Technology & IT Procurement Pulse Blog Imagine trying to use a computer without a mouse. Imagine trying to watch a video without speakers. Imagine trying to type an email on your phone without being able to see the screen. These are all examples of inaccessibility – and we can imagine how frustrating that would be. Accessible technology means that everyone can use the same technology, no matter how they need to manipulate it in order to process information.So why is accessible technology so important to procurement?Because implementing accessible technology in different organizations/institutions means you must purchase accessible technology in the first place. If the implementation of accessible technology means that you can buy and use the same technology, then you’ve already saved time and consolidated your steps in the RFP process! The Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) is a non-profit organization and has an abundance of resources and tools on how to purchase accessible technology as it relates to the RFP process. Included in their online “Buy IT! Guide,” PEAT features effective procurement practices that can help procurement officials and their purchasing staff build accessibility into their information and communication technology (ICT) procurement processes.Computers, software, the internet, and other technologies are common in almost every type of institution or organization. The ability to access these tools is essential to school, work-related activities, and everyday living. For most of these institutions, accessibility is commonly addressed as an afterthought or on an individual basis, often making it difficult, time-consuming, and costly to provide adequate access to fit these specialized needs. For state procurement officials, accessibility issues are particularly important when considering which devices will best serve their customer-based needs. Accessibility can also be referred to as “universal design,” which denotes to the design of an accessible product built to be used by the widest range of people possible, regardless of disability or limitation. Universally designed products are more adaptive, easier to maintain, and cost less over time because they don’t require need for additional adaptation or specialized design.It should not surprise you that writing an RFP for an ICT product is very similar to a standard RFP, but there are additional considerations. Here are three crucial tips for writing an RFP for accessible technology. Supplied by PEAT’s Buy IT! Guide, these three steps will not only help to achieve the goal of procuring accessible technology, but they can also be used as best practices to help improve procurement operations in general.