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Accessibility Policy for Technology Purchases FAQ's

If you are having difficulty accessing the information on this page, please call 307-766-6672. 



Q. Who does this policy apply to?

A.  All UW employees who are purchasing technology services and/or products for the University.

Q.  What are some examples of the categories of "technology services and/or products" that this policy applies to?

A. These are the major categories of types of items that the policy applies to, but the list here is not exhaustive. When in doubt, feel free to call to inquire about a specific product or item and accessibility issues.

  1. Software applications and operating systems.
  2. Videos and multimedia products (such as televisions).
  3. Telecommunications products (such as telephones). 
  4. Desktop and portable computers.
  5. Self-contained, closed products, i.e. information kiosks, copiers, printers, fax machines and other similar products.
  6. Hiring of an outside vendor to design or update a UW website.  


Q.  Does this policy apply to P-card purchases?

A. Yes. This policy applies to any purchases of information technology services and/or products by the University, including (but not limited to) hardware and software products and web page design or maintenance. If any of these are purchased using a P-card, the policy applies.


Q.  Is this policy retroactive? Do existing (already purchased) products need to be accessible?

A. This policy is not retroactive to purchases made before February 15, 2016. 


Q.  Does this policy apply to contract renewals?

A. This policy does not apply to contract renewals. For example, if an original contract has a term of 3 years with an opportunity to renew the contract for two one year periods, those one year periods of renewal would not be subject to this policy. However, at the time a contract is up for renewal this is a good time to ask vendors questions regarding accessibility and we encourage departments to do so.   


Q.  What is the best way to document that we have followed the policy?

A. Document any questions asked of the vendor/s and answers given regarding accessibility in your files. Please see the policy for suggestions for questions to ask of vendors. Also, it will be important to document your efforts if you and your unit have determined that one of the exceptions apply. For example, if you have determined your product is one of a kind or there are no accessible equivalents, you should document your research and efforts showing how you made that determination and what other research you have done regarding the product.


Q.  Does this purchasing policy apply to UW websites?

A. This policy applies to the specific situation of where a UW department or employee is hiring a third party to design or maintain your UW website. In this situation, the vendor must design/update the UW website to meet WCAG 2 AA standards. See the policy for suggested questions you should ask of your vendor that you are hiring regarding accessibility. 

Note, if your UW website is designed and/or maintained by UW staff, the purchasing policy does not apply; however, accessibility of your website is still important. If your website is housed within the CMS, much has already been done to improve accessibility throughout the CMS sites. For helpful tips on improving accessibility of your website, please see the Web Accessibility Guidelines.


Q.  What does it mean for these products to be accessible and how is that different from individual accommodations for persons with disabilities?

A. For the categories of items that fall under this policy, the technology product or service  should have built in accessibility components to allow for easier use by persons with varying types of disabilities to access the product. For example, the Section 508 standards adopted by UW in the policy require that software should have no blinking lights and appropriate color contrast so that persons with vision impairments may use them. However, this same person with a vision impairment may require additional individual accommodations separate and apart from the built in accessibility components that the software has already embedded in the product. 


Q.  What if I need clarification on the policy or am not sure whether a product we are purchasing falls under it?

A. For all additional questions, please contact the Diversity and Employment Practices Office at 307-766-3459.  We are happy to assist you!

Contact Us

Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

1000 East University Avenue Department 3434

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-6672


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