DIR Launches Digital Accessibility Training for Vendors

April 11, 2023
DIR News
AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) is now offering free digital accessibility training for IT vendors serving state and local entities.

The training will educate vendors on Texas’ digital accessibility requirements for state websites and electronic and information resources. DIR commissioned the training to help the private sector better understand the state’s digital accessibility requirements and required documentation when responding to DIR’s Cooperative Contracts solicitations. When vendors provide detailed and complete information, state agencies and universities of higher education can make more informed procurement decisions around technologies, particularly for Texans with disabilities.

”Offering accessible technology products and development services is critical to ensuring inclusive government services to Texans,” said Amanda Crawford, DIR’s Executive Director and Chief Information Officer for the State of Texas. “This training will provide our private sector technology partners a better understanding of the state’s accessibility requirements so they can help the state serve Texans of all abilities.”   

Texas Government Code Chapter 2054, Subchapter M and the accompanying rules in the Texas Administrative Code (1 213.18 and 1 213.38) require state agencies and institutions of higher education to provide accessible websites and electronic and information resources (EIR). Complying with these requirements means agencies and institutions of higher education must carefully review all solicitation responses for

technology products and services to ensure they are procuring the best digitally accessible products for the state. The training is available through Access Academy, an Information Technology (IT) accessibility learning management system from Level Access.

The four courses in the series include:

  1. State of Texas Introduction to Digital Accessibility.
  2. State of Texas Accessibility Policy and Guidelines (including Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, Texas Administrative Code, and Revised Section 508 Standards).
  3. State of Texas Accessibility in IT Procurement.
  4. State of Texas Required Procurement Forms: Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT), Vendor Accessibility Development Services Information Request (VADSIR), and the Policy Driven Adoption for Accessibility (PDAA) self-assessment.

Access Academy is used for training staff at Texas state agencies and many institutions of higher education employees with responsibilities in the development, procurement, or use of accessible electronic and information resources.

Vendors can register for an account by contacting the Statewide Digital Accessibility Program Administrator at: [email protected].

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