Many organizations work together with their procurement teams because submission of the VPAT has become a must. It is important to understand the shortcuts and strategies to complete this tool for vendors.
To ease your process, you can also make use of our VPAT Template.
Understanding the VPAT process
The voluntary product accessibility template is no longer “voluntary”. The vendor needs to understand the kind of impact the service or product will have on the immediate community. A VPAT should be a stream of information or feedback to a seller or buyer. It should offer remarks and explanations on what has been tested and discovered. This is what the people, in general, will use to assess the accessibility of a service or a product.
Complying with all modern standards
You need to acknowledge that the current VPAT has been expanded to include the revised 508 section, EN 301 549, and WCAG standards. If you have been subjected to these measures before, you should aim for the most current ones.
Complying with these standards will ease the process of creating more quality information. It will also help you complete the document comprehensively.
Offering more than the VPAT
This might sound contradicting but just hear it out. You should know that two similar companies cannot produce the same kind of information and that producing a VPAT does not mean you have met the absolute standards of being accessible. You need to step out of the comfort zone.
Offer more than you go possibly do, instead of just sending the VPAT, send your test documentation. This can be nerve-wracking and taxing, especially to the companies that lack UX experts. But it will help you get more remarks and explanations. You can use this to know which criteria you have checked or not.
Using technologies and tools on your website and applications
If you are a content creator, this can come in handy. Search engine optimizations, using inbound links and Google integrations are not enough. You also need to consider those with disabilities. This ensures you comply with the ADA Act of 1990. There are ways you can cater to those with either auditory cognitive or visual deficiencies.
Knowing which VPAT you will use?
Business owners or software developers should know that not all VPATs comply with all the guidelines. That is:
- 508- Revised Section 508 Standards
- WCAG- Web Accessibility Standards
- EN- European Union’s Accessibility Requirements
- INT- International (incorporates all of the above)
According to the U.S. government, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, are not subject to EN and INT standards. It is important to determine which kind of organization you are and what kind of rules apply to you. This will save you a lot of time spent on editing and reading the completed VPAT.