Vendor Accessibility Guidelines & Checklist


This checklist should be referred to before purchasing digital products and services. It provides guidance about what to look for when evaluating digital products and services, including questions and information that can be requested of vendors.

The vendor should indicate whether the goods and/or services proposed to be provided fully conform with the accessibility guidelines of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 level A and AA published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

During vendor demonstrations, the vendor should demonstrate the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 level A and AA published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Questions about technology accessibility, this checklist, or assistance with vendor demonstrations should be directed to OIT_Accessibility@state.co.us.


Vendor Checklist

1. Is your product(s) currently WCAG 2.1 Level A and AA compliant? 

  • Acceptable: Yes
  • Not Acceptable: No

2. If yes to question 1, how do you assess compliance with WCAG A/AA standards i.e. do you use automated tools, a checklist such as a VPAT, expert manual review, user testing, review using screen reader software such as JAWS, JawsInspect, or SiteImprove? 

  • Acceptable: A combination of many methods or reliance on manual testing
  • Not Acceptable: A reliance only on automated testing

3. At what points in the design and development process do you assess for compliance with WCAG 2.1 A/AA?

  • Acceptable: Frequent assessment throughout a project’s lifecycle
  • Not Acceptable: Immediately prior to the launch

4. Can you provide a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) showing alignment to WCAG 2.1 A/AA standards? When filling out the VPAT®, vendors are asked to carefully respond and make sure to explain why the product may or may not meet accessibility standards. 

  • Acceptable: Yes (and promptly supplies you with the VPAT or agrees to provide it within five days)
  • Not Acceptable:
    • No
    • Partially Complete VPAT
    • What is a VPAT?

5. How do you keep up with the legal requirements and laws regarding accessibility?

  • Acceptable: We are advised by our accessibility team or another credible source that has accessibility expertise.
  • Not Acceptable: We are not aware of what accessibility laws we need to adhere to.

6. If your product is not compliant, do you have a roadmap to achieving compliance within 90-120 days?

  • Acceptable: A roadmap with dates (within the 90-120 day window) for delivery of all identified issues
  • Not Acceptable:
    • No
    • A roadmap that is not specific or measurable

7. Can you provide a third-party attestation (evidence or proof of something) of product accessibility compliance, or can you provide a demonstration of the product by a JAWS user from the team?

  • Acceptable: Yes, and provides a demonstration and/or provides evidence of product accessibility compliance (i.e. documented manual testing results)
  • Not Acceptable:
    • Cannot provide evidence of accessibility compliance
    • Cannot provide a demonstration using adaptive technology

8. Do you have an accessibility team?

  • Acceptable:
    • Yes, they have an accessibility team that can adequately support a vendor of their size and can support their full product offering.
  • Not Acceptable: 
    • No
    • Their accessibility "team" consists of one person.
    • Their accessibility team cannot support all of the products they are offering to you. 
    • To follow up on any of the unacceptable responses above, ask the vendor if they can hire a subcontractor to conduct accessibility testing and get more details on any proposed subcontractor.

9. Do you have any people on your team that are proficient JAWS users?

  • Acceptable: Yes.
    • This shows a commitment to accessibility and familiarity with a commonly used screen reader among state employees.   
  • Not Acceptable: No.
    • This is not totally unacceptable. Follow up by asking if they are able to have people with disabilities give insight into their lived experiences regarding the accessibility of their product(s). For example, third-party accessibility and/or UX testing by people with disabilities who are JAWS users. 

10. Do you have an accessibility statement of commitment (i.e. a mission statement) about digital accessibility?

  • Acceptable: Yes, and provides their statement of commitment documents.
  • Not Acceptable: No, they do not have an accessibility commitment or mission statement about digital accessibility that they can share.

11. Do you have direct contact information (phone and email) for the individual in the company who can address questions about the Accessibility of good(s)/service(s)?

  • Acceptable: Yes and promptly provides contact information
  • Not Acceptable: No