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Accessibility Review Prior to Purchase

It is the responsibility of every MSU unit to comply with the MSU Digital Accessibility Policy when designing, building, or purchasing websites, software, and other digital products and services. Digital accessibility compliance is ultimately the responsibility of the purchasing unit. Resources are available to assist MSU units while they verify a product's digital accessibility compliance and work with vendors to remediate any identified issues.

IT Readiness Form

In most cases, units are required to fill out the IT Readiness form when purchasing digital products and services. This form includes questions that help the university determine whether a purchase meets the criteria for additional accessibility review.

Digital Accessibility Acknowledgement

The IT Readiness form contains a Digital Accessibility Acknowledgement which requires purchasers to confirm they understand the MSU Digital Accessibility Policy and agree to develop and file an Equally Effective Alternative Access Plan if necessary.

Accessibility Review

Based on a unit’s responses in the IT Readiness form, MSU may perform additional IT Security and Digital Accessibility reviews of a product prior to purchase. Both of these reviews may generate information on a product’s level of digital accessibility compliance.

Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)

Vendors will often be asked to supply a VPAT, which serves as an assessment of their product or service’s current level of digital accessibility compliance.

Digital Accessibility Recommendations

Most of the time, the result of an accessibility review during the procurement process will consist of a recommendation to either proceed with the purchase or to proceed with certain requirements for the vendor. These requirements typically consist of contract language or other agreements for remediation of identified accessibility issues, particularly critical issues. Rarely, there may be a recommendation to halt the procurement process.

Equally Effective Alternative Access Plan

If it is not possible for a digital product or service to fully comply with the MSU Digital Accessibility Policy then an MSU unit must fill out and submit an Equally Effective Alternative Access Plan. This helps units think about how they would provide equal access to content and services in a proactive way, and how they will communicate this alternative to their audience.

Accessibility Policy Language

In addition to any specific remediation language recommended during an accessibility review, there is specific ADA language required for certain contracts and RFP’s, the provision of which is guided by the MSU Office of General Counsel, University Procurement and Logistics, MSU IT, and the Office for Civil Rights and Title IX Education and Compliance.