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Purchasing Questions and Contract Language
All digital information and digital services (including websites, web applications, mobile applications, and other content delivered electronically) to be used by University faculty/staff, program participants, or other University constituencies must be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Compliance means that a person with a disability can acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability, in an equally effective and integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use. Information and services must be made available at the same time to a person with a disability as to a person without a disability.
There are multiple approaches to providing equally effective and substantially equivalent ease of use. A product will be considered to have met this standard based on a review by the University or when the vendor demonstrates that the work clearly meets the applicable current portions of the Ohio State University's Minimum Digital Accessibility Standards (MDAS) through documented accessibility testing by a qualified party.
The MDAS are implementation standards for Ohio State’s Digital Accessibility Policy, originally adopted in 2003, and revised in 2018. They are based on the W3c Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 at Level AA, the currently accepted standard of compliance. The goal of MDAS is to ensure digital technologies are functionally accessible to people with disabilities.
The accessibility testing process must be described in the proposal along with the completed chart (included below), and may include but is not limited to code reviews by internal or external experts, evaluations with accessibility checking software, vendor test bedding with assistive technologies, testing by users with disabilities, or testing by a third party organization.
Suggested questions for vendors
Please answer the following questions:
- Do you have clients who require accessibility (Federal government, international, local company policies)? If so, in outline, how are they ensuring your product meets their requirement?
- What standards are followed for coding of interfaces (if 508, what parts, if WCAG 2.1, which level)?
- Do you do testing with users with disabilities? If so, can you explain the process and identify, roughly, the range of disabilities and access technologies used?
- What experience do developers on your team have coding for accessibility?
- What are your company's internal standards for developing with accessibility in mind? (Note: may have been answered by question 2.)
- Does your company have a road map for accessibility going forward? If so, can you give us a general outline (goals, milestones)?
- Have you tested and/or developed your mobile apps with accessibility in mind?
- If we find that there are changes that need to be made to web/mobile interfaces/apps, what guarantee can we have that these will be implemented to our satisfaction prior to go-live/going forward?
- Would your company indemnify OSU against legal action related to accessibility?
- If the accessibility of your product relies on activation of a special accessibility mode or accessing an alternate interface, are all features and functions of the product replicated in the accessible mode or alternate interface such that a person using the accessible mode or alternate interface is able to acquire the same information and engage in the same interactions as a person not using this interface? If not, please detail what functions and features are unavailable.
- Is the process for enabling the accessibility mode or alternate interface accessible to a person using assistive technology such that a user would be able to independently enable the mode or access the alternate interface?
Please complete the attached WCAG compliance chart to indicate your organization’s ability to support Ohio State’s ADA compliance guidelines.
Suggested Contact Language
Download suggested contract language and a vendor fact sheet from Digital Accessibility Service’s Vendor Products page.