From our April 2021 Digital Accessibility Experts Live Webinar 5 key accessibility questions to ask when buying digital tools, sites or apps (POSTER)

If you procure or outsource digital products, whether they’re for internal staff or customers, and you’re committed to digital accessibility, you’ll want to be assured that the vendors and agencies you’re buying from will meet your accessibility requirements.

So how do you separate those who just say they’re good at accessibility from those who really know what they are doing?

Our Digital Accessibility Experts Live webinar in April 2021 was an exploration of the 5 critical questions to ask before you contract a tool vendor or digital agency. These are key questions we cover in the Procurement Policy Workshop where we go through the system, agency and contractor selection process and identify where accessibility matters in each step. We then work with procurement and the contracts team to help shape contract working the ensures the delivery of accessibility from external vendors.

Why it’s important…

WCAG was created to help guide those creating websites and apps to bake-in accessibility to their work.

However, most organisations don’t make their own websites and apps – they outsource the work to digital agencies. They also procure many digital tools for their staff to use.

The delivery of accessibility in this outsourcing and procurement can often go wrong.

From the organisation’s side, this outsourcing and procurement often fails to deliver accessibility because they haven’t make it clear to the agency or vendor that they require the site, app or tool to be accessible, and haven’t put sufficient requirements and delivery checks in tender and contract documentation to ensure this.

From the side of the digital agency or vendor, if organisations don’t make it clear what level of accessibility they want, the supplier doesn’t know if they value the accessibility they can build into the site, app or tool, so don’t know how much accessibility effort (and thus budget) to include in their project plans or tool documentation.

So here’s a poster including the right 5 questions which, if asked at the right time, can align both sides to assure a productive working relationship and great, accessible results.

The poster

Here’s an image of the poster. It has a brief alt-text summary. Click here for the full text of the poster.

5 key accessibility questions to ask when buying digital tools, sites or apps (POSTER)

Download the poster

Here’s the PDF download of the poster.

We’d suggest you print it off and put it somewhere in your team space to remember the needs of your users who may be very different from you…

Feel free to share it freely with anyone who you think would appreciate it. Like the accessibility posters, we’ve made it available under a Creative Commons license which allows everyone to share, use and build upon the poster provided is is used non-commercially and keep the appropriate attributions (Hassell Inclusion and Creative Commons logos).

Want more?

If you’re interested in hearing more about accessibility in procurement and outsourcing:

Transcript of the text on the poster

For buyers of digital tools from software vendors

Can I trust your tool now?

  1. Did you create the tool’s VPAT yourselves or get an independent expert to create it?
  2. Is it up to date? What’s your roadmap to improve the tool’s accessibility?

Can I trust you in the future?

  1. How are you going to keep the tool accessible going forwards?
  2. What proof do I have that you’ll do that?
    • Look for ISO 30071-1 certification.
    • Is accessibility embedded in your company culture & training of new people?
    • Do you have a history of delivering accessible updates?

What happens if you fail?

  1. If you can’t deliver accessibility in a release, what will you do to make that ok for us and our users?
    • Will you be transparent and give us notice of issues?
    • Will you provide workarounds for users who are affected?

For buyers outsourcing their website & app creation to digital agencies

Can I trust your proposal will deliver accessibility?

  1. Give me an example of where and how your team have delivered accessibility for another client?
  2. What proof do I have in your process for delivering accessibility?
    • Look for ISO 30071-1 certification.
    • Ask follow up questions:
      • When was the last time your team received jobrole based training in accessibility?
      • What process does your team follow in production to ensure accessibility in requirements, design, coding and content authoring?
      • Where does accessibility feature in your testing
  3. What is the most challenging part of my product to make accessible?
    • How will you achieve this?

Can I trust you in the future?

  1. How are you building in mechanisms to help me keep this product accessible after launch?

What happens if you fail?

  1. If you can’t deliver accessibility in the deliverables, what will you do to make that ok for us and our users?
    • Will you give us notice of issues and provide workarounds for users who are affected?

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