Welcome to Buy IT!
Welcome to Buy IT!, the online resource that helps employers and their purchasing staff build accessibility and usability into their information and communication technology (ICT) procurement processes. Brought to you by the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT), Buy IT! helps ensure that the ICT you buy and implement works for everyone—including employees, job seekers, and customers with disabilities.
Why is ICT procurement such a crucial part of achieving accessibility and usability for all? Because implementing accessible workplace technology means buying accessible technology in the first place. It means doing vendor research, specifying your requirements, and validating the accessibility of your product choices prior to accepting and implementing them. Most importantly, it means approaching ICT procurement with an eye toward accessibility and usability from the very beginning.
Buy IT! features background information, sample language, and effective procurement practices that will guide your business toward more accessible ICT purchases. And through the process, you’ll find that the procurement practices for achieving better accessibility are best practices for strengthening your procurement operation in general.
Note on Emerging Technologies
Buy IT! is intended to guide companies seeking to purchase technology that is as accessible as possible to the widest range of users, including people with disabilities. While the steps discussed can be applied to any procurement process, this resource is focused primarily on digital accessibility for ICT. Where appropriate, PEAT encourages you to use this toolkit in tandem with the emerging technology resources discussed below.
PEAT Resources on Emerging Workplace Technologies
Due to the rapid pace of technology growth, the evolution of workplace technology is frequently outpacing traditional accessibility standards, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Exciting new technologies such as extended reality (XR) and artificial intelligence (AI) are already changing workplaces. PEAT developed the following toolkits to help employers navigate the specific inclusion and accessibility challenges involved in assessing and deploying these tools.
Equitable AI Playbook
The Equitable AI Playbook is a blueprint that can help organizations foster inclusion as they procure, develop, or implement AI technologies. The practices in this Playbook can be used by organizations that are implementing a new AI governance program and by organizations that already have an AI governance program in place. The Playbook is part of PEAT’s overarching AI & Disability Inclusion Toolkit, which provides guidance to employers for understanding how AI is used in the workplace, how to assess the new risks and modes of discrimination it may carry, and resources for implementing Equitable AI.
Inclusive XR & Hybrid Work Toolkit
XR technologies include virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). These technologies are part of a new kind of personal computing, where people experience and interact with digital content that surrounds them in both physical and virtual spaces. The Inclusive XR & Hybrid Work Toolkit discusses how to use accessible XR tools to make hybrid workplaces inclusive. The Toolkit helps organizations learn how to procure accessible XR technologies and how to use these technologies in ways that include all employees equally. The toolkit includes a procurement guide with targeted questions for hardware and software vendors.
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