VPAT And Revised 508 Standard Your Questions Answered

VPAT and Revised 508 Standard Your Questions Answered

VPAT stands for Voluntary Product Accessibility Template

What is a VPAT and Do I really Need One?

It can be best described as an accessibility conformation report for different ICT products such as applications, software, websites, electronic products, and documentation.

The document explains, how a specific product meets or conforms to the Revised 508 Standards for IT accessibility as part of the WCAG. This document is published by the product seller themselves and comprises the details about each aspect of the Section 508 requirements and where the product stands regarding accessibility, based on different criteria. Don’t get confused between Section 508 and ADA compliance. They are similar but not the same.

A VPAT document can consist of reports based on different accessibility standards and guidelines as follows: 

So, make sure you always use the latest version VPAT 2.4 for creation of report. 

US government organisations are required to make ICT accessible to people with disabilities under US Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. It is required to provide a VPAT when working with federal authorities as an ICT company.

Now, the question about creating a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template for your tech product.  Should you, and do you really need one? 

Yes, is the obvious and most shrewd response, even though a seller may choose not to give a VPAT of their own free will. In fact, you ought to develop a VPAT for your IT product. Given that government agencies require products with VPATs, having a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template for your product may be advantageous as it enters the market where Federal purchases are made. Your product might be just as good as competing products on the market, but without a VPAT you run the risk of losing money.

Let’s look at the advantages of making a VPAT 

  • A product’s Section 508 compliance is indicated by the VPAT. It is an important document for both businesses and customers.
  • It facilitates the company’s ability to identify and address the product’s accessibility difficulties and gaps, which increases sales and, ultimately, revenue. 
  • The company’s employees can collaborate on creating an accessible product by using VPAT as a measure to make the product accessible. 
  • The company can use the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template report to examine the areas where the product’s accessibility needs work and continuously work to enhance its quality.
  • A VPAT assists customers in making well-informed decisions while buying ICT products. The level of accessibility and conformity of a product is made clear to purchasers thanks to VPAT. Potential buyers can get all the accessibility details through the VPAT instead of reading from the product brochure.  
  • It enables customers to assess the compliance of comparable goods and select the one that best satisfies the organisations functional and regulatory needs as well as accessibility standards. If a required accessible product is not available, customers might choose an equally accessible alternative in a bind.
  • A VPAT allows businesses to present evidence and an explanation of the degree of product conformity. An example of a company’s accessibility standard is a product compliance report, which is created from a draught VPAT. The buyers are informed by VPAT that the business is aware of the product’s accessibility issues and is trying to make it equally accessible for all users.

All things considered, having a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template for a product, helps the company financially and enhances its reputation.

Is a VPAT the same as WCAG?

No. Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) 2.1 includes information from WCAG 2.0. VPAT 2.1 does not include information from WCAG 2.1. (VPAT is not developed by W3C.)

How long does it take to complete a VPAT?

Putting a timeframe on Voluntary Product Accessibility Template completion is dependent on the time it takes to get a response from the vendor, when the initial request was made, and other factors all affect how long it takes. An ATI Accessible Technology Initiative evaluation will typically take one week if the vendor provides a complete and available VPAT.

If you need a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template or for your product we are here to assist.  We have VPAT and WCAG services available to your business.  Call us to arrange a meeting.

To talk with one of our business development or marketing consultants today, just give us a call or drop us an email.

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