Using Accessibility Information to Make Decisions
The best way to observe accessibility in the process of
reviewing products is to include in the reviewing group at least one person who
is familiar with accessibility issues of the product being purchased. However,
people who are knowledgeable of accessibility are often not available, so
people will need to rely on their own resources and knowledge to consider
accessibility when making purchasing decisions. The following are steps that
can be taken in the review process.
Considerations Before Requesting Products
- Talk to people with disabilities who will be
working with the product to identify their accessibility concerns. Include
these concerns as part of the process to ask vendors on how their product
addresses the accessibility concerns.
- Include people with information technology
accessibility expertise as part of the process to identify any specific
features the vendor should address in their product descriptions.
- Include people with disabilities as part of the
Note: People with a specific disability will understand their own disability
capabilities and limitations, but may not understand the capabilities and
limitations of people with other kinds of disabilities.
- If no existing product contains necessary
accessibility features, the requestor must describe in detail their plans for
providing alternative access in an equally effective manner to the product
should the need arise.
Steps in Reviewing Products
- Determine how big of a factor accessibility
should be in the overall proposal ranking. It should typically be at least
20-25% of the overall score for a review.
- Review the vendor-supplied accessibility claims
of the products and rank the reviews based on the number of desired and
required accessibility features they claim the products support.
- When possible, verify accessibility claims by
asking vendors to demonstrate accessibility features as part of product
- When available, verify accessibility claims by
using automated tools. If the tools identify features that do not match with
the vendor's claim, ask the vendor to clarify their accessibility claim.