Software Accessibility Policy

Policy Revised February 10, 2020

New York Institute of Technology Procurement Services (Procurement Services) department supports the procurement of accessible information technology under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 along with its 2008 Amendments.

Wherever practicable, Procurement Services shall procure information technology that meets accessibility requirements as specified in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines set forth by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Scope

This policy applies to all solicitations, responses thereto, and contracts for websites, web applications, software systems, electronic documents, e-learning, multimedia and programmable user interfaces wherever practicable. It covers the technology's user interface, access and content; but does not cover content that a user may encounter after leaving the covered technology (example: links to other web content). It applies to all technology interfaces that are intended for use by students, employees, and visitors of New York Tech. It does not apply to renewal terms where the terms and conditions of a license agreement or master agreement with required accessibility assurance language or waiver currently in place remain unchanged.

Procedure

In order to facilitate the procurement of accessible information technology, the following three steps shall be implemented for all products and services that fall within the scope of this policy as described above:

Step 1. Solicit accessibility information in writing from the vendor. New York Tech bidders and vendors shall be required to demonstrate that information technology provided to New York Tech conforms to or addresses each of the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level AA success criteria wherever demonstrating such performance is practicable. Vendors may do so by providing any of the following:

  1. An independent third party evaluation from an accessibility consultancy
  2. A Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT). If a VPAT is used, it must use the VPAT 2.4 template, which is based on WCAG 2.0 Level AA.

The VPAT 2.4 template is available from the Information Technology Industry Council website.

Step 2. Validate accessibility information received. Wherever practicable, New York Tech, in consultation with Procurement Services, Information Technology Services, or other qualified staff with expertise in IT accessibility, will attempt to validate the information provided by bidders and vendors, by

  1. obtaining additional information from the bidder or vendor to develop a complete and thorough understanding of the accessibility of the product or service;
  2. consulting with independent third parties who have evaluated the product or service for accessibility; or
  3. conducting an internal evaluation of the accessibility of the product or service

Step 3. Include accessibility assurances in contracts. The following contractual language should be inserted in contracts for the procurement of websites, web applications, software systems, electronic documents, e-learning, multimedia and programmable user interfaces wherever practicable:

Accessibility. Vendor represents that it is committed to promoting and improving accessibility of all its products and will remain committed throughout the term of this agreement. If the products and services are not in conformance with all applicable federal and state disability laws, policies, and regulations as of the effective date, vendor shall negotiate a timeline and plan with customer to update the products and services so as to be in conformance therewith. In the event any issues arise regarding vendor's compliance with applicable federal or state disability laws, policies and regulations, Customer may send communications to vendor as specified in the "notices" provision of this contract and vendor will assign a person with accessibility expertise to reply to customer within two business days.

Waiver

If for whatever reason, proposed student facing information technology is not able to meet the above standards or a vendor is unwilling to agree to the standard accessibility language, a waiver form shall be signed by the following individuals at New York Tech prior to purchase:

  • Provost (or VPHSMA if NYITCOM product or service)
  • Vice President for IT and CIO
  • Director, Counseling and Wellness
  • Dean of Requesting Department

Software Accessibility Waiver Form