Step 1 - Gather Information


In the first step of the process, the Purchase Requester obtains all information that is necessary for the ATI (Procurement) Reviewer to perform an initial evaluation, determine impact, and make recommendations for accessibility review activities.

For purchases that do not require a competitive bid process, in this step, the Purchase Requester is responsible to:

  • Identify functional and business requirements
  • Conduct market research
  • Request accessibility documentation
  • Select the most accessible product/service that meets requirements
  • Complete IT Purchase Review form

Roles and Responsibilities

Step 1 process map
Responsible PersonConsultationInput(s)Output(s)
Purchase RequesterATI reviewer, IT StaffInformation gathering: Identify functional requirements, conduct market research, select most accessible product that meets requirementsFunctional requirements, market research, purchase recommendation
Purchase RequesterATI reviewer, vendorACR requested from vendorACR received from vendor
Purchase Requester or Administrative AssistantATI reviewerFunctional requirements, market research, purchase recommendation, use case informationCompleted IT purchase review form

Step 1 – Details

The Purchase Requester first determines functional and business requirements. If requirements are incorrect, inaccurate or incomplete, it becomes less likely the product selected will be implemented successfully or used as originally planned. 

It is often helpful to separate requirements into two groups: 

  • Minimum requirements (essential functionality); and
  • Preferred requirements (functionality that is desirable but isn't essential)

Determining functional requirements includes considering factors such as:

  • What are the essential product functions / functionality that is required?
  • Are there any special technical requirements? 
  • Does the product require specialized training?
  • Does the product require interoperability with an existing information system? 

Determining business requirements includes considering factors such as:

  • What funds are available to fund the initial purchase?
  • What funds are available to fund on-going use and maintenance costs?
  • Is there a date-specific requirement to complete implementation?
  • Is the vendor required to have any pre-qualifications (e.g. authorizations, certifications)?

Next, the Purchase Requester finds all products that meet the minimum functional and business requirements. The process of comparing multiple products that meet minimum requirements allows a purchase requester to become educated about the available solutions in the market and thereby make a better-informed purchasing decision. 

Next, the Purchase Requester asks each Vendor to provide Accessibility Conformance Documentation for each product being considered for purchase. The Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR) form (VPAT 2. x template), developed by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC) and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), was designed to provide vendors with a standardized method of self-reporting information about how their products conform to each of the Section 508 Accessibility Standards.

There are many ways for the Purchase Requester to obtain an ACR, including:

After the purchase requester compares all products that meet the minimum requirements, the next step is selecting the most accessible product/service that meets the functional and business requirements.

The requester is not expected to be an accessibility expert and will not be able to critically review products for accessibility. It is recommended that purchase requesters consult with the ATI Purchase reviewer about a proposed purchase and the likely accessibility implications for end-users.

Last, the Purchase Requester or Administrative Assistant complete an IT Purchase review form. It is important to provide detailed information about the proposed purchase, as early in the process as possible, to give the ATI reviewer sufficient time to complete a thorough Accessibility review.

Key information to provide when completing the IT Purchase review form include:

  • Use case information such as what the product/service does, who will use the product (numbers and types of users), and how the product will be used
  • All supporting documentation
    • Accessibility documentation (ACRs, accessibility test results, accessibility roadmaps)
    • Proposals/price quotes
    • Contractual documents (vendor provided license agreements, terms and conditions)
  • Vendor contact information
  • Details about special implementation requirements or constraints (if applicable)
  • Future plans (e.g. initial pilot, expanded use over time)