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UA is interested in the experiences of third-party contracting for e-procurement (licensing & hosted services) as an Ellucian Banner enterprise.

o   Who did you contract with?

o   Comments on the e-procurement system?

o   How did the integration with Banner go?

o   Comments on valuable lessons learned?

Thanks,

Scott A. Snedden

 

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

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Comments

Hi Greg and others,
I love the idea of collaborating on procurement procedures, especially around publisher content. Currently we collect VPATs and evaluate products with end users whenever we can.
It would be helpful if we could upload VPATs or whatever folks use to evaluate accessibility to a common database hosted by Educause, so we wouldn't all be duplicating work that another school has done. Sometimes I know we have received VPATs that company's didn't want us to share, but that seems wrong. Perhaps we ask for permission from each company that we be able to share it with  Educause IT Access group.
Sorry I missed the conversation today. I'll try to join if there are future meetings on this subject.
Thanks!
Karen M. Sorensen
Accessibility Advocate for Online Courses
www.pcc.edu/access
Portland Community College
971-722-4720
"The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.”  Tim Berners-Lee

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

I would be interested in collaborating on procurement procedures as well if there is a smaller group created for that purpose. 

Kit Cole
Software Tester/Accessible IT Coordinator
KU Information Technology
785-864-0272


From: Karen Sorensen <karen.sorensen@PCC.EDU>
Reply-To: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv <ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Date: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 12:51 PM
To: "ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU" <ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Subject: [ITACCESS] Procurement

Hi Greg and others,
I love the idea of collaborating on procurement procedures, especially around publisher content. Currently we collect VPATs and evaluate products with end users whenever we can.
It would be helpful if we could upload VPATs or whatever folks use to evaluate accessibility to a common database hosted by Educause, so we wouldn't all be duplicating work that another school has done. Sometimes I know we have received VPATs that company's didn't want us to share, but that seems wrong. Perhaps we ask for permission from each company that we be able to share it with  Educause IT Access group.
Sorry I missed the conversation today. I'll try to join if there are future meetings on this subject.
Thanks!
Karen M. Sorensen
Accessibility Advocate for Online Courses
www.pcc.edu/access
Portland Community College
971-722-4720
"The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.”  Tim Berners-Lee

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Hello,

Karen, I wasn't able to join in on this call, but I think this is an excellent idea! It would be one step toward unifying higher ed and letting companies know that we all work together so they can't side step accessibility by being secretive. Seems like a great way to keep them honest and a great resource for all of us, assuming companies are willing to participate.

Thanks,
Stephani


-----
Stephani Roberts
Web Accessibility Consultant
MIT IS&T Accessibility & Usability
stephani@mit.edu
website: http://web.mit.edu/atic/www/accessibility/index.html

desk: 617.253.0866
mobile: 617.852.3100

Send accessibility testing requests to: accessibility@mit.edu




Message from schafercg@missouri.edu

Hello Everyone,

I also wasn't able to attend the meeting, and we are very interested in Karen’s idea. Currently, we are trying to figure out a good method for housing vendor VPATs and additional accessibility information that we acquire from companies and/or others. I’m curious what others are doing and/or using to organize and maintain this info (e.g. file share, SharePoint, homegrown application, and so on).

 

With appreciation, 

 

Carmen Schafer

University of Missouri

Division of IT, ACT Center

http://actcenter.missouri.edu

(573)882-8838

 

Hello,

We at Boston College would love to be part of this discussion. VPAT review seems time intensive and requires specialize skills.  

Scott
-------------------------------------------------- 
Scott Olivieri
Web Technology Group
Boston College Information Technology Services
617.552.8460





Hi all, There is a very extensive repository of VPATs at the Accessibility Resource Center: http://buyaccessible.net/VARC/ Hard to say how complete the list is, or if links are maintained, but there it is. Glad somebody has already done the work for us. Cheers, Christian -- Christian Vinten-Johansen Teaching and Learning with Technology IT Accessibility Team Penn State 814-863-4574 http://tlt.its.psu.edu/
Unfortunately VPATs are often uninformative, and in some cases completely inaccurate. As far as I know there's no accountability, no requirement that vendors actually fill these out truthfully. In rare cases VPATs can be a good place to start, but we also need the ability to supplement VPATs with additional information (results of objective independent accessibility testing, user comments, etc.)

