Procurement Process

Requests for Proposals

Web Product or Services procured by Harvard must meet an acceptable level of accessibility. The selection process for Products and Services supplied by third-parties will take into account level of accessibility support, and the effort that Harvard would need to undertake to address accessibility shortcomings present in the Product or Service.

If you're looking at selecting or procuring third-party web products and services, you should be looking for information about the accessibility of those products or services. In particular, look for, or ask for: 

  • Details of the accessibility standards that the Product/Service meets (for example the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0), and supporting evidence of the testing process undertaken to assess standards conformance.
  • If the Product or Service supports web content creation, evidence of level of support for the W3C Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) 2.0.
  • Details of any areas where the Product/Service does not meet one of the above-referenced standards, and any interim solutions or dates by which conformance will be achieved.
  • The extent to which the Product/Service is known to support use with assistive technologies used by people with disabilities.
  • An indication of how accessibility is considered during the design and development of the Product and Service, including level of involvement of people with disabilities and use of assistive technology in testing.

Contractual Language

If you are contracting with someone outside Harvard to develop, host or otherwise manage or provide any technology or online component (e.g., a website, mobile application, or related platform) intended for use or access by Harvard students, alumni, faculty, staff, applicants, prospective students, or members of the public generally, please ask the vendor/contractor to sign Harvard’s Accessibility Rider, available here:

Please contact Harvard's Office of the General Counsel for additional language or contract questions regarding accessibility.

Vendor Guide Example 

The Big Ten Academic Alliance -- ITAG Vendor Group authored a Vendor Guide to Web Accessibility in June 2016 and has made it publically available. The Guide contains excellent content for both vendors and higher education institutions.