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Working with Vendors

To ensure all members of the Penn community are able to use our information technology environments, we are committed to purchasing and procuring the most accessible digital services and products available. For that reason, Penn has adopted the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, Level AA standards for IT accessibility.

For all contracts and RFPs, WCAG 2.1 Level AA compliance must be cited as a requirement. When purchasing products or software, you should also obtain a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) from the vendor.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact

What to look for
  • Does the vendor have an accessible site? Run the WAVE tool on their homepage and other highly visible pages.
  • Does the vendor have an accessibility statement on their site?
  • Are the responses and other materials provided or submitted by the vendor accessible?
  • Does the vendor have any blog posts, white papers, or other content mentioning accessibility?
Questions to ask
  • Is there an accessibility expert on your team?
    • Are they in-house or a consultant?
    • Please list the designated representative(s) at your organization that is responsible for addressing issues, questions, or the resolution of accessibility barriers.
  • For websites, what are 1-3 examples of WCAG 2.1 Level AA compliant sites that you have built?
  • How is accessibility incorporated into your process?
    • How and when do you test for it?
    • What automated tools and manual testing procedures do you use for testing for accessibility?
    • What assistive technology, such as a screen reader, do you use during your evaluation process?
  • In what ways do you document and report to the client that the finished product/site is compliant?
  • Does your product have any features that may improve accessibility for users with disabilities?
  • Does your product rely on any third-party or open-source code bases that you do not have direct control over?
  • Does your product have any known inaccessible components or areas?
    • Please submit a list of all known accessibility gaps or barriers.
  • What is your roadmap or time frame for fixing the inaccessible components or areas?
    • How do you work with clients when remediating issues?
  • What workarounds do you have inaccessible components or areas of your product?
    • How is the workaround communicated to users?
    • Do you offer an alternative process, such as providing phone support?
  • What resources do you have that are devoted to handling accessibility questions, concerns, or problems? Please answer the following questions in detail:
    • Do you have a mechanism for users to submit accessibility feedback/problems?
    • Do you have a mechanism for users to get accessibility-related assistance?
    • Do you have a mechanism for users to request information in accessible alternative formats?
  • If a user reports an accessibility barrier, to what degree are you involved in resolving it and who is responsible for it?


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