitation Act - Section 508 Refresh.
  • A product is more convenient to purchase if there is a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) readily available showing it is accessible.
  • Accessible EIT has a larger potential market.

Vendors of accessible products

  • Have a current VPAT for the EIT on their website or it's readily available by request.
  • The VPAT tables for Conformance Levels A and AA are filled out completely and support each criteria.
  • If the vendor has submitted Illinois Form A Certifications and Disclosures (DOCX), Section 3.24 has not been deleted, crossed out or rewritten.