Accessibility questions for vendors

Checklist icon.When engaging with a vendor for a technology product or service, it's important to assess their experience with accessibility so that you can determine their ability to comply with Harvard's Policy. These questions can help you start a conversation with the vendor about their commitment to accessibility in their work. 

Design

  • When do you think about the accessibility of your product? At the design stage, during the implementation process or later on after it has been developed?
  • Do you have accessibility experts in your design / development team or do you hire outside accessibility consultants? What accessibility consulting company do you work with?

Testing

  • How do you test for accessibility? Do you have accessibility testers in-house, for example, in the quality assurance department, or do you hire an outside accessibility consultant? If the latter, which consulting company?
  • Have you used end-users with disabilities to test your product? How many and from which disability groups?
  • When do you perform accessibility testing? During the development phase or before the product is about to be released?
  • What are the accessibility criteria/matrix for testing your product? Can we have a copy of the document?
  • Can you share the last accessibility test report on your product with us?

Documentation

  • Do you have accessibility documentation, such as a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) or an Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR)? Are the supported accessibility features in your product listed and explained?
  • Is the documentation publicly available? If so, can you provide the URL to the documentation?

Education

  • Where do your designers/developers get accessibility training?
  • To which accessibility-related conferences do you go?
  • Have you ever had a disabled employee or an outside disabled user showing how your product can be used with assistive software/hardware?

Feedback

  • Does your support staff get training on accessibility? Is there any accessibility expert in-house whom other support staff can contact for more advanced issues?
  • Is there any mechanism by which accessibility feedback and problems can be reported to the company? Can an accessibility feedback/problem page be easily found on your website?

Questions derived from Educause white paper on accessibility.