Purchasing Accessible Technology

Assessing Accessibility

The Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) is the standard way to measure the accessibility of electronic and information technology (EIT). The Information Technology Industry Council hosts the official versions of the VPAT that vendors should submit for their products. NIU uses the VPAT2.2 508 - July2018.

Contact the Information Technology Accessibility Officer (ITAO) at it-accessibility@niu.edu for help getting or understanding a VPAT.

Recording Accessibility

Having these forms on file will serve as a record of the fact that NIU has considered accessibility in EIT purchases:


The law recognizes the need for exceptions in certain situations.

Phase 1

While campus purchasers and vendors learn about NIU's requirements for accessible EIT, purchase requisitions for EIT will go to the ITAO.

  1. The ITAO will request a completed VPAT2.2 508 - July2018 from the vendor
  2. If the product is inaccessible, the ITAO will notify the vendor and purchaser and request

Phase 2

An accessibility check will be added to the procurement process.

Phase 3

The long view:

  • Vendors make accessible products and services because customers insist on it
  • NIU's EIT becomes more accessible over time
  • We can work on the harder accessibility issues