After reviewing the responses to your RFI (See: Issue RFIs and Meet with Vendors), you’ll be better prepared to define the accessibility requirements for your formal procurement solicitation.
Although this site is tied to the Section 508 standards, it includes several resources and best practices that can be broadly useful to all audiences at this stage:
How to Request Accessibility Information from Vendors and Contractors
This guide provides a detailed overview of this process, including:
- A process overview to define requirements and exceptions, complete with charts and checklist templates
- Required steps and best practices for both commercial-off-the-shelf and custom items
Accessibility Requirements Tool (ART)
GSA’s Accessibility Requirements Tool is another excellent resource for defining requirements for your deliverables. Once you define your requirements, it will provide appropriate language to use in the solicitation. The Wizard also offers additional resources such as:
- Best practices, including recommended evaluation criteria
- How to request accessibility information from vendors
- Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPATs) and Accessibility Conformance Reports (ACRs) (We’ll tell you more about VPATs and ACRs a bit later)
If your solicitation is a relatively common type, ART may also provide a Quick Link to sample past solicitations that will allow you to see and re-purpose applicable standards, provisions, requirements, and language.
In addition, you might also reach out to references that vendors provided during the RFI phase. If they purchased and successfully implemented an accessible version of the product you are seeking, they might be willing to share their solicitation language with you, saving you time and effort.