Conclusions and recommendations for using EN 301 549 for procurement of technology

The previous section demonstrates how EN 301 549 can be used to conduct a quick and simple exercise to assess if a technology product may meet the accessibility needs of a particular individual.

A more common application of EN 301 549 is to specify accessibility in a precise and testable way in the procurement of ICT products. Although this was not within the scope of CEUD’s role in the ALONE Sláintecare project, the use of EN 301 549 in procurement is described here as it may be applicable to future iterations of this project and/or have wider applicability to the procurement of more mainstream ICT products or services by ALONE or the HSE. It also provides more general guidance on considering accessibility during all stages of a procurement process.

The conclusions and recommendations for using EN 301 549 in procurement of ICT are as follows:

  • The Functional Performance Statements of EN 301 549 are useful for identifying user needs and defining technology requirements.
  • It is recommended to use EN 301 549 to specify the requirements of a technology product in its procurement.
  • It is recommended to use ISO/IEC Guide 71 / CEN-CENELEC Guide 6 as a reference in recording a user’s abilities.
  • The use of EN 301 549 and its Functional Performance Statements provides a way to assess the suitability of different products for certain users and provides a means to focus on choosing and procuring a suite of products that will meet the widest range possible of user needs.
  • NDA should engage with the Office of Government Procurement on integrating reference to EN 301 549 in its guidance material on procurement of ICT.
  • NDA should engage with the HSE, government departments and public bodies to raise awareness of their obligations in relation to the procurement of ICT, and promote and support their use of EN 301 549 in meeting those obligations.