Working with external vendors

When hiring outside vendors to work on web projects, it's critical to consider accessibility from the start. UOW business owners of each new project are responsible for ensuring vendors are aware of the University's accessibility requirements and follow through on accessibility commitments.

Accessibility guide for working with vendors

Points to consider when working with vendors

  • Have you made your plans known to IMTS Web and Digital Services (WDS)? WDS will work with you as you work with vendors to ensure accessibility compliance.
  • Can they provide a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)?
  • Is the vendor’s own website accessible?
  • Are their Request for Proposal (RFP) responses and other materials provided accessible?
  • Do they have other content, such as blog posts or presentations about accessibility?

It is appropriate to questions to ask about the designs to ensure accessibility, identify issues and resolve defects before they become too costly to fix.

Information you should require from the vendor

  • Identify any ARIA landmarksARIA labels, and the heading hierarchy for each page.
  • Identify all interactions using scripting to update the page, such as AJAX and JS-driven filters, and status messages. For each interaction, explain how the interaction will be made accessible for a user of:
    1. a keyboard
    2. a screenreader
  • Identify all interactions driven by custom widgets and scriptings, such as dropdowns, accordions, tabs, carousels, and tooltips. 
    1. Determine if the widget could use a standard HTML element.
    2. For each interaction, explain how the interaction will be made accessible for a user of:
      1. a keyboard; and
      2. a screenreader
  • Identify any content or interactions that may not work on a mobile device (portrait or landscape).
  • Describe an approach to ensuring that text, text overlaid on background images, links, interactive controls, and focus states can be understood by people with colourblindness (whilst adhering to UOW colour palette to achieve AA compliance).
  • Identify which non-text content (image, video, audio) should and should not have text alternatives.
  • Outline testing process and outcomes
    • Does the new product work with assistive technologies as expected?
    • Have known accessibility bugs been fixed?
    • Have other bugs been introduced?