Common Questions on Accessible Procurement

We've collected and answered most common questions about the accessible procurement process, VPATs, vendors and EEAAPs below. Please feel free to contact us if you have further questions.

Does the product or service I'm about to purchase need an accessibility review?

All technology products purchased or used at SF State will need an accessibility review, unless it is on the pre-approved list. This accessibility review is part of the TAR process.

The thoroughness of the accessibility review will depend on the impact of the product on the campus. Please review the impact guidelines or contact us for further assistance. 

What if the vendor does not know what a VPAT is or how to complete a VPAT?

If the vendor needs assistance with understanding what a VPAT is or how to complete a VPAT, please use the VPAT request template on the vendor information page that includes all the necessary information. DPRC is also available to help, so feel free to contact us for further assistance. 

Where do I get the VPAT/ACR if I am buying from a third party vendor (who does not "make" the product)?

If you are buying from a third party vendor, you would need to ask the manufacturer of the product directly for the VPAT/ACR. While some third party vendors carry the VPAT for the products they do not manufacture, others do not.

How long does the process take if the product or service needs an in-depth accessibility review?

The length of the process depends on vendor response time, the date the assessment request was received, and other factors. Generally, an ATI review will take 1 week if the VPAT is complete and made available by the vendor. However, if a high impact product is selected to undergo accessibility testing in order to validate the VPAT, please allow 3 weeks for review and include this in your planning for fiscal year end deadlines. Generally, we process ATI reviews in the order that they are received. Please refer to the ATI review process for additional information.

Why do some products undergo in-depth accessibility testing and some do not?

Since a VPAT is a self-report from the vendor on how accessible their product is, it is important to validate what is claimed on the VPAT. The ATI team will determine whether a product needs to undergo an accessibility assessment after reviewing the VPAT. In most cases, high impact websites, web applications and software will undergo accessibility testing. 

Why are there different approval processes or what is the difference between IT review, IT Security review and Accessibility review?

The first Phase of the TAR request is for your IT Support team to review the request. This is called the IT Review. Once the IT review is approved, the request moves to the Accessibility and IT Security reviews, which happen in parallel. The DPRC performs the accessibility review and ITS performs the IT Security review. For a full overview of the process, please review the TAR website.

What if the product or service I want to purchase is not accessible?

If the product or service you want to purchase is not accessible, the ATI team will consult with you on alternative options. This may include selecting a different product, creating an EEAAP or requesting an exemption. Note that exemptions are no longer offered

What if a more accessible product becomes available at a later date?

If a more accessible product becomes available at a later date, you should consider switching to the product upon your next contract renewal (if it meets all your needs). The ATI Team is available to work with the new vendor to conduct any necessary accessibility testing and will update any existing EEAAP if needed.

What do I need to do if the vendor fixes accessibility issues with their product during the current contract?

The ATI Team will work with the vendor to conduct accessibility testing and update the EEAAP as necessary. When it is time to renew the contract, DPRC will also work with you to update any necessary paperwork.

My product’s contract is up for renewal.  Do I need to repeat accessibility testing or renew my EEAAP?

Vendors generally update their products multiple times a year, so the first step would be to ask the vendor for a new VPAT so we can review it. If a product was previously accessible, we generally do not perform accessibility testing unless significant new features were added to the product. If a product was previously inaccessible, we will perform accessibility testing and update the EEAAP as needed.

What is the difference between E&IT and ICT?

The Section 508 Standards and Telecommunications Act was recently updated and the standards were refreshed. As part of this update, all references to E&IT (Electronic and Information Technologies) are now replaced with ICT (Information and Communication Technologies). For the purposes of procurement at SF State E&IT and ICT are the same thing and will not change our processes.