Purchasing Accessible Technology

Accessibility in the Procurement Process

Procure to Purchase Order (P2PO)

The accessibility check is required for purchases of electronic and information technology (EIT) in the P2PO system. EIT purchase requests are routed to the Information Technology Accessibility Officer (ITAO) for approval:

  1. Determine if the use case for the product qualifies as an exception as defined by Section 508 Refresh of the Rehabilitation Act.
  2. If the product is not an exception, get a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) from the vendor. The VPAT is the legal way to report a product's accessibility. The Information Technology Industry Council hosts the official versions of the VPAT.

Achieving Compliance

As campus requesters make accessibility a factor when choosing EIT, NIU's technology will become more accessible. Vendors will make their products accessible because the higher education market demands it.

Phase 1

While campus requesters and vendors learn about NIU's requirements for accessible EIT, purchase requisitions for EIT will go to the ITAO.

  1. The ITAO will request a completed VPAT2.x from the vendor and copy the requester.
  2. If the product is inaccessible, the ITAO will notify the vendor and requester and may request

Phase 2

An accessibility check is added to the beginning of the procurement process.

  1. The requester requests a completed VPAT2.x from the vendor and attaches it to the purchase requisition.
  2. If the product is inaccessible, the ITAO will notify the vendor and requester and may request

Phase 3

The long view:

  • Campus requesters keep accessibility in mind when choosing what to buy.
  • Vendors make accessible products and services because customers insist on it.
  • NIU's EIT becomes more accessible over time.