[Athen] Improving Accessibility Procurement and discussion of VPATs

Jennifer Sutton jsuttondc at gmail.com
Thu Mar 30 13:45:44 PDT 2017


I'm cross-posting this message via Mike Gifford, from the WebAIM email
list. Many of you may not see his post, and he's cited several higher
ed. resources including Ohio Washington, and others. And as we know,
higher ed. can be different in its procurement practices as compared to
state governments or Federal agencies.

For the record/future tracking (in case people post further to this
WebAIM message), the list thread is here:


I imagine Mike certainly welcomes worldwide contributions.

I also suspect Kara's recent LinkedIn post on this topic of procurement
might be of interest to folks who use that platform:


I found it particularly clear. Thank you, Kara.

There's a bit of a discussion in the comments for that LinkedIn post
about VPATs (pros and cons), and I was reminded that a version 2 is
being worked on, but I'm not sure of the status of that project. Here
are the best two links I could find:



the Beta (a Word document dated in February of 2017:


I post to this list not to start a further thread on here, but rather,
perhaps, to facilitate the use of Mike's Git repo. and/or his Wiki page
(both cited below) to consolidate and streamline efforts to help the
community at large.



-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: [WebAIM] Improving Accessibility Procurement
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2017 14:58:08 -0400
From: Mike Gifford <mike at openconcept.ca>
Reply-To: WebAIM Discussion List <webaim-forum at list.webaim.org>
To: webaim-forum at list.webaim.org


Some of you may have seen this, but I’m trying to pull together some best practices for boiler-plate contracts & RFPs. I’ve got some examples up here:
https://github.com/mgifford/a11y-contracting <https://github.com/mgifford/a11y-contracting>

Generally, when I try to fix a problem, I find it useful to look upstream to see if it could be caused by something earlier in the system.

Procurement seems to be a common point of failure in improving accessibility. Often, it’s just another of a long list of issues in an RFP and everyone knows that it’s going to be left to the end (and overlooked).

What are the best practices to see that:
- the right product and the right people are selected to do the job
- that the process used to generate the IT follows best practices
- that updates to the software don’t break accessibility

Anyways, I’d love to have people submit suggestions of best practices. I’ve set up a wiki for links here:

I found this very interesting orphaned page (last updated August 6, 2015):

It makes reference to other documents that look very interesting. I think with more digging & Archive.org <http://archive.org/> it would be possible to find better resources. However, it wasn’t easy to find the text of the sample contract language and procurement practices which are alluded to.

Mike Gifford, President, OpenConcept Consulting Inc.
Drupal 8 Core Accessibility Maintainer - https://drupal.org/user/27930
Twitter: @mgifford @openconcept_ca

Open source web development for social change - http://openconcept.ca
Drupal Association Member | Acquia Partner | Certified B Corporation

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