6. Procuring information and communication technology

This chapter has information, criteria, and references for staff who procure websites, Content Management Systems (CMS), ticket machines and smart cards, public computers, kiosks, and other public access terminals, advertising, telephones, or printing and publishing.

The NDA also has an online IT Procurement Toolkit. Its "Stages of Procurement" section has information about "Writing an RFT (Request for Tender)". That webpage discusses tenderer selection criteria, general accessibility targets, accessibility targets for specific technologies, development process, quality assurance, training, evaluating of deliverables, and accessibility policy. It has text about Universal Design experience, accessibility targets, development process, quality assurance, and training, that procurers can copy and paste directly into their Request for Tender documents.

Websites

Your website's content and design should be accessible to all of your customers and colleagues, whether they have disabilities or not. The National Disability Authority's Code of Practice on Accessibility of Public Services and Information provided by Public Bodies says that public bodies' websites' content and design must have Level AA conformance to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

The devices and assistive technology used for accessing websites change regularly, as do the tasks that users want to be able to do.

When you procure web content or website development, try to ensure that the content is well-structured, that the website has Level AA conformance to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, and has Level AAA conformance where possible. The creation and design of the website should follow a standard process, such as "BS 8878:2010 Web accessibility. Code of practice." for ensuring website accessibility, and rich internet applications should conform to Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) 1.0.

Selection criteria:
  • "Provide evidence as to how content that you have created for websites is well-structured, with headings, lists, tables, and language changes specified properly, and with alternative text for anything that is not text."
  • "Provide evidence as to how websites that you have [designed/developed/delivered] have level AA conformance to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0."
  • "Provide evidence as to how rich internet applications that you have [designed/developed/delivered] conform to Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) 1.0."
Award criteria:
  • "Provide evidence as to how the content that you propose to [design/develop/deliver] for our website will be well-structured, with headings, lists, tables, and language changes specified properly, and with alternative text for anything that is not text."
  • "Provide evidence as to how the website that you propose to [design/develop/deliver] will conform to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0."
  • "Provide evidence as to how the [design/development/delivery] of the website will follow a standard process, such as 'BS 8878:2010 Web accessibility. Code of practice.' for ensuring website accessibility."
  • "Provide evidence as to how the rich internet applications that you propose to [design/develop/deliver] will conform to Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) 1.0."

Useful references

Content Management Systems (CMS)

When somebody provides a Content Management System for your website, try to ensure that the website content that the CMS produces is accessible to people with disabilities, and that staff with disabilities will be able to use the CMS to create and maintain website content.

Selection criterion:
  • "Provide evidence as to how Content Management Systems that you have [designed/developed/delivered] have Level AA conformance to the latest version of the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG)."
Award criterion:
  • "Provide evidence as to how the Content Management System that you propose to [design/develop/deliver] will have Level AA conformance to the latest version of the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG)."

Useful references

Ticket machines and smart card tickets

When somebody provides ticket machines and smart card tickets for your organisation, try to make sure that customers with disabilities can use the ticket machines and the smart cards.

Ticket machines

Selection criterion:
  • "Provide evidence as to how ticket machines that you have [designed/developed/delivered] are accessible to all users."
Award criterion:
  • "Show how the ticket machines that you propose to [design/develop/deliver] will be accessible."

Smart card tickets

Selection criterion:
  • "Provide evidence as to how smart cards that you have [designed/developed/delivered] conform to the priority 1 guidelines from the NDA Guidelines for Smartcard Accessibility."
Award criterion:
  • "Show how the smart cards that you propose to [design/develop/deliver] will conform to the priority 1 guidelines from the NDA Guidelines for Smartcard Accessibility."

Public computers, kiosks, and other public access terminals

It is difficult to make sure that a public computer, kiosk, or other public access terminal is fully accessible. Trained staff should be available to assist customers who use them, and the hardware and software should be accessible to customers with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities. In addition, the environment around public computers, kiosks and public access terminals should be accessible.

When public computers, kiosks, or other public access terminals are provided to your organisation, try to make sure that they conform to the priority 1 guidelines from the NDA's Guidelines for Public Access Terminals Accessibility, that their user interfaces conform to the appropriate accessibility guidelines, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 or the NDA's Guidelines for Applications Software, and that any smart cards that customers have to use in them conform to the priority 1 guidelines from the NDA Guidelines for Smartcard Accessibility.