In the IT Accessibility Constituent Group meeting at the EDUCAUSE national conference last year someone drew the comparison to Yelp: I like that comparison. It would be great if we could setup a system whereby users could freely discuss specific products, share observations and independent test results, etc.; others could rate these posts on usefulness and perceived credibility; and all of this could occur without fear of legal backlash. Not sure if Yelp has successfully attained the latter, but users perceive they can criticize with impunity, so their model be worth investigating.

Terrill


---
Terrill Thompson
Technology Accessibility Specialist
DO-IT, Accessible Technology Services
UW Information Technology
University of Washington
tft@uw.edu


At your Universities, whose responsibility is it to review VPATs to ensure they are valid?  Central IT? the department making the purchase?

 

How are your University Purchasing departments helping with the process?

 

Much debate here regarding who is responsible for what.

 

Thanks,

Susan Adkins

Deputy CIO

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, AR 72701

 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Terrill Thompson
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 10:25 AM
To: ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Procurement

 

Unfortunately VPATs are often uninformative, and in some cases completely inaccurate. As far as I know there's no accountability, no requirement that vendors actually fill these out truthfully. In rare cases VPATs can be a good place to start, but we also need the ability to supplement VPATs with additional information (results of objective independent accessibility testing, user comments, etc.)

In the IT Accessibility Constituent Group meeting at the EDUCAUSE national conference last year someone drew the comparison to Yelp: I like that comparison. It would be great if we could setup a system whereby users could freely discuss specific products, share observations and independent test results, etc.; others could rate these posts on usefulness and perceived credibility; and all of this could occur without fear of legal backlash. Not sure if Yelp has successfully attained the latter, but users perceive they can criticize with impunity, so their model be worth investigating.

Terrill



---
Terrill Thompson
Technology Accessibility Specialist
DO-IT, Accessible Technology Services
UW Information Technology
University of Washington
tft@uw.edu

 

Darn, of course the VPAT I am looking for isn't there - Splunk who supplies BlueJeans :(. geoff Geoff Cirullo Deputy Chief Information Officer Director Academic Technology SSU Faculty Center cirullo@sonoma.edu 707-664-3349 -----Original Message----- From: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Christian Vinten-Johansen Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 5:12 AM To: ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Procurement Hi all, There is a very extensive repository of VPATs at the Accessibility Resource Center: http://buyaccessible.net/VARC/ Hard to say how complete the list is, or if links are maintained, but there it is. Glad somebody has already done the work for us. Cheers, Christian -- Christian Vinten-Johansen Teaching and Learning with Technology IT Accessibility Team Penn State 814-863-4574 http://tlt.its.psu.edu/

Our Purchasing department contacts me whenever a software purchase request is made to evaluate if an ATI review is needed.

Geoff

 

Geoff Cirullo

Deputy Chief Information Officer

Director Academic Technology

SSU Faculty Center

cirullo@sonoma.edu

707-664-3349

 

From: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Susan J. Adkins
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 8:36 AM
To: ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Procurement

 

At your Universities, whose responsibility is it to review VPATs to ensure they are valid?  Central IT? the department making the purchase?

 

How are your University Purchasing departments helping with the process?

 

Much debate here regarding who is responsible for what.

 

Thanks,

Susan Adkins

Deputy CIO

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, AR 72701

 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Terrill Thompson
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 10:25 AM
To: ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Procurement

 

Unfortunately VPATs are often uninformative, and in some cases completely inaccurate. As far as I know there's no accountability, no requirement that vendors actually fill these out truthfully. In rare cases VPATs can be a good place to start, but we also need the ability to supplement VPATs with additional information (results of objective independent accessibility testing, user comments, etc.)

