Step 6: Procuring Accessible Systems and Resources

It is essential to ensure that procurement of any new digital system/resource meets accessibility standards. It is much harder to resolve accessibility issues after an inaccessible system or resource has been purchased. Accessibility should be built in from the beginning, not bolted on at the end.

Follow the handy checklist below to ensure the new systems and resources you procure are accessible-by-design:

  • Be aware of accessibility and ask the right questions – Make sure everyone in the college who purchases systems is aware of digital accessibility legal requirements and the key questions to ask of suppliers to ensure that they effectively evidence the accessibility of their products in tenders and contracts.
  • Check for yourself that the system/resource is accessible – Make sure procurement teams are confident in assessing the accuracy of any claims made by suppliers. This requires staff to be familiar with accessibility standards and be equipped to test and compare results of third party platforms.
  • Write accessibility into the contract – Make sure meeting digital accessibility legal requirements and technical standards (WCAG 2.1 AA) are included into contract documentation.

Find out more about accessible procurement best practice:

LexDis accessible procurement guidance.

This guidance has been created in response to research from All Able Ltd and Thomas Pocklington Trust that looked at blind and partially sighted students’ access to information and assistive technology in mainstream FE. This showed a lack of inclusive practice creating a barrier to accessibility.  Read about this research.

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