CSU Accessible Procurement Process

Law and Policy

It is the policy of the CSU to make information technology resources and services accessible to all students, faculty, staff, and the general public regardless of disability. EO 926

The CSU Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) was established to target the elimination of accessibility barriers, with a focus on web-based resources and materials, instructional materials, and procurement. This procurement process was developed to align with Coded Memorandum, along with the goals and success indicators articulated in the coded memorandum and reported to the CSU in campus-prepared Annual Reports.

The ATI goals and success indicators are based on applicable federal and state laws and standards, including, but not limited to, Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); California Government Code 11135; the U.S. Access Board's Section 508 Standards; and the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
Increasingly, universities across the country are facing legal challenges based on user complaints about inaccessible websites, instructional materials, and/or products or services. Settlements have resulted in those universities having to undertake a major initiative (like ATI), often at high cost and in a shortened time line, to reach compliance.

Benefits

Eliminating access barriers in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) benefits all people, not only persons with a disability. For example, providing captioned videos can help students who possess differing learning styles and English as a Second Language (ESL) learners. Providing fully accessible, tagged PDF and digital files can help students who want to best utilize mobile and computer-based solutions (e.g. give ability to annotate, highlight digital content, generate study guides.)

Also, the cost to provide accommodations for students, faculty, staff, or the general public often can be reduced or even eliminated by considering accessibility considerations at the time of purchase.

Key Success Factors

Gaining and sustaining executive-level support is critically important to the success of a campus Accessible Procurement program. Ensuring equal access to educational opportunities is fundamental to a University's mission. Purchasing Accessible ICT helps ensure access for all persons regardless of disability.

Hiring or appointing an ATI Designee ("ATI Coordinator") is another key aspect to establishing and maintaining an Accessible ICT procurement program. The ATI Designee serves as a focal point for all matters related to Accessibility and ICT:

  1. Ensures consistent implementation of Accessible ICT procurement procedures;
  2. Oversees review of ICT accessibility compliance documentation;
  3. Develops campus strategy for selection of ICT products/services to be evaluated for conformance with accessibility standards;
  4. Coordinates with ICT vendors to resolve issues with accessibility support or documentation;
  5. Participates in the evaluation of exception requests;
  6. Serves as primary campus contact for questions regarding Accessible ICT procurement;
  7. Coordinates the delivery of Accessible ICT procurement training programs;
  8. Coordinates campus communications regarding Accessible ICT procurement procedures; and
  9. Acts as Liaison with the Executive Sponsor and campus community regarding Accessible ICT procurement issues

Applicability

This Process applies to purchases and adoptions of ICT, regardless of the cost or funding source (e.g. State, Foundation, Athletic Corporation, Federal and State grant funds.) The requirement for Accessible ICT extends to "free" products or services (e.g. Google Apps), and also includes campus' developed products or services.

About the Process

The CSU Accessible Procurement Process was developed as a collaborative effort among six CSU campuses and the Chancellor's Office as part of a system-wide effort to create a standardized procurement process that could be adopted or adapted by any one of the 23 CSU campuses.

The CSU Accessible Procurement Process includes the following components:

  1. Process Steps;
  2. Roles and Responsibilities; and
  3. Resources: Forms, Links, Definition of Terms and FAQ's

The Accessible Procurement Process consists of four major steps:

  1. Gather Pre-Purchase and Accessibility Information;
  2. Review Accessibility Documentation;
  3. Review Product/Service; and
  4. Place Order

Each major step and sub-step are listed in a table that includes information about the person(s) responsible to complete the step, persons that may be called upon to provide consultation and assistance and each step's inputs and outputs.