Procuring Accessible Information

It is common practice by many websites, included, to use widgets, plug-ins or add-ons from third party vendors. All sites, services and pages from third party vendors must be accessible to W3C standards. However, some vendors or service providers may not be completely transparent about the accessibility of their products. To prevent any legal pushback regarding compliance, follow these guidelines when incorporating third party materials:

  • Include accessibility assurances in contract. Level Access provides ten questions that should be asked of all outside vendors:

    • Provide your organization’s policy statement on digital accessibility.

    • Who at your organization is in charge of accessibility compliance?

    • Describe the extent to which your product is accessible to people with disabilities.  Please include all common types of visual, hearing, motor, and cognitive disabilities.

    • If your product is not fully accessible, describe your roadmap to achieving full accessibility.

    • Describe any modifications, peripherals, etc., that can be used to make inaccessible features of your product functionally accessible.

    • Do you have documentation, for example a VPAT or audit results, to support your claims? If so, please attach it.

    • Include a demo video showing how your product conforms to the WCAG 2.0 AA standards and is accessible to users with disabilities.

    • Please describe your accessibility testing process in full.

    • Describe the process by which a user-reported accessibility issue is addressed.

    • Describe how digital accessibility fits into your product development lifecycle.

  • Request a VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template) from third party vendors

  • Validate accessibility information received

  • More detailed information is available from the U.S. General Services Administration