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.

Please answer the following questions:

  1. 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?
  2. What standards are followed for coding of interfaces (if 508, what parts, if WCAG 2.1, which level)?
  3. 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?
  4. What experience do developers on your team have coding for accessibility?
  5. What are your company's internal standards for developing with accessibility in mind? (Note: may have been answered by question 2.)
  6. Does your company have a road map for accessibility going forward? If so, can you give us a general outline (goals, milestones)?
  7. Have you tested and/or developed your mobile apps with accessibility in mind?
  8. 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?
  9. Would your company indemnify OSU against legal action related to accessibility?
  10. 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.
  11. 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.

The following contract language can be used and adapted, as appropriate, when negotiating contracts with vendors or other third parties delivering digital information or digital services. The DAC is also available to assist in these discussions, if needed.

ADA/Digital Accessibility

[Vendor] acknowledges and warrants that Software conforms and shall continue to conform during the Term of this Agreement to the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, version 2.1 (“WCAG 2.1”) at conformance Level A and AA.  If Software does not fully conform to WCAG 2.1 A and AA, [Vendor] shall advise Ohio State in writing of the nonconformance prior to execution of this Agreement and shall provide Ohio State a plan to achieve conformance to WCAG 2.1 A and AA, including but not limited to, an intended timeline for conformance.  Failure to achieve conformance, as determined in Ohio State’s sole discretion, on its intended timeline shall be considered a material breach of this Agreement and grounds for termination by Ohio State.


If during the Term of this Agreement, [Vendor] fails to maintain compliance with WCAG 2.1 A and AA or Ohio State otherwise identifies an issue related to accessibility of the Software (the “Accessibility Issue”) that renders the application inaccessible, then Ohio State shall notify [Vendor] of non-compliance. Within 30 days of [Vendor] receipt of a non-compliance notice (“Notice”), [Vendor] and Ohio State shall meet and mutually agree upon an appropriate timeline for resolution of the Accessibility Issue(s) (“Initial Meeting”). 

Should [Vendor]: 

  1. fail to acknowledge receipt of the notice within 30 days of receipt of the Notice;
  2. unreasonably and solely withhold agreement regarding a timeline for resolution for more than 30 days following the Initial Meeting; or
  3. fail to materially resolve the Accessibility Issue(s) within the agreed-upon timeline,

.  [Vendor] agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Ohio State from any claims arising out of its failure to comply with the requirements of this section. Failure to comply with these requirements shall constitute a material breach of this Agreement and shall be grounds for termination of this Agreement by Ohio State.