Selection criteria:
  • "Provide evidence as to how public computers, kiosks, or other public access terminals that you have [designed/developed/delivered] conform to the priority 1 guidelines from the NDA's Guidelines for Public Access Terminals Accessibility."
  • "Provide evidence as to how the user interface in public computers, kiosks, or other public access terminals that you have [designed/developed/delivered] conforms to appropriate accessibility guidelines, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 or the NDA's Guidelines for Applications Software."
  • "Provide evidence as to how smart cards that you have [designed/developed/delivered] conform to the priority 1 guidelines from the NDA Guidelines for Smartcard Accessibility."
Award criteria:
  • "Provide evidence as to how the user interface in the public computers, kiosks, or other public access terminals that you propose to [design/develop/deliver] will conform to appropriate accessibility guidelines, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 or the NDA's Guidelines for Applications Software."
  • "Provide evidence as to how the smart cards that customers will have to use in the public computers, kiosks, or other public access terminals that you propose to [design/develop/deliver] will conform to the priority 1 guidelines from the NDA Guidelines for Smartcard Accessibility."

Advertising

When somebody provides advertising for your organisation, try to ensure that it is accessible to all people with disabilities. All advertisements should use clear, simple language. Moving text, flashing text, ornate or decorative fonts and flashing images will make it harder for some people to understand your message. Video advertisements may need captions, sign language interpretation and audio-descriptions. Images flashing more than three times per second may affect some people. Background noise or music can make it difficult for some people to understand speech.

Printed advertisements should have a clear font at a minimum size of 12 point and text aligned to one side only (the left side for Irish and English). There should be no blocks of upper case letters. There should be no underlining, no italics, and no over-use of bold text.

It is important to have a simple, clear layout with no images behind text and good colour contrast between the text and background. There should be appropriate space between columns of text, text descriptions for images or colour that convey information, and paper with a matt finish that is thick enough to prevent the other side of a page from showing through the page.

Advertisements

Selection criteria:
  • "Provide evidence as to how you have written simple, clear language for advertisements."
  • "Provide evidence as to how you have designed printed advertisements that follow clear print guidelines."
  • "Provide evidence as to how web-based advertisements that you have created conform to the latest version of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines."
  • "Provide evidence as to how video advertisements that you have created are accessible to everybody, regardless of age, size, ability or disability."
Award criteria:
  • "Provide evidence as to how you will write simple, clear language in advertisements that you propose to create."
  • "Provide evidence as to how you will follow clear print guidelines in printed advertisements that you propose to create."
  • "Provide evidence as to how the web-based advertisements that you propose to create will conform to the latest version of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines."
  • "Provide evidence as to how video advertisements that you propose to create will be accessible to everybody, regardless of age, size, ability or disability."

Useful references

Telephones

When somebody provides telephones or telephone services for your organisation, try to ensure that people with disabilities can use them easily.

Selection criterion:
  • "Provide evidence as to how [telephones/telephone services] that you have provided conform to the priority 1 guidelines from the National Disability Authority's Guidelines for Telecoms Accessibility."
Award criterion:
  • "Provide evidence as to how the telephones or telephone services that you propose to provide will conform to the priority 1 guidelines from the National Disability Authority's Guidelines for Telecoms Accessibility."

Designing, printing and publishing

You may need to tender for the design and print of publications such as Annual Reports, customer complaint cards, brochures, flyers, posters, and other correspondence with customers and colleagues. Make sure that any designers and printers focus on clarity, so that you can be confident that your customers and colleagues will understand your message. For web-based publishing, remember that you can make your information accessible to the widest range of people by publishing it in multiple formats, such as accessible HTML, accessible PDF, and accessible Microsoft Word.

Printed documents, web documents, and last-minute revisions

When somebody provides printing services for your organisation, try to make sure that: documents are printed in clear, simple language. Make sure that web-based publishing conforms to the latest version of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

Printed documents

Selection criteria:
  • "Provide evidence as to how you have designed printed documents to follow clear print guidelines."
  • "Provide evidence as to how you have created web-based documents that conform to the latest version of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines."
Award criteria:
  • "Provide evidence as to how printed documents that you propose to design will follow clear print guidelines."
  • "Provide evidence as to how the web-based documents that you propose to create will conform to the latest version of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines."

Useful references