Policy - VPAT®
ITI has updated the VPAT® report form to incorporate the revised Section 508 ICT accessibility standards, published by the U.S. Access Board in the Federal Register on January 18, 2017. The updated VPAT®2.0 can be found via a link below and ITI membership is not required for an organization to use it. The original VPAT version 1.3 is also linked below and will remain available until January 18, 2018. Accordingly, we recommend use of the new VPAT 2.0 instead of the original version.
Consistent with the original version, the updated VPAT provides a column for recording conformance to each provision of a standard or guideline when appropriate, using one of four conformance levels. It also includes a column for providing a more detailed explanation for each response.
Of significance, however, and in acknowledgement of the increasingly global nature of ICT accessibility, we have now added both the European accessibility standard and the W3C/WAI’s web accessibility standard to the template. References and links can be found in the next paragraph. below) to help address the global importance of ICT accessibility. By providing reliable and usable product accessibility information, the resulting Accessibility Conformance Report need only be created once for use by all potential customers.
The updated VPAT 2.0 includes the following features:
- A universal format that can be used to produce an Accessibility Conformance Report documenting conformance with three prominent accessibility standards:
- Revised Section 508 standards – the U.S. Federal accessibility standard
- EN 301 549 – the European Union’s “Accessibility requirements suitable for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe”
- WCAG 2.0 or ISO/IEC 40500 – W3C/WAI’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
- 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 to briefly describe 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 which 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.”
- VPAT® 2.0 (October 2017) (October 04, 2017)
- VPAT® 2.0 – Frequently Asked Questions – Oct 2017 (October 04, 2017)
- Reporting Conformance to ICT Accessibility Standards (October 04, 2017)