Policy - VPAT®
The ITI VPAT® is the leading global reporting format for assisting buyers and sellers in identifying information and communications technology (ICT) products and services with accessibility features. Version 2 of the VPAT has been expanded to include the leading ICT accessibility standards: Section 508 (U.S.), EN 301 549 (EU), and W3C/WAI WCAG 2.0.
ITI remains committed to maintaining the market relevance of the VPAT. We will continue to assess and respond to global developments in ICT accessibility standardization as appropriate.
The VPAT® is offered free of charge. Membership in ITI is not required to use the VPAT. Please note, however, that the VPAT name and report form are ITI registered service marks, and should not be altered without the express written permission of ITI. Also, the notation ® should be used in conjunction with the name and report in accordance with established guidelines.
VPAT® Version 2.3 (December 2018)
Consistent with the original VPAT®, version 2.3 provides a column for recording conformance to each provision of a standard or guideline relevant to a product or service. Manufacturers or venders declare the degree of conformance using one of four conformance levels: supports; partially supports; does not support; or not applicable. Note that, in a previous update of the VPAT, “partially supports” replaced “supports with exceptions.” This change was made at the request of representatives of the U.S. Access Board. Version 2.3 also includes a column for providing a more detailed explanation for each reported conformance level.
In response to user feedback, ITI created four different editions of the VPAT, enabling ICT manufacturers and vendors to create Accessibility Conformance Reports focused on the standards relevant to specific markets and contract requirements:
- VPAT 2.3 508: Revised Section 508 standards – the U.S. Federal accessibility standard
- VPAT 2.3 EU: EN 301 549 – the European Union’s “Accessibility requirements suitable for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe”
- VPAT 2.3 WCAG: WCAG 2.1 or ISO/IEC 40500 – W3C/WAI’s recently updated Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
- VPAT 2.3 INT: Incorporates all three of the above standards.
Please note that WCAG 2.1 has now been incorporated into the EU, WCAG, and INT editions of the VPAT.
All four editions of the VPAT® contain:
- Instructions covering essential requirements to use the VPAT service mark and best practices, which provide for consistent, uniform and more complete reporting by manufacturers.
- A Product Description field that briefly describes the product.
- An Evaluation Methods Used field to describe methods used to test the product’s accessibility.
- A Notes field for the report and for each table to provide additional detail concerning the product tested and the evaluation methods.
- Provided as a Microsoft Word® file that can be used as is or reproduced in other formats.
PLEASE NOTE: While a VPAT® can be an essential aid in assessing the availability of ICT products with accessibility features, it is important to note that, even in cases where a product conforms to relevant standards and technical specifications, an end user may still encounter difficulties utilizing it due to the nature or severity of his or her disability. On the other hand, a product that may not fully conform to all technical requirements may still be perfectly accessible to an end user who has a disability, but does not need a particular accessibility feature, e.g., a large-button telephone handset for an individual with a hearing disability.
While there may not be a perfectly accessible product, many can still be used effectively and efficiently by most people with disabilities. ITI has developed a paper offering recommendations on how ICT purchasers can utilize VPAT-generated Accessibility Conformance Reports to sort through such matters. Please see the link below entitled “Reporting Conformance to ICT Accessibility Standards.”