Contracts and Access

Benefits of including accessibility in contracts

  • Pro: Responsibilities of both parties to the contract are clearly defined.
  • Pro: The contract matches the requirements in the Requiest for Proposal (RFP).
  • Pro: Vendors who claim accessibility should have no trouble agreeing to it in the contract.
  • Pro: Vendors will not be able to charge extra later to fix defects.
  • Pro: Contact conditions offer protection in the event of a complaint.

Sample IT Contract Wording


  1. Where Deliverables comprise or incorporate:
    1. an Internet or intranet application, or
    2. content, interfaces (both for administrators and end-users), or documents that will be available on the Internet or an intranet, the Supplier must ensure that that component of the Deliverables conforms to at least “Level AA” of the WCAG 2.1.
  2. Where a Deliverable does not comply with “Level AA” of the WCAG 2.1, the University may, acting in its discretion:
    1. require the Supplier to promptly respond to and remedy any non-compliance; and
    2. withhold 5% of the Fees that relate to that Deliverable until the Deliverable is compliant with “Level AA” of the WCAG 2.1.
  3. Without limitation, if the Supplier fails to comply with clause [Insert number of clause dealing with notification of non-compliance], the University may, after the requisite remedy period (if any), exercise its right of termination pursuant to clause [Insert number of clause dealing with termination].

WCAG 2.1 means the “Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1”, as amended from time to time. WCAG 2.1 can be accessed at

Alternative Access

  • Accessibility is not the only consideration in the procurement process.
  • Sometimes the preferred solution will have accessibility defects.
  • Procedures for providing alternative access should be determined prior to the solution going live.