Gathering the Right People
When beginning procurement of major educational technology, it is helpful to gather the correct stakeholders. Ideally, this group would include stakeholders for procurement, information technology, and , students, teachers/professors, and administrators.
Involve this working group at all stages of procurement, as appropriate and feasible. Stakeholders can help develop the specifications, draft the solicitation documents, evaluate proposals, and meet with vendors.
Before beginning the procurement process, gather information about what is already known about the digital accessibility in your organization. Accessibility Services Offices and adaptive technologists are a great source of information about what barriers students with disabilities are already encountering. Keeping these barriers in mind will help keep accessibility a priority throughout the procurement process.
Any impairment, or difference in physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, or communication ability. Disabilities can be permanent, temporary, or episodic (meaning that the impact of the disability can change over time). There are different types of disabilities, including physical, vision-related, hearing-related, and cognitive disabilities. The specifics of a disability vary by person and a person can have more than one disability.
The design of products, devices, services, environments, technologies, policies and rules in a way that allows all people, including people with a variety of disabilities, to access them.
Anything that might hinder people with disabilities’ full and equal participation. Barriers can be architectural, technological, attitudinal, based on information or communications, or can be the result of a policy or procedure. Barriers can be financial, knowledge based, or directly related to an individual’s disability (e.g., no descriptive alternative text accompanying a photo would be a barrier for someone with a vision impairment).