What is the EIT procurement process?


All Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) or Information and Communication Technology (ICT) purchased, acquired or used by the University must be accessible.  

How do I start the process?

How can I help?

UM Requesters will be asked to provide a VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template) or initiate communication with the vendor if a VPAT is not easily located.

In addition, you can help ATS speed up the process by answering these questions as your software enters the review process:

Please give a brief description of the software / program.

  • Is it administrative or academic?
  • Is the license/hardware you plan to purchase usable by more than one individual? Do you plan to expand use?
  • Is the software likely to be shared or not (examples: network software, highly specialized like dental or medical software)
  • Any known category issues: Math/Stem, videos, GIS/maps, data visualization,screen sharing, spatial data relevant to an image (teeth, nursing / body, airline seats)or other visual representations
  • Is a product created? (videos, document,  webpage) If so, the product needs to be tested also.


  • Is this replacing a product that we’re already using? If yes,
    • Name of existing product:
    • Status of product accessibility review (AKA, is it approved, given conditional use or denied)
  • If this is a renewal, has the current installation been upgraded since we last reviewed it? If not, is there an upgrade that hasn’t yet been installed?

How long does the process take?

  • Both standard hardware and software utilized by one or two people is usually passed quickly through the process.  
  • EIT submitted for review with a VPAT is usually processed within 5-7 business days unless vendors or EIT testing requires additional time.  
  • EIT submitted without a VPAT is processed as quickly as possible although there may be delays related to obtaining sufficient information for review.

Standards Details

EIT accessibility is currently defined by two standards – Section 508 for most categories and Section 508 plus WCAG 2.0 AA for websites and programs.  The software industry has standardized on VPATs (Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates) form which allow a vendor to list their product's accessibility according to each section of relevant 508 standards. VPATs are obtained from and filled out by the software vendors. 

MCA 18-5-604 and MCA 18-5-603 requires state agencies to ensure that equipment and software “provides blind or visually impaired individuals with access, including interactive use of the equipment and services, that is equivalent to that provided to individuals who are not blind or visually impaired”.

EIT is information technology or any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment that is used in the creation, conversion, or duplication of data or information. EIT includes:

  • telecommunication products, such as telephones
  • information kiosks
  • transaction machines
  • World Wide Web sites
  • Software and Operating Systems
  • Computers
  • multimedia (including videotapes); and
  • office equipment, such as copiers and fax machines.

EIT is defined in University of Montana’s EITA Procedures which is available on UM’s Accessibility website.

Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)

The UM procurement and contract process for EIT acquisition is amended to include UM’s Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Policy and the related UM Procedures.   Vendors who wish to do business with UM must provide information about their product’s conformance to applicable accessibility standards via the Section 508 Evaluation Template also known as the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT). 

Additional information on VPATs can be found below (which all open a new window):

Completion and submission of the VPAT is a requirement for UM contracts for products and services where electronic and information technology is involved.  Proposals or bids without a completed VPAT may be disqualified from the competition.

Working with vendors

Accessible Technology Services (ATS) frequently works directly with vendors to answer questions about our review.  This interaction is vendor or UM purchaser driven.  Such ATS interactions are not a substitute for vendor contracts with third party accessibility reviews toward developing a VPAT.  


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Article ID: 43472
Fri 12/1/17 4:27 PM
Thu 10/10/19 2:20 PM

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IT provides electronic and information technology (EIT) review to help departments meet requirements of UM's Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility policy. Accessible Technology Services provides software and hardware review as part of Procurement along with a variety of other reviews to ensure that documents, instructional materials, media, software, hardware, computing systems and websites meet accessibility requirements.