Planning to acquire technology equipment or software? This is the first step in that process. Accessibility and Security reviews are required as part of the University's effort to comply with the state and federal laws that require campuses within the CSU system to meet accessibility and security guidelines. The University wants to assure that anyone who is admitted to the university or works for the university has no physical constraints in pursuing their education or in being able to fulfill their responsibilities. The University cannot guarantee 100% compliance with all needs and concerns, but every effort will be made to achieve compliance or alternatively, accommodation.
This E&IT Procurement form is intended to document that process and enable those who are planning a technology purchase to complete the process as expeditiously as possible. In the event of a high-impact purchase request, the staff handling the ATI procurement processes may need to work directly with you, the purchase requestor, to complete an appropriate purchase.
Accessible IT Procurement Frequently Asked Questions
- What items are considered E&IT?
- What items are excluded from E&IT reviews?
- Why is an E&IT Procurement Request necessary?
- What are the steps to complete an E&IT request?
- I submitted an E&IT request, but I haven’t received an approval email. Where can I find the status of my request and what will the final approval email look like?
- The product I want is not fully compliant with the Section 508 criteria. Can I still get it?
- I already submitted an E&IT for this product and now it needs to be renewed. Why do I have to fill out another E&IT request for the same product?
- What is a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) and when do I need to obtain one?
- What if the vendor won't supply a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)?
- A VPAT is not appropriate for this purchase (e.g. contracting a web page to be developed, providing consulting services, server hosting, etc.). What documentation should the vendor provide instead?
- The vendor has never heard of accessibility requirements. Where can I direct them for further information?
- What is the process for Request for Proposals (RFPs) or competitive bid procurements that require an E&IT review?
- How can I get further information/training on ATI and the E&IT Procurement Process?
Q1. What items are considered E&IT?
- Computers - desktop, laptops and tablets
- Self-contained products - printers, copiers, kiosks, scanners, portable projectors, transaction machines
- Software and mobile applications - including renewals
- Telecommunications products
- Video and multimedia materials (need to be captioned or subtitled if commercially available)
- Web Content/Software/Mobile applications
Q2. What items are excluded from E&IT reviews?
- Apps for individual use
- Assistive Technology Products (i.e. Dragon Naturally Speaking, JAWS, ZoomText)
- Blank CDs and DVDs
- Cameras, camera lenses, and other camera accessories
- Domain names
- Hard drives
- Installation equipment (e.g. cables, wall mounts, mounting brackets)
- Permanently mounted projectors
- Video and audio cards
- USB drives
- USB hubs
Q3. Why is an E&IT Procurement Request necessary?
An E&IT request must be submitted and approved for all requisitions and credit card orders containing technology items that fall under one of the E&IT categories. California Government Code 11135 requires the CSU system to comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 508 requires that the electronic and information technology (E&IT) products developed, procured, maintained or used by the university are accessible to people with disabilities. CSUS has an obligation to buy the most universally accessible products, and the E&IT review process helps ensure that we are adhering to this law.
The second purpose of the E&IT request process is to review the product’s compliance with the Information Security Office’s (ISO) requirements. For details on the information security portion of the E&IT review, visit the Information Security Office page.
Q4. What are the steps to complete an E&IT request?
A. Determine your needs/requirements for the products/services to be purchased.
B. Research which products/services are available for that need. Check to see if a product is on the Pre-Approved list.
C. If your requested acquisition is "high impact" meaning that it will be used by any number of students, a large group of 100 or more, and/or the public, request accessibility documentation (i.e. VPAT for products, 508 Acknowledgement Statement for services, caption information for videos, etc.) from the vendor and email documentation to the IT/ATI Procurement Specialist. Note: accessibility documentation can be emailed before OR after the E&IT request is submitted.
- Submit E&IT Request
A. Complete the web-based E&IT Procurement Request Form at https://csus.service-now.com/service/. See Technology Procurement Request Instructions.
B. Depending on the product/service being requested and its level of impact, approval may be required from one or more of the following reviewers: the IT/ATI Procurement Specialist, the Information Security Office, and/or the reviewing IT Administrator.
C. If a full E&IT accessibility/security review is needed, work with the vendor and the IT/ATI Procurement Specialist and/or Information Security Office to obtain the information requested. Full review could take one to eight weeks.
