Using and Procuring Accessible Technology and Materials?

Thus far, this training has focused on how to create accessible materials. Now it's time to talk about the other tools and technologies you use.

Vendors and publishers are not required to make content and products accessible. If someone working at a public agency decides to use their product or service, it's the public agency that becomes liable in terms of accessibility. For example, let's say I decide I don't have time to create this training, but I find a company that has designed a similar training on their own platform that I can link to. Well, if their training isn't accessible, it's my fault - I chose to use their product. If an e-book is not accessible to a student, that student isn't going to file a complaint again the publisher. They will file a complaint against the institution for selecting/requiring an inaccessible product. Unfortunately, this is news to those of us who are not trained to evaluate whether or not a web platform, or e-book, or website is accessible. BUT, there's a silver lining: money is power. We can use our purchasing power to pressure publishers and vendors to improve the accessibility of their products.

  • Ask vendors, publishers, or sales representatives if their product/site is accessible.
    • Many times software and application vendors will provide a VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template).
    • If a vendor doesn't have a VPAT, that's a red flag; they aren't even thinking about accessibility. If they do it’s a good start, but again, that doesn't mean the product is accessible.
  • Questions for vendors and publishers


Resources on the Web

Contact eLearning & Open Education, WA SBCTC

  Jess Thompson/Program Administrator

Fax: 360.442.xxxx

  Steve Gance, Ph.D./Policy Associate

Fax: 360.442.xxxx

  Alissa Sells/Program Administrator

Fax: 360.442.xxxx

  Amy Rovner/MPH RD Instructional Designer, Shoreline Community College

Fax: 360.442.xxxx

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