How to Purchase Accessible Information Technologies

Vital to the success of accessibility at Sonoma State University is the adoption of accessibility standards for purchasing electronic and IT systems including web applications, hardware, software, telecommunications, multimedia and products such as copiers, fax machines, information kiosks, etc. As the University acquires new resources, they must comply with Section 508 because we are using public funds.

Procurement Process for IT

Before making IT-related purchases, employees must follow the procedure below to initiate an accessibility review.

  1. For all IT-related purchases, fill out and submit the online IT Certification form (Seawolf login).
  2. For Software and Cloud storage & services:
    1. Obtain a Voluntary Product Accessibiity Template (VPAT) from the software vendor and email it to itcert@sonoma.edu.
      VPATs are also known as Accessibility Compliance Report (ACR).  This is usually posted on the vendor’s website, but you may need to speak with your vendor directly to request a copy.
    2. If the vendor does not have a VPAT, you can provide a statement that you will be responsible for working with any user who requires an accommodation and will continue to work with the vendor to create a VPAT for the future. This is in lieu of creating a full Equally Effective Alternative Access Plan. This is to meet the requirements of the Sec 508 law stating that we will continue to work with suppliers to have their software be accessible for its users.
  3. For Cloud storage & services only:
    1. Download and complete the Department Usage Checklist (DOC) from the Chancellor’s Office website. You will need to submit this to Procurement & Contract Services along with your EREQ.
      Additional information about the Cloud procurement process is available here.

Once these forms have been submitted to IT and approved, you will be cleared to submit the software/hardware in an EREQ, along with copies of the above approved forms, to Contracts and Procurement via email at ereq@sonoma.edu.

Please contact IT at itcert@sonoma.edu with any questions about this process.