It is University practice to purchase only electronic and information technology (EIT) that is equally accessible to disabled and non-disabled users, unless it is technically unfeasible to do so in which case an accessible alternative must be provided. Purchases made through the request for bid (RFB) process, as well as items purchased by PCard and purchase order, should be evaluated for their accessibility.
“Accessible” means that individuals with disabilities are provided the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions and enjoy the same services as those without disability in an equally effective, independent, and integrated manner.
Who has responsibility for EIT Accessibility?
Anyone and everyone at the University who is purchasing a product or recommending a purchase has a responsibility to consider accessibility as a major part of the decision-making process. Considering accessibility during the purchasing process allows the campus to proactively address barriers and more readily include a majority of users. When inaccessible products are brought on campus, access is achieved only through the retroactive, and often ineffective and inefficient, process of individual accommodation.
What is EIT?
EIT is information technology (IT) and any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment that is used in the creation, conversion, or duplication of data or information. EIT includes, but is not limited to:
- telecommunication products, such as telephones;
- information kiosks and transaction machines;
- World Wide Web sites;
- multimedia products, including videotapes; and
- office equipment, such as copiers and FAX machines.
- Determine if the product you are buying meets the definition of EIT
- Ask the vendor about the product's accessibility
- The vendor may already have a VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template) that will give you information on product's accessibility or you may ask that the vendor complete the University's VPAT
- Contact DRC for guidance on options or to support your conversations with the vendor
- If the item you have selected is not fully accessible,
- Identify whether there are similar products that are accessible and consider them as alternatives
- If no accessible alternative is available, contact DRC to document the reason for your selection and partner in the development of an alternative plan for access