Request for Proposal for Braille Display
January 10, 2019
This Request for Proposal (RFP) is to help the American Printing House (APH) seek a potential partner to provide a braille display to be sold by APH that meets the unique learning needs of our target customers. APH will consider all proposals for existing, modified, or new devices, with the goal of making an affordable, effective, quality device available to customers on or before June 2019. This RFP does not guarantee that a contract award will be made.
Table of Contents
- Overview-American Printing House for the Blind (APH)
- Our Audience
- Proposal Requirements and Preferences
- Evaluation Criteria
- Project Timeline
Request for Proposal Specifications
Overview-American Printing House for the Blind (APH)
The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation that has served our nation’s citizens who are blind and visually impaired since before the Civil War. Founded in 1858, APH is the oldest company in the U.S. dedicated to creating products for people who are blind and visually impaired and is the largest organization of its kind in the world. APH has a wide range of products and services such as educational materials, software, braille, large print, digital textbooks and accessible tests. In addition, APH is viewed as a valuable source of information throughout the industry.
The mission of the American Printing House for the Blind is to promote the independence of people who are blind and visually impaired by providing specialized materials, products, and services needed for education and life. Much of APH’s mandate is derived from the Federal Act to Promote the Education of the Blind of 1879. Through the Act, we work to level the learning playing field by providing technology and products that open the doors to educational success, satisfying employment, social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal well-being. Executive management recognizes APH has an excellent growth opportunity in its domestic and international sales and this project will also enhance these efforts.
Learn more about APH at www.aph.org.
In general, APH has a very wide range of audiences for our products, services, and information. This includes students of all ages, service providers, professionals, consumers, organizations needing services, providers, professionals, government agencies, employees, and the general public. For the purposes of this project, the target markets for the requested braille display is as follows:
Primary market: Students ages 5-17
Primary users of the device will be school-age students who may be attending schools for the blind or in public school settings, with varying degrees of braille and technology proficiency from beginner to advanced. Teachers and teacher aides who work with these students and teach them how the use the device may also have varying degrees of braille and technology proficiency from beginner to advanced.
Secondary market: Adults participating in vision rehabilitation programs
Secondary users of the braille display will be adults who may be new to braille or new to braille technology. It is likely that these users will have recently lost their vision as adults or are low vision and losing vision rapidly. These individuals are participating in a rehabilitation program to learn new skills for daily living and employment. Rehabilitation counselors working with these adults may have general knowledge of braille and braille display technology.
Tertiary market: Adults using braille displays in everyday life
Tertiary users include adults who are well versed in braille display technology and are using them for education, work, social and leisure activity, and civic participation.
Purchasers of the braille displays are often not the market end users and may include schools, instructional materials centers, non-profit organizations, and ex-officio trustees.
Proposal Requirements and Preferences
APH is committed to ensuring our customers have access and choices in braille technology and we are seeking immediate and available solutions that meet the learning needs of our customers. Vendors are encouraged to offer their unique solutions to this RFP, and demonstrate the best and most innovative solution they have available, within the following parameters:
- The device must have a MSRP of less than $1000
- Minimum 1-year manufacturer warranty and ongoing maintenance commitment
- Lightweight device, 3 pounds or less
- Product branded by APH and naming rights are reserved
- The device must take into account all child safety laws. It should comply to all applicable FCC, ETL, CE, and UL regulations and requirements.
- It must be ready for sale no later than June 1, 2019
Vendors must demonstrate in their proposal how the device will be a customized product that meets the unique needs of APH customers, sensitive to the learning goals of our market. The nature of these suggested enhancements are to be at the creativity and discretion of the vendor, but may include:
- Durable casing for young students
- Durable carrying case for students
- Software enhancements for education/learning (to be owned by APH)
- Educational tutorials
- Partnership training opportunities
Note: These enhancements are to be included in the price of the product to APH. A separate custom development agreement is not to be a consideration.
- Minimum of 20 braille cells, 8-dot braille display
- Micro USB for charging and connection to mobile devices and/or computer
- Minimum of 15-20 hours of battery life
- Ability to connect to multiple Bluetooth devices at the same time
- Stands alone to read notes or perform simple editing off files stored on SD card and/or USB storage devices
- Portable for students/users on the move
Proposals will be evaluated on the following:
- Timing and ability to commence supplying product
- Ability to reliably supply product to meet demand of approximately 500 units annually
- Price of product
- Candidate’s reliable history of supplying reliable like-kind product to market within promised delivery schedule
- Ability to provide both warranty and out-of-warranty service to customers
- Candidate’s reliable history of product service and maintenance
- Candidate’s ability to provide software enhancements and updates
- Overall specifications and innovative features of device, proposed educational customizations, and strength of proposal
- Proposed payment terms
|January 15, 2019||RFP Release|
|January 22, 2019||Vendor Question Deadline|
|January 29, 2019||Question Responses Posted|
|February 5, 2019||Proposals Due to APH|
|February 11-15, 2019||Vendor Interviews|
Send questions to Chris Prentice, Manager Business Development
The bid package shall include:
- Full documentation of specifications
- Illustration or photograph of braille device
- Proposal for device APH market educational customization
- Proposal for warranty, maintenance, software updates, and customer service
- Price estimates based on order of minimum 500 per year for 3 years
- Proposed delivery schedule
- Sample braille display device for review
All communication about this RFP, whether electronic, verbal, or hard copy, is confidential and must be considered as such by all parties involved. This RFP is meant to be a request for information and is not and should not be considered an offer of contract. Should your proposal be selected for further discussion, a contract may be negotiated at that time. APH reserves the right to modify or reject the RFP specifications during negotiations with the vendor.
RFP proposals are due by close of business, February 5, 2019 to:
Chris Prentice, Business Development Manager
American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206