Request for Proposal

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Request for Proposal:

Development & Re-Design of a fully accessible Website for DRC

RFP #2016-1


April 15, 2016

Deadline for Submission:

May 31, 2016 - 5pm, PST

RFP Table of Contents

Tentative Schedule of Events 2

About Disability Rights California 3

Overview 4

Expectations & Deliverables 5

Technical and Infrastructure Requirements 7

ISP/Hosting Considerations 7

Browser/Platform Considerations 7

Development Platform Requirements 8

Active Page Delivery Systems 8

DRC Publications 8

Current Site Content 9

Estimated Total pages: 4104 10

Proposal Guidelines 10

Vendor Registration/Questions 10

Deadline for Submission 11

Withdrawal or Amendment of Proposal 11

Irrevocable 11

Subcontracting 11

Limitation 11

Vendor Presentations 12

Accessibility Compliance 12

Proposal Format 12

Proposal Sections 13

Section 1. Vendor Information 13

Section 2: Accessibility of System and Support 15

Section 3: Project Implementation Approach 15

Section 4: Technology Environment 16

Section 5: Training Requirements 16

Section 6: Quality Assurance and Testing Approach 17

Section 7: Ownership/Partnership 17

Section 8: Publications 18

Section 9: System Security 19

Section 10: Additional Comments by Vendor 19

Section 11: Proposal Fixed Pricing Summary 19

Tentative Schedule of Events

RFP released: 4/15/16

Vendor Registration/Questions submittal: 4/29/16

DRC Response to vendor Questions: 5/13/16

Proposals due back to DRC by 5pm, PST: 5/31/16

Selected vendor presentations: week of 7/5/16

Contract in Place by: 8/31/16

Website in use by the public by: 2/1/17

About Disability Rights California

Disability Rights California (DRC) is a California non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization working since 1978 to advocate, educate, investigate and litigate to advance and protect the rights of Californians with disabilities. DRC is California’s federally mandated protection and advocacy system with an annual budget of 25 million dollars

Disability Rights California has four regional offices located in Sacramento including a Fresno satellite site, Los Angeles, Oakland and San Diego, as well as 27 satellite offices throughout the State of California. Disability Rights California has over 200 employees.

Disability Rights California invites you to present a proposal for web design and development services for our public website:

As a disability rights organization, it is critical that selected vendors comply with Section 508 & W3C 2.0 AAA web guidelines (these guidelines can be found at and provide materials that are fully accessible in both web and print formats. In addition, all vendor office locations must meet state and federal disability architectural access requirements (Americans with Disabilities Act and California Building Code).

This RFP does not commit Disability Rights California to award the fixed price contract to any entity that responds, or to pay any costs incurred in the preparation or mailing of a respondent’s response, or in participating in this RFP process. Disability Rights California expressly reserves the right to negotiate with some, all, or none of the respondents with respect to any term or terms of the responses.

The RFP proposals will be evaluated for consistency with our specifications for cost, scope of work and proposed time line/delivery. We will consider a number of other factors including price, quality, and customer service. Vendors must be licensed, bonded, insured, and not on the federal debarment and suspension list. Consideration will be given to past performance and financial and technical resources.

Additional consideration will be given to small business concerns, small disadvantaged business concerns, minority-owned or women-owned small business firms, HUB Zone small business concerns, veteran-owned small business concerns, and small businesses owned by persons with disabilities (OMB 2 CFR 200.321).


The purpose of this document is to solicit proposals from qualified vendors for developing, customizing, and implementing a fully accessible re-design of Disability Rights California’s web site:

Evaluations of proposals will be performed by DRC staff. Based on information provided in the proposal responses, qualified vendors will be selected for on-site or live webinar presentations. Upon completion of the presentation, DRC expects to proceed with negotiation of a fixed price contract with the selected vendor whose proposal best meets our needs and budget. The selected vendor must sign a confidentiality agreement upon commencement of negotiations. If DRC is unable to successfully negotiate with the vendor, DRC reserves the right to begin negotiations with another vendor and maintains the right to not select any vendor.

We want to improve functionality and usability of our website and be a model of website accessibility. We want to upgrade the style of our website, improve DRC’s public image, enhance the image of people with disabilities, create a more mobile friendly web presence, provide information to the greater disability community and media and policy makers, provide information in various languages, provide information and assistance to clients and their families and advocates. In addition, we want to increase traffic and visitor engagement, increase donations and build a community of supporters

We do not expect the vendor to provide editorial services or develop copy.

