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Alternative Analysis

Alternative analysis is performed within the Project Approval Lifecycle at the second stage of the Project Approval Lifecycle (PAL). Stage Gate 2 assists in evaluating possible alternatives to the proposed solution.

The following information and reference material will assist in the alternatives analysis Government Code 7405 and will provide strong support for accessibility for the Stage 2 Alternative Analysis submission.


Business Analysis | Alternative Analysis | Solution-Development | Approval


What to consider?

What to do?

Market Research
  • Include accessibility business and technical standards requirements when researching and evaluating products and services.

A resource available to identify accessibility related products is the BuyAccessible Wizard from the Vendor Accessibility Resource Center (VARC). This website provides additional information related to accessibility market research.

Look for companies and products with Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) (PDF) self-assessments. Ask vendors if they have completed a Government Product Accessibility Template (GPAT).

Web, Mobile, and Software Solutions

Appropriate software must meet the guidelines in WCAG 2.0. In addition, the alternatives must address:

Ultimately, the recommended solution must meet the state requirements related to accessibility as defined above.

"To-be" System Architectural Diagram

Develop your Architectural Diagram including assistive technology icons and representation at the user level, such as those found in the diagram at the Assistive Technology for the Differently-Abled website.

Alternative Analysis Reviewers

Ensure project staff reviewing alternatives have in-depth knowledge of accessibility and are familiar with WCAG 2.0 Level AA conformance standards. Please see Accessibility Training section below.

Staff Accessibility Training

Ensure program support staff and project staff have the training and guidance necessary to support the solution.

The following information can be used to help train program staff:

Ensuring the alternative solution(s) include business requirement(s)

Review the business requirements of the alternative solution with a focus on whether it meets accessibility needs.

Examples of requirements that have accessibility needs:

  • Users must have the ability to view reports, query results, dashboards, summaries, etc.
    • May require assistive technologies such as screen readers, color-blindness software, or magnification software
  • Users must have the ability to enter new data, dynamic query requests, diary or journal entries, etc.
    • May require assistive technologies such as speech recognition software
  • Users must have the ability to view training videos, presentations, blog entries, etc.
Project Schedule

Build accessibility testing into the project lifecycle. Be prepared to allot additional time for accessibility testing or time to obtain testers that have experience in accessibility.

The Access IT California project website provides information to testers related to accessibility that may be useful to Project Managers. Additional information can be found at the SDLC portion of Access IT CA documentation.

Considerations before Proposal Requests

The alternative analysis should consider:

  • Include any accessibility requirement as part of the alternative analysis and ask vendors on how their product addresses the accessibility concerns.
  • Include people with assistive technology and accessibility expertise as part of the alternative analysis team.

Project Manager