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 (and cc ats@umontana.edu) 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/hardware you plan to purchase usable by more than 1 individual? Do you plan to expand use?
  • Likely to be shared or not (examples oflatter include network software, highly specialized like dental or medical software,, etc.)
  • 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 –videos? document? webpage? If so, the product needs to be tested also.

Replacement:

  • Is this replacing a product that we’re already using? If yes,
    • Name of existing product:
    • Status of product accessibility review (aka 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 hasn’t yet been installed?Brief description of EIT

What you can expect

  • Both standard hardware and software utilized by 1 or 2 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 Sectipn 508 plus WCAG 2.0 AA for websites and programs.  The software industry has standardized on VPATs (Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates) form which allow 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. 

The 508 Refresh proposes expanded use of the WCAG 2.0 AA standards – even for non-web information and communication technologies.  At the end of 2016, this proposed change is currently in its final stage – being reviewed by the Office of Budget Management (OMB).  While the end of the year coincides with the end of the normal review timeframe (90 days) the OMB has a lot of discretion on the length of the review.

Online training

Watch an online training video to learn about how UM is monitoring EIT purchases for accessibility.

Relevant Montana code

MCA 18-5-604 

MCA 603

Emergency surcharge

Software accessibility review currently takes 5-6 working days from ATS's receipt of a VPAT. If you require any less than 4 days processing time to decision, we will charge $50.00.