In the IT Accessibility Constituent Group meeting at the EDUCAUSE national conference last year someone drew the comparison to Yelp: I like that comparison. It would be great if we could setup a system whereby users could freely discuss specific products, share observations and independent test results, etc.; others could rate these posts on usefulness and perceived credibility; and all of this could occur without fear of legal backlash. Not sure if Yelp has successfully attained the latter, but users perceive they can criticize with impunity, so their model be worth investigating.

Terrill



---
Terrill Thompson
Technology Accessibility Specialist
DO-IT, Accessible Technology Services
UW Information Technology
University of Washington
tft@uw.edu

 

Message from lgreco@berkeley.edu

We just contracted with bluejeans and I don't think they have a vpat but it's not bad for access. I had more problems getting there the app through our firewall then getting it to work with jaws smile Lucia Greco Web Access Analyst IST-Campus Technology Services University of California, Berkeley (510) 289-6008 skype: lucia1-greco http://webaccess.berkeley.edu -----Original Message----- From: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Geoff Cirullo Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 8:53 AM To: ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Procurement Darn, of course the VPAT I am looking for isn't there - Splunk who supplies BlueJeans :(. geoff Geoff Cirullo Deputy Chief Information Officer Director Academic Technology SSU Faculty Center cirullo@sonoma.edu 707-664-3349 -----Original Message----- From: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Christian Vinten-Johansen Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 5:12 AM To: ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Procurement Hi all, There is a very extensive repository of VPATs at the Accessibility Resource Center: http://buyaccessible.net/VARC/ Hard to say how complete the list is, or if links are maintained, but there it is. Glad somebody has already done the work for us. Cheers, Christian -- Christian Vinten-Johansen Teaching and Learning with Technology IT Accessibility Team Penn State 814-863-4574 http://tlt.its.psu.edu/

At WTAMU, the Electronic and Information Resources (EIR) owner, (the person responsible for the EIR, defined as the person with statutory or operational authority and responsibility at WTAMU for establishing controls for the EIR’s generation, collection, processing, access, dissemination and disposal) or their designee, with help from the Accessibility Coordinator, must review vendor VPATs to assess the degree of accessibility of a given product or service, and to ensure EIR comply with applicable accessibility standards.

 

WTAMU staff may also need to request additional product documentation and information from the vendor to verify a product’s statement of accessibility.

 

EIR owners are responsible for University accessibility compliance and compliance testing, and are encouraged to conduct accessibility acceptance testing before deploying software applications, or accepting the delivery of software developed internally or under a WTAMU contract.

 

Pending final approvals, here’s the link to our draft standard administrative procedure (SAP), including Procurement, http://www.wtamu.edu/webres/File/About/Accessibility/29-01-04-W1-01DRAFTweb.pdf

 

WTAMU gratefully acknowledges that this SAP was drafted and adapted in part from information gathered from the Texas Health and Human Services System Accessibility Policies and Procedures Manuals, the US Access Board Information and Communications Technology Section 508 Refresh Draft Rule 2011 – Chapter 2: Scoping Requirements for Electronic Content, the US Patent and Trademark Office Section 508 Reference Guide, and the Texas Workforce Commission EIR Accessibility Compliance Plan, among others.  Thank you!

 

Sincerely,

 

Lisa Caid

Accessibility Coordinator

Information Technology – Accessibility

lcaid@wtamu.edu

(806) 651-1241

IT Service Center (806) 651-4357

 

If you need email content or attachments in alternate formats for accessibility, please send your contact information and the specifics of your request to accessibility@wtamu.edu.

 

From: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Geoff Cirullo
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 10:55 AM
To: ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Procurement

 

Our Purchasing department contacts me whenever a software purchase request is made to evaluate if an ATI review is needed.

Geoff

 

Geoff Cirullo

Deputy Chief Information Officer

Director Academic Technology

SSU Faculty Center

cirullo@sonoma.edu

707-664-3349

 

From: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Susan J. Adkins
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 8:36 AM
To: ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Procurement

 

At your Universities, whose responsibility is it to review VPATs to ensure they are valid?  Central IT? the department making the purchase?

 

How are your University Purchasing departments helping with the process?

 

Much debate here regarding who is responsible for what.

