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When it comes to accessibility, VPATs are the most common form of information exchange between vendors and their customers. And at Elsevier, they’ve found that making these reports an organizational priority simply makes good business sense.
Best practices for managing vendor performance and relationships in the post-procurement phase
If you don’t already have executive buy-in for your commitment to accessibility and usability, it’s time to make the case to the powers that be—whether they are top leaders in your organization, your chief information officer (CIO), or the head of procurement.
Employers and other entities covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title V of the Rehabilitation Act can add the following procurement language to contracts with product vendors to enhance the accessibility of purchased or licensed products.
If you're an employer—in any industry—who is getting ready to issue a solicitation for technology products or support, or to talk to specific vendors about what they can offer, a little background research can help you identify the accessibility barriers and solutions for the products you are seeking. What you discover can then be incorporated into the procurement process, starting with your written requirements.
The key to success is to address accessibility from the start, by incorporating it into the procurement process, and then making sure to evaluate what technology providers promise and deliver. Because procurements processes differ from company to company, there is no one right way to do this. In his book, Strategic IT Accessibility: Enabling the Organization, IT accessibility expert Jeff Kline outlines 10 steps for determining where and when accessibility can be infused.
BYOD stands for "Bring Your Own Device," and it's an increasingly popular policy and practice in many of today's workplaces. BYOD offers some accessibility advantages for both employers and technology users—but there are also some unique challenges.
As a technology provider, or a company's internal technology developer, you should understand how accessible your products are. The key is a good testing process. Such a process, including accurate and comprehensive reporting on testing results, can improve communication with employees, customers, and other end users about your company's commitment to accessibility and foster a culture of continuous improvement.