Skip to main content

For Buyers

WVU's accessibility policy covers any University website used to conduct university business. Often, these websites and web applications are purchased from vendors. If you are pursuing a product from a third-party vendor, this product must be accessible.

Resources listed on this website will help determine a product's accessibility. As a guide, here's what to ask your vendor:

  1. Make accessibility considerations a priority from the start. Incorporate accessibility considerations into the acquisition and procurement process.
    • WVU mandates all contracts have accessibility terminology built in. The University must have the ability to terminate a contract at any time based on accessibility concerns.
    • To get official accessibility language for your contract, please contact Adam Johnson.
  2. Vendors must submit a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT). Be adamant about the need for VPAT accuracy.
    • Ask the vendor when they last updated their VPAT.
    • Once you have their VPAT, review it to make sure they are Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 compliant.
  3. Ask vendors the following questions:
    • "What standards do you use to verify your product's accessibility?"
      • Their response should be: "We conform to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0)."
    • "How do you test your product to make sure updates are accessible?"
    • "Can you navigate your product without a mouse, using only the keyboard?"
    • "Does your product allow content authors to input alt text?"
    • "What is your company’s policy or commitment statement on electronic accessibility?"
    • "Please complete one task from start to finish using a screen reader."
  4. Vendors often provide a demo to try their product. WVU recommends downloading and installing the Siteimprove Chrome Extension to test their product.
    • Once installed, go to the page you want to test and click the Siteimprove icon in your browser's extensions bar.
    • Under "Choose Filters", select "AA Conformance".
    • Nine times out of ten, there are several WCAG A/AA errors.
    • Ask your vendor about these errors and if they can be remediated before WVU makes a purchase.

It is ultimately up to WVU to verify the accessibility of products from vendors. If their product is not accessible, it opens WVU up to expensive accessibility based lawsuits. Please make sure the product you are buying is accessible.

If you feel you need help evaluating the accessibility of a product, don't hesitate to get in touch with us.