Purchasing Accessible Electronic and Information Technology
Purchasing accessible technology is an essential part of MTSU's commitment to providing access for students, employees, and visitors with disabilities to campus offerings and meeting associated legal requirements. Electronic and information technology refers to information technology and equipment or integrated systems of equipment used to create, convert, store, retrieve or duplicate data or information. It includes, but is not limited to, websites and content, system interfaces, data collections, software, e-books, information kiosks, office equipment, and classroom technology. Requesting, receiving, and properly evaluating information pertaining to the accessibility of products from vendors prior to purchasing is necessary to meeting the overall campus accessibility goals. The steps and corresponding documents necessary to complete can be found on this webpage.
Process to Document Accessibility
On all purchases of electronic information technology:
- Request information included in the required portions of the Vendor Product Accessibility Agreement.
- If the vendor does not provide the documents in a timely fashion, it could be a sign that accessibility has not been adequately addressed, and another vendor should be considered.
- Review the information.
- If the information returned displays a number of concerns, consider another vendor.
- Email the Director of ADA Compliance if you need assistance evaluating the vendor's response.
- If the vendor's entire product or parts of the product is not accessible and there
is no other or better option, complete an Alternate Access Arrangement form and submit to the Director of ADA Compliance for approval.
- Email the Director of ADA Compliance if you need assistance completing the form.
- Purchase the product.
- Receive approval of the Alternate Access Arrangement (if applicable).
- Maintain records documenting the effort to ensure accessibility. Note: If a vendor provides misleading information or does not fulfill promised accessibility updates, proper documentation can help with canceling a contract or if an accessibility complaint is lodged.
- When applicable, maintain communication with the vendor to assure that stated conformance timelines are met.
Working with University Procurement Services
In general, purchases at or above $10,000 must go out to bid and will go through MTSU Procurement Services. In the procurement process, you will be asked if the purchase is an Electronic Information Technology. Procurement Services will provide assistance in following the process outlined above when a purchase is identified as an Electronic Information Technology. Accessibility will be used as a differentiating factor when determining the winning bid.
Additional Points of Emphasis
- Choosing not to comply or failing to properly document compliance with these procedures may make the university vulnerable to potential complaints and litigation.
- When renewing a license, purchasing an update, or buying a newer version of a product that has met accessibility standards, do not assume that the new or updated features are accessible. Check with the vendor in a similar manner as a new purchase to ensure that any additional features have been appropriately tested for accessibility.
- Since current contracts and licenses have not been vetted with accessibility standards in mind, confirm accessibility in the same manner as new purchases when those come up for renewal.