Expectations & Deliverables

We expect the contractor, working with key Disability Rights California staff, to coordinate resources and manage the project to completion. We want an interactive partnering relationship with a web developer who is capable of redesigning our current website. We want a web developer who has a demonstrated ability to develop highly accessible websites for people with disabilities, in compliance with Section 508 & World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) AAA standards. DRC staff will maintain content for the website. There is a possibility of an ongoing relationship with the selected developer for future changes to templates.

DRC clients range from novice to expert Internet users. Our audience consists of DRC staff and board members, people with disabilities of all ages and backgrounds and their families, people whose primary language is not English, service providers, and disability advocates. Some will access our website from home or a public library and may have a slow Internet connection.

Our website should project DRC’s core organizational values – legal protection, advocacy, empowerment and inclusion of people with disabilities. We want our clients to know they have a place to turn when their human, legal and service rights are in jeopardy.  We also want clients to understand we work with them in partnership and provide tools they need to self-advocate. Our website should convey/symbolize/ portray DRC as the largest disability rights advocacy organizations in the nation and a leading source for information and resources about disability rights advocacy. The website should be appealing to donors and funders and should present DRC as a polished, professional non-profit legal services organization.

Anticipated developer tasks include designing and implementing a new website, which includes the following improvements:


    1. Improved public navigation and usability

    2. An efficient content management system so staff can update, review and approve final content, including article auto-expiration

    3. Layered security to allow for hierarchical editing permissions

    4. A visually appealing website

    5. A way to collect contact information from users who want more information and who may become donors


    1. Easy to maintain and upgrade

    2. Options for ongoing support and maintenance

    3. Optional automatic archiving or removing of content from public access


    1. Complies with W3C Level AAA WCAG 2.0 standards

    2. Ability to include American Sign Language (ASL) and videos in other formats and languages

    3. Ability to stream live video content (YouTube, Vimeo, etc…)


    1. A site-specific search engine, including a filter for PDF content

    2. Site must be Search Engine Optimized (SEO) and pages must contain the option for user specified meta-data

Creation of new pages/templates

    1. A flexible process to create pages in non-English and display other language characters, such as Chinese characters

    2. Ability to copy and create site templates in any language


    1. Improved compatibility with mobile devices and tablets

    2. Include DRC’s multiple social media channels: YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, plus the ability to add new social media widgets, plugins, imbedded real-time streams, etc. or content as needed

    3. Google Analytics tracking code dynamically inserted into each page

Conversion of website/training

    1. Convert selected pages to the new format

    2. Train staff to update the site and make page conversions

    3. Develop/provide training manuals/materials

    4. Update DRC’s web based publication file system per DRC Publications section below

Once a contract is signed, the vendor will review the website and meet with DRC staff. The vendor must provide up to 3 draft designs for review prior to final design approval.
DRC is surveying its customer base. Survey feedback will be discussed with the vendor to help determine the new website needs.

Technical and Infrastructure Requirements

ISP/Hosting Considerations

DRC’s current website is self-hosted. Our servers are located in our main office in Sacramento. We have full control over server access. Our current system is Windows Server 2003 IIS5. Our website does not use a database, but if needed, there is access to SQL Servers.

Browser/Platform Considerations

Our website visitors use the following browsers and operating systems:

37% Chrome, 29% IE, 22% Safari, 9% Firefox, 2% Android, 2% various others

Our site must be compatible with all browsers and operating systems including Windows, Mac and Linux. Site pages must be 100% responsive on all mobile devices.

Development Platform Requirements

Current site content has been created using HTML5, JavaScript, Dreamweaver, Adobe PDF and MS Word. The proposal must take this into account and identify tools to easily maintain the website content.

Because each application has its own proprietary coding methodology, our goal is to use a tool that will provide efficient coding (to keep document size to a minimum), with no proprietary tags and comments. The developer may use any website development application as long as it results in a website based on open standards and is easily maintainable and upgradeable.

Please specify which development application you are proposing and the reason behind the selection.

Provide options for support and maintenance of the content management system.

Verify the website design is section 508 and W3C AAA compliant.

Provide staff training to maintain and update the content management system.

Active Page Delivery Systems

DRC currently has ASP, .NET, and Java availability for active page delivery, but will consider other server-based applications. Please specify which application you are proposing and why.

DRC Publications

DRC’s website contains more than 1400 publications in various formats including HTML, PDF, MP3 and RTF, stored by subject matter and languages. Disability Rights California wants the vendor to recommend and develop a better method of storing and managing the publications.

