Once the contract is signed, the work of ensuring the accessibility of workplace tools is not over. Attention to accessibility must remain strong. This part of the Accessible Technology Procurement Toolkit offers best practices for accessibility focus at the time of delivery and during the term of the contract.
Time of Delivery: Testing and Documenting Accessibility and Gaps
If the contract specified vendor accessibility testing at time of delivery, those details should be verified with someone carefully evaluating test results. The technology should also be evaluated for accessibility by your organization. Consider in advance and build into policies and systems:
- Who in your organization will do the initial sign-off of the product for accessibility.
- What types of accessibility testing will be conducted: automated, manual, code inspection, AT compatibility, usability testing, and what tools will be used to conduct the testing.
Consider preparing a checklist and developing procedures with time frames to be sure that all needed information is captured.
As a result of the testing, you will be able to document both accessibility and known barriers. When documentation is complete, it is time to consider:
- What approvals are needed to sign off on the product with known accessibility barriers?
- What commitment is there to remedy barriers in future? This is a time to look carefully at the contract. If time-of-delivery testing has revealed barriers not addressed, the contract ideally will have a process for establishing a timeline for remediation. If not, a timeline and roadmap must be established.
- Who will be responsible to follow-up to remediate barriers revealed at time of delivery?
During the Contract: Bug Reports, Documenting Barriers, and Staying on the Roadmap
Don’t let all your accessible procurement efforts dissipate by ignoring accessibility once the product is yours. Here are best practices to keep accessibility on track after delivery:
- Solicit and respond to employee feedback about accessibility and bug reports. Share all feedback with vendor, get commitment (supported by contact) to remedy within a specific time frame.
- Involve ERG members to provide and document user experience.
- Establish regular testing protocols and meeting to review accessibility status.
- Confirm that accessibility is maintained after each update / new version by establishing testing protocols. Review accessibility information in updates and releases and verify for accuracy.
- Establish metrics for evaluating accessibility, measuring and reporting progress.
- Monitor and enforce any commitments made by suppliers during contract negotiation to follow a roadmap toward greater accessibility.
- Plan for needed accessibility language at contract and license renewal.