Purchasing/Procurement

EIT Accessibility & Procurement

All Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) or Information and Communication Technology (ICT) purchased, acquired or used by the University must be accessible.  

Entry into the procurement process

  • There is an automatic accessiblity review step in GrizMart.
  • EIT (software/hardware) evaluation can also be initiated by submitting the EIT Accessibility Evaluation Request form.
  • There will be periodic audits of other procurement processes (for example, ProCards).

How you can help

UM Requesters will be asked to provide a VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template) or initiate communication with the vendor  if a VPAT is not easily located.

In addition, you can help ATS speed up the process by answering these questions as your software enters the review process:

Please give a brief description of the software / program.

  • Is it administrative or academic?
  • Is the license/software you plan to purchase usable by more than one individual? Do you plan to expand use?
  • Is it likely to be shared or not (examples: network software, highly specialized dental or medical software, etc.)
  • Do you know of any known category issues: Math/Stem, videos, GIS/maps, data visualization, screen sharing, spatial data relevant to an image (teeth, nursing. body, airline seats) or other visual representations.
  • Is a product created (video, document, web page) If so, the product needs to be tested also.

Replacement:

  • Is this product replacing a product that we’re already using? If yes,
    • Name of existing product:
    • Status of product accessibility review (i.e. is it approved, given conditional use or denied)
  • If this is a renewal, has the current installation been upgraded since we last reviewed it? If not, is there an upgrade that has’t yet been installed?

What you can expect

  • Both standard hardware and software utilized by one or two people is usually passed quickly through the process.  
  • EIT submitted for review with a VPAT is usually processed within 5-7 business days unless vendors or EIT testing requires additional time.  
  • EIT submitted without a VPAT is processed as quickly as possible although there may be delays related to obtaining sufficient information for review.

Standards Details

EIT accessibility is currently defined by two standards – Section 508 for most categories and Section 508 plus WCAG 2.0 AA for websites and programs.  The software industry has standardized on VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates) forms which allows a vender to list their product's accessibility according to each section of relevant 508 standards. VPATs are obtained from and filled out by the software vendors. 

 

Relevant Montana code

MCA 18-5-604 

MCA 603