The developed publications system must include a process to create an updated master list of the publications and their locations/links.

Current Site Content

DRC’s new website will include the following content sections. We will provide the vendor with revised page content. A limited number will have direct links on the home page; each must be easily and intuitively accessed from the home page. They should be organized with sub-pages; we will work with the developer on the final hierarchy.

The numbers below in brackets represent the number of estimated pages to be converted.

Home Page [1 page] – This is the landing page and main navigation point for all sections of our website. This currently includes disability issues, updates regarding our work, information about fundraising campaigns as well as links to our social media channels.

About & Contact Us [66 pages] – This section includes our annual advocacy plan, annual report, board of directors information, donation page, history/funding, diversity policy, program descriptions, current RFPs, staff directory and our vision & mission statements.

Services [11 pages] – This includes descriptions of our top ten free services, our advocacy principles, a link to all agency brochures, our 5-year advocacy plan, how to get help and a description of who we help plus our grievance forms.

Results [310 pages] – This section includes information on all of our past and current legal cases, advocacy initiatives, success stories, regional office reports, advocacy director reports, clients’ rights reports and outreach newsletters. We will be updating the content in this area.

In the Legislature [516 pages] – This section includes information on our legislative work including bill position letters, state budget information, legislative achievements and legislative/public policy platform information.

Press [1773 pages] – This section contains our press contact info, press releases, news about us articles and links, success stories, and an archive of disability related news stories we use for annual reports.

Publications & Resources [452 pages] – This is one of our most frequently visited sections. This section houses our publications in English and other languages separated by subject area and language.

En Espanol [275 pages] – Originally created as a mirror of many of our English pages, the Spanish web pages contain information of particular importance to California’s Spanish speaking community. We want a recommendation as to the most efficient way to maintain Spanish content.

Other [700 pages] – these are pages linked from the sections above.

Estimated Total pages: 4104

Proposal Guidelines

Vendor Registration/Questions

Vendors may pre-register by sending an email to Registration is not a requirement. DRC will only respond to emailed questions if submitted before the vendor question(s) deadline date. Questions must be emailed to

Any vendor that registers their email address in advance will be sent a copy of all of the questions and their answers. DRC will do its best to answer questions. However, we reserve the right not to answer any question.

Deadline for Submission

The deadline for RFP submission is referenced above. In the interest of a timely and demonstrably fair process, late submissions will not be accepted. Incomplete, qualified or conditional responses will not be accepted. However DRC reserves the right to request clarification where the vendor’s response is unclear.

Withdrawal or Amendment of Proposal

A vendor (or designated representative) may withdraw or amend the proposal at any time prior to the specified proposal due date. The withdrawal must be requested via email.


Responses must be submitted on a fixed price basis and shall remain irrevocable for 120 days following the deadline for RFP submission, except if there is a material decrease in price approved by DRC.


The proposal must indicate whether the vendor plans to use subcontractors for any aspect of the work and must identify the proposed subcontractor in sufficient detail. The vendor remains fully liable for all work under its contract with DRC regardless of any subcontract and regardless of DRC’s approval of any subcontractor.


DRC will not furnish remuneration for preparation of proposals or participation in presentations. Receipt of proposals from vendors in no way obligates DRC to the vendor. DRC reserves the right to reject any and all proposals.

Vendor Presentations

After we review proposals, DRC will select qualified vendors for a web or in person presentation. These presentations will occur during the time period above.

The presentations can be done in person or online and are expected to last 1-2 hours and must include:

- The vendor’s company overview and examples of its completed projects

- The vendor’s experience developing accessible web sites and examples

- The vendor’s experience working with languages other than English and examples

- The vendor’s view of what they can do to improve DRC’s website

- DRC staff questions about the vendor’s RFP proposal

Accessibility Compliance

The selected vendor must comply with W3C WCAG 2.0 AAA web standards; comply with Section 508 accessibility standards for software applications; have a full working knowledge of all accessibility standards; be a model of accessibility and provide systems and materials that are fully accessible in both electronic and print formats.

To verify the accessibility of the website after completion of the project, DRC will contract with a 3rd party firm experienced in evaluating the accessibility of websites. If the results of the evaluation indicate access problems exist with the website, the vendor will correct all problems or explain to DRC’s satisfaction why it is not necessary to do so.