 

Thanks,

Susan Adkins

Deputy CIO

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, AR 72701

 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Terrill Thompson
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 10:25 AM
To: ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Procurement

 

Unfortunately VPATs are often uninformative, and in some cases completely inaccurate. As far as I know there's no accountability, no requirement that vendors actually fill these out truthfully. In rare cases VPATs can be a good place to start, but we also need the ability to supplement VPATs with additional information (results of objective independent accessibility testing, user comments, etc.)

In the IT Accessibility Constituent Group meeting at the EDUCAUSE national conference last year someone drew the comparison to Yelp: I like that comparison. It would be great if we could setup a system whereby users could freely discuss specific products, share observations and independent test results, etc.; others could rate these posts on usefulness and perceived credibility; and all of this could occur without fear of legal backlash. Not sure if Yelp has successfully attained the latter, but users perceive they can criticize with impunity, so their model be worth investigating.

Terrill



---
Terrill Thompson
Technology Accessibility Specialist
DO-IT, Accessible Technology Services
UW Information Technology
University of Washington
tft@uw.edu

 

So does your department take responsibility for testing and ensuring the purchase  is ADA compliant?  Or if you feel a review is in order, does it go back to the department purchasing the software to test?

Susan

From: Geoff Cirullo <cirullo@SONOMA.EDU>
Reply-To: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv <ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Date: Friday, February 7, 2014 at 10:54 AM
To: "ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU" <ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Procurement

Our Purchasing department contacts me whenever a software purchase request is made to evaluate if an ATI review is needed.

Geoff

 

Geoff Cirullo

Deputy Chief Information Officer

Director Academic Technology

SSU Faculty Center

cirullo@sonoma.edu

707-664-3349

 

From: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Susan J. Adkins
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 8:36 AM
To: ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Procurement

 

At your Universities, whose responsibility is it to review VPATs to ensure they are valid?  Central IT? the department making the purchase?

 

How are your University Purchasing departments helping with the process?

 

Much debate here regarding who is responsible for what.

 

Thanks,

Susan Adkins

Deputy CIO

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, AR 72701

 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Terrill Thompson
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 10:25 AM
To: ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Procurement

 

Unfortunately VPATs are often uninformative, and in some cases completely inaccurate. As far as I know there's no accountability, no requirement that vendors actually fill these out truthfully. In rare cases VPATs can be a good place to start, but we also need the ability to supplement VPATs with additional information (results of objective independent accessibility testing, user comments, etc.)

In the IT Accessibility Constituent Group meeting at the EDUCAUSE national conference last year someone drew the comparison to Yelp: I like that comparison. It would be great if we could setup a system whereby users could freely discuss specific products, share observations and independent test results, etc.; others could rate these posts on usefulness and perceived credibility; and all of this could occur without fear of legal backlash. Not sure if Yelp has successfully attained the latter, but users perceive they can criticize with impunity, so their model be worth investigating.

Terrill



---
Terrill Thompson
Technology Accessibility Specialist
DO-IT, Accessible Technology Services
UW Information Technology
University of Washington
tft@uw.edu

 

In the CSU, we have drafted a list of suggested "Roles and Responsibilities" for Procurement of Accessible E&IT. In a nutshell, here are our suggested roles and responsibilities for those involved with gathering and reviewing accessibility conformance documentation (which includes VPATs):
  1. The Purchase Requester and Administrative Support Staff are responsible to obtain the VPAT from the vendor for the proposed purchase of E&IT
  2. The (University Purchasing department) Buyer is responsible to ensure that all required accessibility conformance documentation is submitted with the purchase requisition. Required accessibility conformance documentation includes a pre-purchase worksheet (which describes the product's functionality, intended use and audience, and market research about this and similar solutions in the commercial marketplace), and vendor-provided accessibility documentation (which includes VPATs, Accessibility Roadmaps, etc.)
  3. The Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) Designee or Other Designee (e.g. ATI Coordinator) is responsible to evaluate the vendor-provided accessibility conformance documentation (including the VPAT, if available) and to make recommendations about how best to verify the information contained therein (e.g. testing for conformance to accessibility standards (e.g. 508, WCAG), usability and user-testing, etc.)
Best,

Tom

From: "Susan J. Adkins" <sadkins@UARK.EDU>
To: ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Sent: Friday, February 7, 2014 8:36:25 AM
Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Procurement

At your Universities, whose responsibility is it to review VPATs to ensure they are valid?  Central IT? the department making the purchase?

