To comply with NC State University’s REG 04.25.05 and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the university must apply accessibility standards to every information communication technology (ICT) resource (i.e., system, product, service or process) that it purchases, creates, uses, or maintains.
Purchasing an ICT resource
When seeking an accessible ICT resource the purchasing department should:
- Identify the department’s business needs in order to determine the criteria for that ICT resource; i.e., what the resource should do.
- Request assistance as needed from the IT Accessibility Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) to determine which accessible ICT resources meet both the business needs and the Section 508 standards.
- Consult the Before You Buy page.
NOTE: Software purchases over $5,000 are subject to NC State’s IT Purchase Compliance Process.
When a desired or existing ICT resource does not meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), an Equally Effective Alternative Action Plan (EEAAP) can be developed to address the accessibility barriers. An EEAAP is a last resort for purchasing an ICT resource when any of the following is true:
- No available accessible ICT resource meets both the department’s needs and Section 508.
- The desired resource is only partially accessible.
- Purchasing an accessible resource would cause an undue burden on the department.
NOTE: The reasons for and extent of the undue burden must be explained by the purchasing department.
The university IT Accessibility Coordinator must approve an EEAAP before ICT resource procurement can commence.
If available ICT resources meet some but not all of the Section 508 standards, then the purchasing department should procure the one that best meets those standards.
If an accessibility barrier is discovered in the resource, be sure to notify the resource vendor.
EEAAP review and renewal
Each EEAAP should be reviewed at least annually by the department that is using the inaccessible ICT resource and by the IT Accessibility Coordinator. This review should include:
- determining if an accessible resource has become available.
- updating the EEAAP as needed to reflect any accessibility changes in the resource.