Accessible Technology Procurement

Project Name: Accessible Technology Procurement

Team: Kyle Shachmut, Michele Clopper, Bob Doyle, Chris Gambon, Joe Holewa 

Schools and Unites Represented: HarvardX, HUIT, University Disability Services, FAS, Strategic Procurement

Mission: All faculty, staff, and students have necessary tasks requiring interaction with vended products—whether software products like PeopleSoft and Canvas, or devices like copiers in offices and washers/dryers in dorms. Further, when smaller department purchases are made, even if accessibility is considered this information and effort is not currently captured or shared in a consistent way, which can lead to unnecessary duplication of effort and not leveraging best practices. Impact of addressing accessibility barriers during RFP & procurement instead of accessibility complaints—even for one single product--can be dramatic in terms of time, cost and perception, versus remediating issues ad hoc. Success will be measured by the existence of a sustainable and shareable system to track accessibility in the procurement process—something that does not exist at the institution today. As awareness about the need to consider accessibility during the RFP and procurement process grows, it will be important that interested purchasing agents have information available to guide and support their efforts to proactively engage with vendors asking for accessible technology products.