Proposal Format

Submittal: 1 e-copy and 5 paper copies of the proposal formatted on 8 1/2" & 11" in a minimum font of Arial 14 point. The proposal must be signed by an individual authorized to bind the company and follow the same heading and format as outlined in the Proposal Sections below.

Paper copies are to be mailed to:

Disability Rights California

DRC Web Content Specialist-RFP #2016-1

1831 K St.

Sacramento, CA 95811

An electronic copy emailed to:

Proposal Sections

Vendor is to use the heading and sections format below and explain how they will meet or address each of the following sections:

Section 1. Vendor Information

  1. Company history: Please provide a description of your company, organization, history, qualifications (copies of business licenses, insurance, and other certifications) and experience in designing accessible websites. Please describe the kinds of service and support provided by your company and all of its certifications. Provide summary resumes of key technical staff who will be assigned to the project, including their relevant certification(s), length of employment, and who would most likely be responsible for initial and ongoing service and support. Please describe what differentiates your company from those of your competitors. Please describe any future changes in your organization that are planned such as mergers, acquisition, consolidation, change in key management, or any other factors that may affect this contract.

  2. Annual Reports: Please provide annual financial reports from the previous two years, or a comparable document, including detailed current profit and loss, assets and liabilities, and other relevant financial data. These statements will be reviewed by DRC’s Administrative Services Director and be kept confidential.

  3. References: At least five (5) references for whom you have completed a similar (in size and scope) development or installation, which demonstrate a thorough understanding of accessibility standards (including if possible any nonprofit agencies). Ideally these references will demonstrate the vendor’s ability to develop an accessible, multi-language website using current technologies. Please include the type of system, how long it took to develop, the type of platform on which it was developed, the number of users, how training was provided, sample screen shots showing the look and feel of the system(s), and if you are currently supporting this system. Provide the names, titles, e-mail address, and telephone numbers of contacts for each reference. DRC will contact references.

  4. Sample Screen Shots: Please provide Sample Screen shots of at least 3 websites you developed to demonstrate your designs.

  5. Conflict of Interest: Please describe in detail any possible conflict of interest you know of that you or your firm may have with DRC, its key employees and board members (DRC board members are currently listed on DRC’s website).

  6. Minimum Vendor Business Qualifications: To be considered the vendor must demonstrate how it meets the following minimum requirements:

  1. The proposed vendor must have been in business, designing or implementing similar systems for a minimum of four years for organizations similar in size and complexity as DRC.

  2. The vendor must be the responsible developer of the proposed web application or certify that it is an authorized seller.

  3. The vendor must possess all required business licenses, professional certifications or other credentials and evidence that, vendor, if a corporation, is in good financial standing and qualified to conduct business in California and with the Federal government.

  4. The vendor must have adequate insurance.

Section 2: Accessibility of System and Support

Becoming a model of accessibility is one of the primary requirements of DRC and, as a disability rights organization, it is critical the selected vendor comply with W3C WCAG 2.0 AAA web standards, 508 development guidelines and provided materials. Many people with disabilities identify as people who use assistive technology to read websites, such as screen reader software (JAWS) and voice recognition software (Dragon Naturally Speaking) or reading software (Text Aloud). Therefore our website must be accessible to people using various disability related software.

For more details about accessibility please review the accessibility WCAG 2.0 AAA guidelines at and more information at .

Vendor Deliverable

  1. The vendor must describe how they will ensure the website meets the highest standards of accessibility and so DRC is a model of access.

  2. The vendor must describe how they will certify the website is meets accessible W3C WCAG 2.0 AAA web standards and 508 development guidelines.

Section 3: Project Implementation Approach

Vendors must describe and demonstrate how their methodology and approach can successfully be applied to this project.

Vendor Deliverable

  1. The vendor must provide an implementation approach and proposed plan and timeline to demonstrate how the design, development, delivery, installation, configuration, test, and integration of the proposed solution will be approached. The vendor must take into account DRC's intent to have its administrative and IT staff trained and involved in the implementation of the system along with DRC’s requirement to review draft presentations of the pages before they are finalized.

  2. Describe your process for change control, including process for recommending changes, participating in the decision process, and for documenting and implementing the approved changes within vendor’s proposed budget.

Section 4: Technology Environment

Vendors are invited to propose an on-site, off-site, or a hosted technology solution to meeting the requirement in this RFP. DRC’s current technology environment is a Microsoft environment and is supported by internal DRC IT staff.

Vendor Deliverables

  1. Recommendation of technology platform to be used to deliver web functionality along with why this recommendation is being made.