 

How are your University Purchasing departments helping with the process?

 

Much debate here regarding who is responsible for what.

 

Thanks,

Susan Adkins

Deputy CIO

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, AR 72701

 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Terrill Thompson
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 10:25 AM
To: ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Procurement

 

Unfortunately VPATs are often uninformative, and in some cases completely inaccurate. As far as I know there's no accountability, no requirement that vendors actually fill these out truthfully. In rare cases VPATs can be a good place to start, but we also need the ability to supplement VPATs with additional information (results of objective independent accessibility testing, user comments, etc.)

In the IT Accessibility Constituent Group meeting at the EDUCAUSE national conference last year someone drew the comparison to Yelp: I like that comparison. It would be great if we could setup a system whereby users could freely discuss specific products, share observations and independent test results, etc.; others could rate these posts on usefulness and perceived credibility; and all of this could occur without fear of legal backlash. Not sure if Yelp has successfully attained the latter, but users perceive they can criticize with impunity, so their model be worth investigating.

Terrill



---
Terrill Thompson
Technology Accessibility Specialist
DO-IT, Accessible Technology Services
UW Information Technology
University of Washington
tft@uw.edu

 

Hi,

We perform the testing and usually work with the purchasing department to create an equally effective access plan.

Geoff

 

From: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Susan J. Adkins
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 10:21 AM
To: ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Procurement

 

So does your department take responsibility for testing and ensuring the purchase  is ADA compliant?  Or if you feel a review is in order, does it go back to the department purchasing the software to test?

 

Susan

 

From: Geoff Cirullo <cirullo@SONOMA.EDU>
Reply-To: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv <ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Date: Friday, February 7, 2014 at 10:54 AM
To: "ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU" <ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Procurement

 

Our Purchasing department contacts me whenever a software purchase request is made to evaluate if an ATI review is needed.

Geoff

 

Geoff Cirullo

Deputy Chief Information Officer

Director Academic Technology

SSU Faculty Center

cirullo@sonoma.edu

707-664-3349

 

From: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Susan J. Adkins
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 8:36 AM
To: ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Procurement

 

At your Universities, whose responsibility is it to review VPATs to ensure they are valid?  Central IT? the department making the purchase?

 

How are your University Purchasing departments helping with the process?

 

Much debate here regarding who is responsible for what.

 

Thanks,

Susan Adkins

Deputy CIO

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, AR 72701

 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Terrill Thompson
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 10:25 AM
To: ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Procurement

 

Unfortunately VPATs are often uninformative, and in some cases completely inaccurate. As far as I know there's no accountability, no requirement that vendors actually fill these out truthfully. In rare cases VPATs can be a good place to start, but we also need the ability to supplement VPATs with additional information (results of objective independent accessibility testing, user comments, etc.)

In the IT Accessibility Constituent Group meeting at the EDUCAUSE national conference last year someone drew the comparison to Yelp: I like that comparison. It would be great if we could setup a system whereby users could freely discuss specific products, share observations and independent test results, etc.; others could rate these posts on usefulness and perceived credibility; and all of this could occur without fear of legal backlash. Not sure if Yelp has successfully attained the latter, but users perceive they can criticize with impunity, so their model be worth investigating.

Terrill



---
Terrill Thompson
Technology Accessibility Specialist
DO-IT, Accessible Technology Services
UW Information Technology
University of Washington
tft@uw.edu

 

I've been looking at a lot of VPATs recently, and I agree totally with Terrill. There's no accountability for the statements you'll find in VPATs, so there needs to be a way to test products and services before contracts are signed. Testing after signing is always too late. But it's also difficult to get vendors and purchasing departments to agree on terms for testing. But post contract experiences would be valuable information to share. Christian -- Christian Vinten-Johansen Teaching and Learning with Technology IT Accessibility Team Penn State 814-863-4574 http://tlt.its.psu.edu/
Christian,

You're spot-on that testing after signing a contract is often too late to be meaningful, especially in the case where the selected company's product is highly deficient and the company lacks the competency, resources, commitment or even willingness to remediate any issues identified during testing.

