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Pyramid with 5 levels of DAMM Maturity - Initial, Managed, Defined, Quantitatively Managed, Optimizing

In my last post in the Digital Accessibility Maturity Model (DAMM) Series I detailed the Support and Documentation Dimension of DAMM.  In this post I’ll discuss the Procurement Dimension, the aspects and artifacts associated with this dimension, and what each of the five maturity levels looks like for the this Dimension. (DAMM Definitions and Acronyms)

The Procurement Dimension specifies the degree of maturity associated with including accessibility considerations in the procurement and vendor management activities of an organization, including purchases made by credit card.


  • Solicitations – The degree to which relevant accessibility language is included in procurement solicitations.
  • Contracts – The degree and maturity of the organization in included clear and compelling accessibility compliance requirements into contract language.
  • Vendor Governance – The systems in place for managing whether vendors are, in practice, delivering accessible ICT. This would include requests for audits or documentation proving ICT is accessible.
  • Employee Guidance – The documents in place explaining the accessibility policies and standards to employees who are empowered to enter into contracts or make credit card purchases on behalf of the organization.


  • Third Party Compliance Policies and Requirements – Compliance policy for third parties
  • ICT Procurement Contract Template
  • ICT Procurement Policy
  • Procurement Accessibility E-mail Address – an address where inaccessible products or services acquired by the organizations can be reported
  • Procurement checklist – The procurement checklist includes evaluating products/services for accessibility
  • Vendor scoring / evaluation documents – The vendor scoring / evaluation documents includes evaluating vendors’ products/services for accessibility

Maturity Levels

Level 1 – Managed

  • Minimal or no steps taken to ensure accessibility of products / services procured.
  • Solicitations / contracts may include general references to legal compliance or relevant accessibility standards.

Level 2 – Managed

  • Accessibility Standards are documented and incorporated in procurement process, but are applied to products, services and subcontractors on ad-hoc basis.
  • Relevant artifacts to determine vendor compliance prior to procurement – e.g. checklists, scoring / vendor evaluation documents – are available but used on an ad-hoc basis.
  • Procurement / commerce policy includes accessibility.
  • Documented process included best practice guidance, checklists etc.
  • There are paths to address non-compliance and escalation of procurement issues related to accessibility.
  • Clear link between procurement processes and policies to GRC and Fiscal Management dimensions.
  • Process explicitly applies to products and services procured, services provided by third parties for the organization, work carried out by sub-contractors etc.

Level 3 – Defined

  • Accessibility is being regularly addressed in the procurement process and enforced.
  • Accessibility requirements are clearly defined and flow down to all item delivered to the organization including products (whether acquired by contract or credit card), services, works for hire.
  • There is a method of capturing / following up on vendor non-compliance and any reasonable accommodations proposed.
  • Contracts with vendors require compliance validation prior to delivery.
  • Non-compliant vendors and contractors face fiscal penalties and other material impacts.
  • Vendor claims of compliance are actively validated as part of the procurement process through regular vendor audits.
  • Records / examples showing that process is in operation e.g. accessibility as a purchasing factor in all acquisition transactions; tenders include evaluations of whether Accessibility Standards are met.
  • Records / examples of non-compliance follow ups e.g. accessibility remediation roadmaps agreed to with vendors.

Level 4 – Quantitatively Managed

  • Post procurement reviews and audits are conducted.
  • Lessons learned are captured and fed back to suppliers for further action and improvement.
  • Vendor scoring provides extra credit for high level of accessibility / usability.
  • Records / examples of active monitoring leading to:
    • Clear assessment as to whether procurement requirements are being adhered to; and
    • Clear assessment as to whether accessibility and usability of products and services purchased, and usability between systems, is improving.
  • Progress reports for IT Accessibility Strategy, Investment Strategy, Benefits Management etc.
  • Results from user consultation / involvement e.g. satisfaction surveys and any subsequent action taken.
  • Collective / co-operative purchasing groups working for organizations adopt required accessibility procurement standards, policies, and best practices
  • Financial penalties applied, contracts cancelled etc. where Accessibility Standards are not met.

Level 5 – Optimizing

  • Vendors work as active accessibility partners both for the organization and throughout the industry.
  • A policy never to procure inaccessible products in place.
  • Vendors add value and innovation.
  • Vendors / policy makers influenced.
  • Inaccessible product / service vendors have been engaged and positively influenced.
  • Co-operation with other purchasers to leverage buying power, share best practice and solutions.
  • Records / examples that accessibility is a key factor in procurement, and that products and services have been rejected on the grounds of poor accessibility and / or usability.
  • Partnerships with suppliers set up to ensure accessibility issues are resolved over time, and that improved products and services are delivered to end users within agreed remediation plans.
  • Co-ordination between purchasing organizations to maximize influence of their combined buying power.

Coming Up

In my next post I’ll discuss Dimension #10 of DAMM – the Training Dimension – which defines the level of maturity the organization has in providing all impacted roles in the development lifecycle appropriate and effective training.