Purchasing Technology

We are committed to ensuring that all members of the university community have the same access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

The university developed a Digital Accessibility of Communications and Information Technology policy and a procedure for evaluating the accessibility of ICT products in addition to the UM System’s Information Technology & Telecommunications Purchases. Purchased ICT products should adhere to the state and federal accessibility laws and standards. For more information, visit Laws, Policies and Standards.

Vendor Requirements

We require vendors to provide the following accessibility documentation, which may become part of the final legal agreement. For additional assistance, contact itcompliance@missouri.edu.

Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR)

Complete the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT), which measures how your ICT product meets the current accessibility standards. A completed VPAT is an Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR). MU has adopted the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 level AA. We recommend that someone familiar with WCAG 2.0 and web accessibility complete the VPAT. An accessibility statement doesn’t replace an ACR. If a trusted third-party has audited the product for accessibility, the university will accept this certification along with an ACR. For more information, visit VPAT Guidance for Vendors.

Product Accessibility Roadmap

A product accessibility roadmap outlines a vendor’s plan for addressing issues according to the accessibility guidelines and standards. Vendors should describe how and when their product will be fully accessible or their plans for addressing accessibility in future releases. This illustrates a vendor’s commitment to improving the product’s accessibility. If you do not have a roadmap, use the accessibility roadmap template (Microsoft Word document format). Completing a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) will help you identify accessibility issues with your product and complete an accessibility roadmap.

Purchaser Considerations

Anyone responsible for making decisions about acquiring technology solutions at MU must consider accessibility. When determining what technology solution best meets your needs, it’s essential to include accessibility during your search and it will expedite the process.

Questions for Vendors

Ask the company about the accessibility of their product and let them know it’s a priority. Examples:

  • Can you provide a VPAT (e.g., Accessibility Conformance Report)?
  • Can you demonstrate how to use your product without a mouse?
  • Who assesses your products for accessibility? (Internal, third-party, etc.)
  • Have any people with disabilities tested your product?
  • Does it comply with Section 508 (e.g., Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 level AA)?
  • Do you employ an accessibility expert or team?
  • How does your company integrate accessibility into the design and development of your products?
  • Do you have a resolution process for accessibility issues?
  • How often are your products assessed for accessibility compliance?
  • Do you have an Accessibility Roadmap for your products that do not meet compliance?

If the vendor cannot provide information on the accessibility of their product, look for comparable products.

If no product is fully accessible, then an exception can be granted by IT Compliance.

Familiarize Yourself with the IT Compliance Process

The Division of IT has implemented an IT Compliance process to evaluate technology in the following compliance areas:

Process Overview
  • A new purchase or renewal of a technology request is received.
  • Purchase must obtain approval email from IT Compliance to attach to the requisition or keep if using OneCard.
    • Finance Administration may ask for your IT Compliance approval as they are auditing purchases.
  • To receive approval from IT Compliance, complete these next steps:
    • Your IT Pro must complete filter questions form to capture the product details.
      • The filter questions form submission places the request into the IT compliance queue.
    • The IT Compliance team reviews the request to determine the relevant areas of compliance.
    • Vendors are required to complete the IT Standards and Requirements Questionnaire (ITSRQ) or compliance documentation.
    • IT Compliance evaluates the completed ITSRQ.
    • IT Compliance will send a final approval email, which must be attached to the requisition for purchase.

If the ITSRQ is needed, the review process can take four weeks or more depending on vendor response. The compliance review and approval will take only a few days if an ITSRQ is not needed.

Procurement language “IT Pro approval” means “IT Compliance and IT Pro approval.”

For additional assistance, email itcompliance@missouri.edu.

Contractual Language

Contact Heather Reed at 573-882-9778 with the UM System Procurement Technology Solutions team for contractual language questions.