Accessibility Planning Core Criteria

Begin accessibility project planning by using the Core Criteria for Accessibility Planning:

  1. Governance, Roles and Responsibilities
  2. Evaluation and Remediation
  3. Skills and Training
  4. Communication and Support Process
  5. Procurement and Vendor Management
  6. Software Development Lifecycle

Governance, Roles and Responsibilities

The Governance criterion of the plan ensures that IT accessibility is positioned appropriately within your organization and accessibility-related roles and responsibilities across the organization are defined, including the designation of an executive sponsor or accountable party. Use OIT’s Accessibility Guide to communicate the responsibilities of the accountable parties. 

  • Include point people who will be responsible for maintaining accessibility compliance of the technology within their domain. 
  • Identify an accountable party who the accessibility point people will report to and communicate with about progress, opportunities and resource requirements.
  • For more information, visit Getting Started with Accessibility Governance

Common Accountable Parties

Evaluation and Remediation

The Evaluation and Remediation criterion of the plan ensures that your organization conducts testing and validation of all digital products and that plans are developed to address accessibility issues once identified. To determine the scope, level of effort, and estimated cost of evaluation and remediation, follow these steps:

  1. Create an IT Inventory
    • Identify and gather an inventory of your organization's websites, applications and other IT systems. For more information on what you should inventory, review the FAQ: HB21-1110 Colorado Laws For Persons With Disabilities.
    • Be sure to only include websites and applications that your organization manages. 
  2. Estimated testing hours are based on estimated website or application size.
  3. Calculate the estimated total cost based on the hourly rate of your evaluation and remediation providers. These could be vendors and/or your organization's employees. 

Skills and Training 

The Skills criterion of the plan ensures your organization hires people with accessibility skills and trains current employees on skills related to accessibility. It is a good idea to identify who in your organization needs training and what kind is needed for their role. It is recommended that all employees take basic digital accessibility training.

Communication and Support Process

The Communications and Support Process criterion ensures that your organization tracks and resolves incoming accessibility complaints and that there are clear and well-tended channels for receiving feedback on IT accessibility issues. These criteria include internal communications regarding accessibility process improvement, resources, and training as well as public statements of compliance.

  • State websites need to include the state's accessibility statement and contact at a minimum. 
  • Entities may implement their own accessibility services in addition to the statement.
  • Examples include the City of Colorado SpringsLarimer County, CDOT, CDOR, and CPW.

Procurement and Vendor Management

The Procurement criterion ensures that your organization reviews and validates that contract language in procurement documents addresses accessibility standards compliance.

Use OIT’s Vendor Accessibility Guidelines and Checklist and RFP Accessibility Questions. Also, be sure to do the following when procuring IT products and services:

  • Buy accessible products, whether for internal or public use.
  • When writing an RFP or RFI, clearly state your accessibility requirements up front.
  • Verify a vendor product’s accessibility, including asking for and reviewing their VPAT.
  • Include accessible outcomes in the contract.
  • Verify vendor’s accessibility expertise and require a contact who can address questions about accessibility.
  • Partner with an accessibility SME to evaluate the potential product for accessibility compliance.

Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC)

The Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) criterion ensures that IT accessibility requirements are incorporated into activities such as enterprise architecture, design, development, testing, deployment and ongoing maintenance in a consistent, repeatable fashion, and not dependent on a specific individual(s) who "carries the torch” for any specific event or project where IT accessibility is required.