Ideally, the consideration of Accessibility conformance issues would be done at a much earlier time, most ideally during the time when a requester is contemplating buying a product, where there is at least some possibility of influencing the product selection.

One big question I have is the role of testing, and the follow-up actions agencies and companies should take after having (real-world) test results in-hand. Given that most all products / solutions are not fully conformant to either Section 508 or WCAG, the question never really is "did we select an accessible" product or even "did we select the most accessible" product.

Instead, I think it is more critical to:
  1. [Comprehensive Purchasing Process] Ensure that the University (or agency) has a comprehensive Accessible Procurement process, one in which the Purchasing Department serves as a gatekeeper and tracker of key statistics (relative to E&IT):
    • In a gate-keeping role, Procurement staff are the ones that can try to ensure that all (and not just some of the) incoming procurements have followed the University-established process for E&IT, and should notify the IT Accessibility staff if they haven't yet been involved.
    • Also, Purchasing departments should track statistics about all procurements for E&IT, along with tracking what level of review took place. To me, Purchasing departments are uniquely situated in the organization and are able to see the big picture of all purchases taking place, whereas in many institutions, the IT Accessibility folks have awareness and visibility on a more voluntary, selective basis (and may not know all purchases that are being approved and moved forward.)
  2. [Vendor Capabilities Model instead of Determine Product Conformance Levels at Purchase Model] I think many organizations focus on the question of "How Compliant is this Product?" To me, better questions would be, "Is this vendor capable, willing, and able to, using University guidance if necessary, work with us to address identified gaps in Accessibility?" and "How quickly do we think we can achieve full compliance?" (no later than a reasonable period of time...)
To me, the point of testing isn't to prevent a purchase from happening (unless the vendor lacks the capabilities, willingness, resources, or ability to remediate their products, or unless the product under consideration is clearly is not able to be remediated without entirely re-coding or other similarly drastic remediation steps.) So, if the role of testing is clearly presented to the vendor as a join effort, one that is intended to provide all the necessary tools to become conformant, I can't really imagine why a vendor or the purchasing staff would have any issue with the idea.

My three cents ...

Best,

Tom

From: "Christian Vinten-Johansen" <v23@PSU.EDU>
To: ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Sent: Friday, February 7, 2014 12:26:46 PM
Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Procurement

I've been looking at a lot of VPATs recently, and I agree totally with
Terrill. There's no accountability for the statements you'll find in
VPATs, so there needs to be a way to test products and services before
contracts are signed. Testing after signing is always too late.

But it's also difficult to get vendors and purchasing departments to
agree on terms for testing. But post contract experiences would be
valuable information to share.

Christian
--
Christian Vinten-Johansen

Teaching and Learning with Technology
IT Accessibility Team
Penn State
814-863-4574
http://tlt.its.psu.edu/


