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Procurement

Duke requires vendors who develop and/or maintain Duke websites, web-based applications and electronic information technology (EIT) to demonstrate that their products meet accessibility standards to the extent practicable.  Vendors shall provide the results of accessibility testing or a description of the steps they are taking to bring their content into alignment with accessibility standards.  University groups working with outside vendors will need to include the web accessibility requirements within their Request for Proposal (RFP) or Scope of Work (SOW) documents.

Include Duke’s Accessibility Guideline Language

Language to include in RFPs:


“Please confirm in this proposal that the product/service conforms to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 (minimum Level AA conformance), and describe how this compliance has been verified by providing a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) and/or written description of compatibility of the product/service with commonly used assistive technology products, such as screen readers, and a description of the process used to evaluate such compatibility.”


 Language to include in SOWs:

“This product/service conforms to the guidelines for accessibility as set forth in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 (minimum Level AA conformance).  This compliance has been verified by the written description of compatibility of the product/service with commonly used assistive technology products, such screen readers, and by an end-user test process used to evaluate such compatibility.”

Other procurement

For some projects, there really are no good options which are fully compliant. This would typically be the case for complex web applications, as opposed to more simple, content-driven websites and EIT.  Here is more nuanced language which may be useful in these cases:

“Please include in any proposal that the product/service conforms to the guidelines for accessibility as set forth in Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 (minimum Level AA conformance).  If the product/service is not in compliance, please describe plans and a timeframe for achieving compliance by providing a VPAT and/or written description of compatibility of the product/service with commonly used assistive technology products, such as screen readers, and a description of the process used to evaluate such compatibility.  It is expected that a Duke vendor will promptly respond to and resolve any complaint regarding the accessibility of its platform.”

The SOW should then include language requiring the vendor to fulfill all commitments made in the RFP response. This language will vary based on the vendor's ability to meet the guidelines.

Open-source/free EIT

In this case, there may not be a VPAT, statement of compliance, or a person to contact regarding the accessibility of the software.  It is the responsibility of the person who uses this product to test its compliance with Duke’s Guidelines.

If you need help with this, contact our Web Accessibility Team for a free assessment of the EIT and remediation suggestions.