MCA 18-5-604 and MCA 18-5-603 requires state agencies to ensure that equipment and software “provides blind or visually impaired individuals with access, including interactive use of the equipment and services, that is equivalent to that provided to individuals who are not blind or visually impaired”.
EIT is information technology or any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment that is used in the creation, conversion, or duplication of data or information. EIT includes:
- telecommunication products, such as telephones;
- information kiosks;
- transaction machines;
- World Wide Web sites;
- Software and Operating Systems
- multimedia (including videotapes); and
- office equipment, such as copiers and fax machines.
EIT is defined in University of Montana’s EITA Procedures which is available on UM’s accessibility website (umt.edu/accessibility).
The UM procurement and contract process for EIT acquisition is amended to include UM’s Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Policy and the related UM Procedures. Vendors who wish to do business with UM must provide information about their product’s conformance to applicable accessibility standards via the Section 508 Evaluation Template also known as the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT).
Additional information on VPATs can be found at these links (which all open a new window):
- VPAT (Word) (downloaded from Information Technology Industry Council site)
- VPAT example and information (U.S. Department of State site)
- VPAT discussion from California State University
- Filling out a VPAT (from California State University)
Completion and submission of the VPAT is a requirement for UM contracts for products and services where electronic and information technology is involved. Proposals or bids without a completed VPAT may be disqualified from the competition.
Accessible Technology Services (ATS) frequently works directly with vendors to answer questions about our review. This interaction is vendor or UM purchaser driven. Such ATS interactions are not a substitute for vendor contracts with third party accessibility reviews toward developing a VPAT.