Accessibility requirements must be included in contracts for Commonwealth information technology systems to ensure they can be used by people with disabilities. The IT Acquisition Accessibility Compliance Program provides required contract language and related guidance for IT solution procurements after December 1, 2006. This language becomes a contractual term between the vendor and the procuring agency.
The IT accessibility contract language must be included for procurements for new IT systems, or for major upgrades of existing IT systems, that are issued by Executive Department agencies under statewide contracts or Request for Responses (RFR) when OSD has given an agency permission to post their own RFR.
Each procurement management team member should carefully review the required IT accessibility contract language to be sure all team members understand its implications.
To determine whether a new version is a major upgrade or a minor enhancement, look at factors such as:
- expected cost of the project
- expected length of the project
- extent of new features and functionality
- need for major network or hardware changes
This page includes the IT accessibility contract language required by the IT Acquisition Accessibility Compliance Program. The language can be tailored to match the specific defined terms of your solicitation, for instance, the name of your agency, or the way that you refer to the successful bidder or vendor in your RFQ. It can also be tailored to match the term that you use for discrete deliverables under the contract.
This AT/IT list includes the operating systems, browsers, and assistive technologies that need to be taken into account when testing IT systems for accessibility. It describes what is likely to be used; it is not meant to be a recommendation for procuring new AT/IT.
Not all commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings are in full compliance with EOTSS’ accessibility standards when an agency wants to procure them. The Enterprise IT Accessibility Standards set out a "waiver" process for when commercial software is not in compliance. However, we cannot waive responsibilities under state and federal laws relating to use of information technology by people with disabilities. In addition to requesting a waiver, any deficiency in compliance requires a mitigation plan in the form of a mitigation letter.
A link to the CommonWiki page for Accessibility Advisory Committees. The purpose of an Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) is to advise a project on IT accessibility issues.