  2. Recommendation(s) of the location of the proposed technology.

  3. Description of the Content Management system used including the approval process within the system to update and keep archived content.

Section 5: Training Requirements

Training is critical to the success of this project. DRC wants training the appropriate staff. The Vendor will need to work with DRC to incorporate needed training with the new design and operational changes. It is expected that training will be given to the web administrators (1-3 people) and technical training for DRC’s IT staff (1-3 people). The Vendor must provide documentation and training materials or manual that includes an overall diagram of the structure of the website, how to upload documents, how to access the programming code (names and formats of files involved); how to upload publications, how to create the publications master list, how to create web pages in languages other than English, how to imbed ASL and other videos.

Vendor Deliverable

  1. Training plan for Web administrator

  2. Training plan for content uploaders

  3. Training plan for IT technical training

  4. Outline of the documentation to be delivered

Section 6: Quality Assurance and Testing Approach

Prior to delivery the vendor must thoroughly test all aspects of the web design, including but not limited to functionality, page responsiveness, approval process, content management page delivery, and usability.

Vendor Deliverable

  1. Provide a quality assurance testing plan to verify and demonstrate the newly developed system and any converted data work as designed and are complete. This plan must cover all deliverables and services proposed by the vendor. Vendors should identify all resources required for testing, including all hardware and software required along with expectations for DRC staff.

Section 7: Ownership/Partnership

DRC must have the flexibility to maintain, modify and evolve the system as DRC sees fit. Accordingly, DRC is proposing that vendor and any developer engaged by vendor will (i) assign to DRC its entire right, title and interest in anything created or developed by the developer for DRC or delivered to DRC under the agreement, including patents, copyrights, trade secrets and other proprietary rights, and (ii) license to DRC (with the right to sublicense) the right to use (including copy, distribute and modify) any other portions of the deliverables.

In addition, DRC requires that vendor provide DRC copies of the source code, design documentation, and diagnostic and testing materials (and development tools, if any, that are not generally available commercially) relating to the deliverables and any other information and materials reasonably necessary for DRC to maintain, modify and evolve the deliverables and system. Vendor must provide this information and materials when delivering each of the deliverables (or at another time reasonably agreed to by the parties).

Vendor Deliverable

  1. Vendor must outline the proposed ownership details of the finished product as described above.

Section 8: Publications

One of the most popular resources on DRC’s website is the publications (pubs) stored in various languages, various formats, and under various topics. These pubs are constantly being updated. Since our pubs file management is being done manually and without a web content management system, it’s a time consuming and inefficient process to update the website with new publications. These pubs are also accessed by DRC’s internal case management system, using a simple URL address to find the appropriate pubs. However both systems must be manually updated whenever a pub is added. One of the deliverables of this RFP is for a vendor to propose a better way of storing and uploading these pubs.

Vendor Deliverable

  1. Vendor must recommend either to keep the pubs on the existing server and access them from this newly developed web site or propose the development of a more integrated model outlining the necessary components.

  2. Outline the process for the public to search for and retrieve DRC documents and pubs.

  3. Outline the process for DRC staff to upload new pubs, including how to create a master pubs list file, including their meta data and location.

Section 9: System Security

Although the information on DRC’s website is publically available, it is a requirement that the web information only be altered by appropriate DRC staff. Different levels of DRC staff should only be allowed to edit the content they are responsible for.

Vendor Deliverable

  1. Outline the proposed security of the overall web system.

  2. Outline the proposed page security model, including how this security is created/edited and what rights can be associated with each section.

Section 10: Additional Comments by Vendor

Vendor Deliverable

This section is provided for the vendor to explain anything that may have been overlooked or not adequately addressed in this RFP that would or could affect the implementation of this system within DRC’s offices and culture. This section should also be used if you do not agree with, or do not understand items within this RFP, including the items outlined in the Proposal Guidelines section. Otherwise DRC assumes that you agree with and understand everything stated in the RFP.

Section 11: Proposal Fixed Pricing Summary

Vendor Deliverable

Include the following items (and any additional items) in the fixed pricing summary. Please be very specific:

  • Template development

  • Page conversion

  • Cost to create system-wide solution for creating and displaying key site pages in non-English languages

  • Process for management of publications

  • Training Costs

  • Any necessary licensing costs for software not already owned by DRC

  • Provide optional support and maintenance pricing plan

  • Other Costs (necessary for the successful implementation of this web page, but not previously defined).

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