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Accessibility guidelines for suppliers

Suppliers and vendors that sell or license software, hardware, Web, Learning, and information technology (IT) products and services (i.e., deliverables) to IBM must provide documentation that the deliverables are accessible. Accessible means that the information technology and any accompanying information conforms to required accessibility laws, regulations, standards and technical guidelines so that deliverables can be used successfully by people who have disabilities.

Suppliers conduct accessibility verification testing to report an accurate statement of the conformance. Documentation of the deliverable's accessibility conformance is completed by the suppler and delivered to IBM. Suppliers generate an Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR) by using the latest version of the Voluntary Product Accesibility template(VPAT).

The IBM Accesibility Checklist guidance aligns with the Revised Section 508 standard, W3C/WAI's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG levels A and AA) and the European Union conformance standard (EN 301 549). The guidance uses plain language to clarify the accessibility success criteria, provides links to pertinent resources and helps suppliers understand how to make their technology and information accessible.


  1. Be sure to review and identify all criteria that are applicable to the product and application technology.
  2. Any deliverable that is considered to be an authoring tool requires that both the tool and its output are accessible.
  3. If the Accessibility Conformance Report does not indicate full conformance to applicable requirements, then the supplier's written response must also include must also include a remediation plan and schedule for full conformance.

  4. For questions on this process, please contact Procurement Support