Use Model Solicitation Language
Below is some sample solicitation language you can use when finalizing your RFP or RFQ. You’ll notice that this language mirrors (but is not identical to) the Model Procurement Language used later when negotiating a vendor contract.
The procurement of information and communication technology (ICT) that is accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities is considered a critical aspect of this solicitation.
Requirements and Standards, In General
Each ICT product or service furnished under this solicitation must be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (hereinafter referred to as the “ADA”) and other applicable Federal laws, including Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, and State laws and implementing regulations. For purposes of this requirement, [the offeror] shall be considered in compliance with the ADA and other Federal and State laws if it satisfies the requirements (including exceptions) specified in the regulations [36 CFR Part 1194] implementing Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, including the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Level A and Level AA Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements (2018), which are incorporated by reference, and the functional performance criteria.
The offeror shall use the Government Product Accessibility Template (GPAT) or other comparable document to inform the [entity] how well their product and services meet applicable federal requirements.
- The [entity] has determined that the following federal and/or state accessibility and usability standards and shown in the chart below, apply to this solicitation.
- The offeror represents, by checking the applicable box for each item list below, which product(s) and/or service(s) are compliant with each listed standard. The items are identified as follows:
- Item 1—[Contracting Officer list the item e.g., laptop computer], as identified in Section….of the solicitation.
- Item 2—[Contracting Officer list the item], as identified in Section… of this solicitation.
- The offeror further represents that all ICT products and services represented in this chart that are less than fully compliant are offered pursuant to extensive market research, which ensures that they are the most compliant products and services available to satisfy this solicitation’s requirements.
Proof of Conformance
For each ICT subject to the solicitation, the offeror shall provide proof of conformance with federal and state accessibility standards by means of either a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) or other comparable document.
Methods of Administration
[The offeror] shall specify in the solicitation the following:
- The offeror’s ICT accessibility policy and metrics to track progress towards ensuring the products it develops or sells and the services it provides are accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities in accordance with federal and state laws.
- The name of and contact information for the person in [the offeror] who is responsible for ICT accessibility issues.
- The training and capacity building steps taken by [the offeror] to ensure the availability of relevant ICT accessibility knowledge and skills within [the contractor], including defining skills, identifying resources, and managing acquiring skills and allocating qualified resources.
- The compliance, feedback and reporting process adopted by [the offeror] for addressing ICT accessibility.
[The offeror] will maintain and retain, subject to review by [the entity procuring the product or service], full documentation of the measures taken to ensure compliance with the applicable requirements and functional performance criteria, including records of any testing or simulations conducted.
Information and communication technology means information technology and other equipment, systems, technologies, or processes, for which the principal function is the creation, manipulation, storage, display, receipt, or transmission of electronic data and information, as well as any associated content. Examples include computers and peripheral equipment; information kiosks and transaction machines; telecommunications equipment; customer premises equipment; multifunction office machines; software; applications; Web sites; videos; and electronic documents.