It is the responsibility of our faculty and staff to make sure that the tools used at WVC are accessible. This includes software and computer programs and classroom materials like ebooks and videos. In Module 4, these tips are provided for checking if materials are accessible before you purchase and use them:
- Ask vendors, publishers, or sales representatives if their product/site is accessible to people with disabilities. If it is not, ask for their action plan or timeline for making it accessible.
- Many times vendors will provide a VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template). VPATs are useful if you understand the technical aspects of web content and if you take them with a grain of salt (remember, they're voluntary and there isn't a body overseeing/checking what vendors claim their product can do).
- If the vendor can provide a VPAT, ask them to give a demonstration of the accessibility features of their product (and invite your disability support services office to the demo!).
And finally, Module 4 offers this email response template that you can send to any publishers/vendors who are advertising their products:
"Thanks so much for contacting me about this new product. Before I give it a look, I need you to answer the following questions:
- Is this product accessible for people with disabilities? If so, explain what measures you've taken to make it accessible.
- What web guidelines do you follow to ensure 508 compliance?
- Is a VPAT available?
If you are unaware of the WA State law requiring that students have access to accessible course materials, please check out RCW 28B.10.916."