NVA Clause

Nonvisual Access Clause for Information Technology Procurements

COMAR 21.05.08.05 As published in Supplement 18 (1/4/2000) of Title 21 State Procurement Regulations

  1. Except as provided in §B of this regulation, the following clause is a mandatory provision for each invitation for bid under COMAR 21.05.02 or request for proposals under COMAR 21.05.03 for the purchase of new or upgraded information technology:

    "The bidder or offeror warrants that the information technology offered under this bid or proposal (1) provides equivalent access for effective use by both visual and nonvisual means; (2) will present information, including prompts used for interactive communications, in formats intended for both visual and nonvisual use; (3) if intended for use in a network, can be integrated into networks for obtaining, retrieving, and disseminating information used by individuals who are not blind or visually impaired; and (4) is available, whenever possible, without modification for compatibility with software and hardware for nonvisual access. The bidder or offeror further warrants that the cost, if any, of modifying the information technology for compatibility with software and hardware used for nonvisual access will not increase the cost of the information technology by more than 5 percent.

    "For purposes of this regulation, the phrase 'equivalent access' means the ability to receive, use, and manipulate information and operate controls necessary to access and use information technology by nonvisual means. Examples of equivalent access include keyboard controls used for input and synthesized speech, Braille, or other audible or tactile means used for output."
  2. The nonvisual access clause is not required if the procurement officer makes a determination that:
    1. The information technology is not available with nonvisual access because the essential elements of the information technology are visual and nonvisual equivalence cannot be developed; or
    2. The cost of modifying the information technology for compatibility with software and hardware used for nonvisual access would increase the cost of the procurement by more than 5 percent.
  3. The procurement officer may request such documentation as is reasonably necessary to implement this regulation.