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DBS may conduct initial and periodic on-site visits to verify that each facility-based contract service provider (or potential provider) meets the following requirements:
- The provider maintains the required minimum inventory of assistive technology equipment and software.
- The provider has the technical equipment and software required for the specific evaluation for which the provider has (or is seeking) approved status.
- The provider's technical equipment and software are the latest version or model on the market. (Providers must obtain new models, upgrades, or versions of software within 45 calendar days of notice that the new product is available.)
- The provider's software programs are full working copies (not demonstration or trial versions).
- The provider's software is PC compatible (unless an evaluation on Mac equipment is required).
DBS consumers are evaluated only on products and equipment included on the DBS-approved product list. To obtain a list of approved products, vendors can call (512) 424-4558.
Questions about the approved product lists may be addressed to the ATU at email@example.com or (512) 377-0310.
Product categories on the approved product lists include
- video magnifiers;
- screen magnification programs;
- screen magnification programs with speech;
- screen reader programs;
- refreshable braille displays;
- optical character recognition (OCR) scanning software;
- stand-alone, portable, and USC OCR scanners;
- QWERTY and braille notetakers;
- embossers; and
- speech input software.
Before completing an evaluation on any product that is not included on the DBS list of approved products, the assistive technology evaluator must get approval from the ATU at firstname.lastname@example.org. The request should be made in writing.
Vendors must submit an up-to-date inventory list within 30 calendar days of each contract award.
Minimum Inventory Requirements
Service providers must conduct assistive technology evaluations using at least two competing products. There may be times when there is only one of a "type" of product available, especially when a product is new to the market. In these circumstances, providers are required to obtain written approval from the regional program support specialist. They can contact Consumer Procurement and Client Services Contracting (CPCSC) at (512) 424-4702 to begin the approval process.
Video Magnifier Products
All products used in evaluations must be on the DBS-approved product list. Stand-alone video magnifiers must be available in
- two 14-inch or two15-inch models,
- two 17-inch models,
- two 19-inch models, and
- two 22-inch or two 24-inch models.
Provider must have two competing products from each of the following video magnifier categories:
- desktop PC access,
- USB PC access,
- USB PC access with OCR,
- hand-held, and
Computer-Based Assistive Technology
The provider must have at least two computer-based assistive technology programs in each of the categories listed below, as defined in the provider's contract and from the most current DBS-approved products list. The products in the following categories must be compatible with the most current version of Microsoft Windows or the agency standard operating system for DBS-issued computer systems for consumers:
- screen magnification software with speech support,
- screen reader software,
- braille translation software,
- refreshable braille displays,
- computer-based OCR and/or scanner software,
- notetakers—QWERTY keyboard,
- notetakers—QWERTY keyboard with refreshable braille display,
- notetakers—braille keyboard,
- notetakers—braille keyboard with refreshable braille display, and
- braille embossers.
The provider must have a product from the approved products list for
- speech recognition, and
- braille translation.
The provider must also have a Mac computer with the current Mac operating system and the newest version of MS Office installed.
A minimum of two external synthesizers from the most recently updated DBS list of approved products is required.
No internal synthesizers are required. Since software synthesizers are included as an integral component of the screen review software package with which the synthesizer will be used, there is no requirement to maintain internal synthesizers separately.