Let’s Get Your VPAT in Place
As the demand for accessible technology grows, so does the demand for product manufacturers and vendors to formally document their product’s or service’s conformance with accessibility standards with a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT).
Having a well written VPAT can be a compelling competitive differentiator for vendors who want to show potential buyers that they’re actively evaluating and building accessibility into the products and services they deliver.
Why You Need to Complete a VPAT
The VPAT may seem like it’s highly technical, but it’s just an element of a larger mission to make technology accessible to everyone.
In 2001, the VPAT was created by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) and the General Services Administration (GSA) to further the accessibility of information and communications technology (ICT) products and services and provide a way for Federal agencies to document that the products they procure support the technical and functional performance requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Since then, the demand has grown for ICT product manufacturers and vendors to document their conformance with accessibility standards, and the VPAT template has evolved to cover new requirements in the Section 508 Refresh and incorporate the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0 or ISO/IEC 40500) by reference. The latest VPAT 2 template allows you to document conformance with other common accessibility standards such as WCAG 2.1 and EN 301 549 (for those who sell into Europe or Australia).
In short, an accessibility conformance report using the VPAT format outlines the digital accessibility functions of your technology, while showing that you’ve taken the necessary steps to ensure your digital properties are accessible to people with disabilities.