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Procurement Best Practices

Rather than relying on retrofitting for accessibility as the need arises, the district team at Francis Howell School District in O’Fallon, MO built accessibility into technology planning and procurement. The district also realized they would not find one device that fit the accessibility needs of all students. When special education case managers need a specific device to meet student needs, they know the district technology department has a variety of devices on hand to meet those varying needs. The district has also realized that what is necessary for some can benefit all. Originally, students needing textto-speech features activated on their devices had to request the district activate the services. Now, the feature is under the students’ control. Finally, Francis Howell is working to systematize accessibility as a component of technology procurement. When considering new technology purchases, the district team includes the district assistive technology and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance coordinator to ensure that future technology won’t mean students waiting to activate or install the needed features.