Every time I hear about this issue, I return to the thought that the only real solution will come through writing contracts that require a designated inspector to approve a site before final payment is made. We construct buildings every day, and buyers don't know anything about engineering, yet very few newly completed buildings are unsafe. Why is that? Because builders must pass inspections before the building can be occupied. Builders know this, and so they learn the building codes, get feedback at several stages of construction, and ask inspectors questions during construction to minimize rework. We don't have this for websites, so web development sellers wave their hands to questions of accessibility, and the reply "Oh sure, we've got that covered" satisfies the buyer, and no attention at all is paid to accessibility. Neither department heads nor purchasing agents nor attorneys know anything about how to judge accessibility (nor should they), yet they are often the only campus representatives involved in these projects. I'm trying to inject a required inspection process here for all contracted work. Of course we're not interested in seeing costs increase, yet I don't see any other option when web developers have no incentive to build in accessibility. Kevin Shalla Academic and Enrollment Services University of Illinois at Chicago -----Original Message----- From: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Christian Vinten-Johansen Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 2:27 PM To: ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Procurement I've been looking at a lot of VPATs recently, and I agree totally with Terrill. There's no accountability for the statements you'll find in VPATs, so there needs to be a way to test products and services before contracts are signed. Testing after signing is always too late. But it's also difficult to get vendors and purchasing departments to agree on terms for testing. But post contract experiences would be valuable information to share. Christian -- Christian Vinten-Johansen Teaching and Learning with Technology IT Accessibility Team Penn State 814-863-4574 http://tlt.its.psu.edu/
Hear, hear, Kevin! :0) Sincerely, Lisa Caid Accessibility Coordinator Information Technology – Accessibility lcaid@wtamu.edu (806) 651-1241 IT Service Center (806) 651-4357 If you need email content or attachments in alternate formats for accessibility, please send your contact information and the specifics of your request to accessibility@wtamu.edu. -----Original Message----- From: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Shalla, Kevin Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 3:40 PM To: ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Procurement Every time I hear about this issue, I return to the thought that the only real solution will come through writing contracts that require a designated inspector to approve a site before final payment is made. We construct buildings every day, and buyers don't know anything about engineering, yet very few newly completed buildings are unsafe. Why is that? Because builders must pass inspections before the building can be occupied. Builders know this, and so they learn the building codes, get feedback at several stages of construction, and ask inspectors questions during construction to minimize rework. We don't have this for websites, so web development sellers wave their hands to questions of accessibility, and the reply "Oh sure, we've got that covered" satisfies the buyer, and no attention at all is paid to accessibility. Neither department heads nor purchasing agents nor attorneys know anything about how to judge accessibility (nor should they), yet they are often the only campus representatives involved in these projects. I'm trying to inject a required inspection process here for all contracted work. Of course we're not interested in seeing costs increase, yet I don't see any other option when web developers have no incentive to build in accessibility. Kevin Shalla Academic and Enrollment Services University of Illinois at Chicago -----Original Message----- From: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Christian Vinten-Johansen Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 2:27 PM To: ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Procurement I've been looking at a lot of VPATs recently, and I agree totally with Terrill. There's no accountability for the statements you'll find in VPATs, so there needs to be a way to test products and services before contracts are signed. Testing after signing is always too late. But it's also difficult to get vendors and purchasing departments to agree on terms for testing. But post contract experiences would be valuable information to share. Christian -- Christian Vinten-Johansen Teaching and Learning with Technology IT Accessibility Team Penn State 814-863-4574 http://tlt.its.psu.edu/
Another important fact to note is that frequently the product we want does not meet all or most of the accessibility criteria we define. That's why it is important to stay connected with the responsible purchasing department/entity and the vendor and engage them in an constructive collaboration, set a well-defined, time-lined and verifiable accessibility/usability enhancement plan and more importantly include the plan in the contract. Almost all the vendors care now for accessibility; the problem is that they don't have the in-house knowledge and expertise and we need to help them proactively to achieve it. And finally, it does not come overnight or in the next version. Thanks, Hadi -----Original Message----- From: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Christian Vinten-Johansen Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 2:27 PM To: ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Procurement I've been looking at a lot of VPATs recently, and I agree totally with Terrill. There's no accountability for the statements you'll find in VPATs, so there needs to be a way to test products and services before contracts are signed. Testing after signing is always too late. But it's also difficult to get vendors and purchasing departments to agree on terms for testing. But post contract experiences would be valuable information to share. Christian -- Christian Vinten-Johansen Teaching and Learning with Technology IT Accessibility Team Penn State 814-863-4574 http://tlt.its.psu.edu/
I think what Hadi stated is our biggest problem for accessibility, especially when we talk about complex web apps. Even companies who want to improve accessibility have little expertise to know what to do. The web has become very complex place and it is a lot more than alt text for images and labeling form controls. We need more people with in higher education with the time and expertise to engage companies on accessibility to help them understand the problems and work them to find effective solutions. Jon
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