D. After the E&IT review has been completed, the requestor will receive a final approval email (see Q5 for further information about the approval email).
- If entering a requisition into CFS:
A. Use commodity code 91900
B. Upload PDF/document of approval email and other requested supporting documentation as an attachment to the CFS requisition, in the header comments.
C. Use the standard comment for ATI documents when attaching documents.
- If purchasing with a procurement card:
A. Print out the final approval email and attach it to your credit card statement.
Q5. I submitted an E&IT request, but I haven’t received an approval email. Where can I find the status of my request and what will the final approval email look like?
After you submitted your request, you should have received an email with “Request REQ0000000 has been opened on your behalf” in the subject line. If you click on the link in the body of this email, you will be directed to the ServiceNow site; at the bottom of the page, you can see who the required reviewers are and the status of their reviews.
You will know that your request has final approval when you receive an email with "The review of your E&IT request RITM00000000 has been approved" in the subject line. There is a link in the body of the email to the approval PDF that must be attached to your requisition or your credit card statement.
Q6. The product I want is not fully compliant with the Section 508 criteria. Can I still get it?
It depends. Some products are clearly more compliant than others so the degree of compliance must be evaluated as the federal government has stated that agencies must "procure the product that best meets the standards". If a more accessible product IS available, but a less accessible product is being requested for purchase, a completed Exception Form with a justification for this request must be submitted to the IT/ATI Procurement Specialist for review and approval.
Q7. I already submitted an E&IT for this software and now it needs to be renewed. Why do I have to fill out another E&IT request for the same product?
When a software maintenance is renewed, there is often a corresponding new version of the software. While it is unlikely that a newer version will be LESS accessible than a previous version, there may be changes in the degree of compliance nonetheless. Regardless of whether changes to the product enhance or reduce accessibility, they should be documented in the interest of retaining/discarding alternative access plans (EEAAPs), comparing compliance to that of similar products, and following up with vendors who previously made a commitment to improve/increase accessibility features before the next renewal date.
There may also be changes to the campus impact meaning how many people will be using the software.
Q8. What is a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) and when do I need to obtain one?
A VPAT is a form to be completed by the vendor that documents their product’s conformance with the Section 508 Accessibility Standards. A completed VPAT should state which criteria the product supports, and explain what features it utilizes to support accessibility. This document must be requested from the vendor if the product will be used by any number of students, the general public, or large audiences (approximately 100 or more users). Both the blank VPAT form and a sample completed VPAT can be found at www.csus.edu/techprocure.
Q9. What if the vendor won't supply a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)?
Ask the vendor to complete the "No VPAT" form. Since the vendor is providing no formal documentation of specific compliance issues, planning a feasible alternative access plan is next to impossible. The requesting department/individual should review the campus accommodation policy, and immediately contact firstname.lastname@example.org if there are any reports of accessibility issues with the product.
Q10. A VPAT is not appropriate for this purchase (e.g. contracting a web page to be developed, providing consulting services, server hosting, etc.). What documentation should the vendor provide instead?
The vendor should sign the Section 508 Acknowledgement Form confirming that the 508 standards are understood and the product/service being provided will comply with all applicable criteria.
Q11. The vendor has never heard of accessibility requirements. Where can I direct them for further information?
The CSU Chancellor’s Office website has information specifically for vendors regarding the CSU’s E&IT requirement and how to provide documentation about their product’s conformance with applicable accessibility standards. Please ask vendors to visit the Chancellor’s Office Procurement page for further information. The CSU Guide to Voluntary Product Accessibility Template and the templates themselves are available in the Resource section of this site.
Q12. What is the process for Request for Proposals (RFPs) or competitive bid procurements that require an E&IT review?
The ATI Procurement Specialist should be included on the evaluation committee when there is an RFP that includes E&IT products. Once a vendor has been selected, the requesting department should complete an E&IT request as they would for a non-competitive bid procurement that requires an E&IT review.
Q13. How can I get further information/training on ATI and the E&IT Procurement Process?
Contact the IT/ATI Procurement Specialist to schedule a training for yourself and/or your department on the E&IT Procurement Process.
For a more general overview of procurement processes, guidelines, policy, and the services that Procurement provides, please email Dale Clack at email@example.com.