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Buying and Creating Accessible Software and Applications
When selecting or creating software of applications for student use, certain elements need to be incorporated to make those materials accessible to individuals with disabilities, including (but not limited to) people with hearing, mobility, cognitive or visual impairments.
By being aware of accessibility when purchasing software/applications, you will be successful in making accessible electronic content.
Included on this page is a basic list to check for eAccessibility in your software purchases. For a more comprehensive list, please visit our Best Practices page.
Dave Rathbun: Instructional Technologist
IT@UC Center for Excellence in eLearning
“Academic technology empowers educators to differentiate their instruction and to deliver course content through multiple modalities. These tools equip instructors to create engaging and enriching learning experiences that are equitable and adaptable to the unique and diverse needs of learners. Ultimately, the goal is to establish a universally accessible education that prepares students of all abilities for success.”
Testing Software/Applications for Accessibility Checklist
- Maintain a logical reading order
- Keep content clear and concise
- Provide alternative descriptions for images
- Do not rely solely on sensory information (e.g., shape, size, color, visual location, orientation, sound, etc.)
- Use good visual contrast
- Avoid flashing/blinking content
- Avoid keyboard-only navigation
- Follow the Four Principles of Accessibility
- Develop an Equally Effective Alternative Access Plan (EEAP), if needed
Buying Accessible Software/Applications Checklist
- Has the Accessibility Network been contacted to participate on the procurement team?
- Has a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) been included in the RFP or other procurement process?
- Have alternative plans been created for purchases that are not accessbile?
- Has an IT accessibility expert reviewed IT accessibility requirements and expectations with the selected supplier?
- Have procedures been established to test software updates for accessibility, submit complaints about the product or service via procurement, and ensure issues are remedied?
- Has feedback been provided to the Accessibility Network about addressing accessibility through the procurement process?