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

A Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) is a form that measures how your ICT product meets the current accessibility standards. Mizzou adopted Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A and AA, but we encourage compliance with 2.1 AA or higher. You can download the VPAT from the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) website. Someone familiar with digital accessibility and WCAG should complete the VPAT. A completed VPAT is called an Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR). An accessibility statement does not replace our requirement for an ACR (or completed VPAT). We also recommend a third-party accessibility audit by a reputable vendor to validate accessibility. Contact us for a list of reputable accessibility audit service providers. The General Services Administration site provides instructions on creating an Accessibility Conformance Report.
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, which will expedite the process.

Ask the company about the accessibility of their ICT product and let them know it’s a priority. Here is a list of questions to ask vendors:

  • 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)?
  • Can you provide a product Accessibility Conformance Report, which is a completed Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)?
    • Accessibility Conformance Reports (or completed VPATs) help buyers of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) understand a product’s level of accessibility compliance, compare compliance with similar products, and make informed decisions before purchasing a product. 
  • Do you have a designated accessibility representative to address issues or questions about accessibility issues?
  • 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.

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

  • 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.

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