Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)

Having a VPAT for your product not only demonstrates your commitment to inclusivity and accessibility but also significantly enhances your competitive edge by ensuring your offerings are accessible to a broader audience.

Our audit services include a free VPAT service.

What is a VPAT?

A Voluntary Product Accessibility Template, or VPAT, is more than just a document; it's a comprehensive evaluation that measures a product's adherence to accessibility standards such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 508, and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). By detailing the ways in which a product is accessible to people with a wide range of disabilities—be it visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, language, learning, and neurological disabilities—a VPAT provides invaluable transparency.

It not only highlights the measures taken to ensure your product is usable by individuals with disabilities but also serves as a proactive step towards compliance with legal standards, potentially reducing legal risks. For businesses, a VPAT is a symbol of social responsibility and a commitment to an ethical approach to technology development. It reassures customers that they are engaging with a company that values every user's access to information and services equally.

What are key factors involved in VPAT creation?

The creation of a VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template) involves several key factors:

Understanding of Accessibility Standards
A comprehensive grasp of the relevant accessibility guidelines such as Section 508, ADA, and WCAG.
Product Analysis
Detailed knowledge of the product's features, functionalities, and user interfaces to evaluate accessibility.
Technical Expertise
Technical understanding of how the product interacts with assistive technologies and the technical requirements of accessibility standards.
Evaluation and Testing
Checking the user interface, content, and interactive features against accessibility standards.
Accurately documenting compliance levels and providing explanations for any areas where the product does not meet the standards.
Honest reporting of the product’s accessibility capabilities and limitations to build trust.
User-Centered Approach
Considering the practical use of the product by people with disabilities to reveal real-world accessibility challenges.
Professional Review
Having the VPAT reviewed by an accessibility expert to ensure accuracy and credibility.
Legal Compliance
Ensuring that the VPAT aligns with legal standards to mitigate risks associated with non-compliance.
Ongoing Updates
Regularly updating the VPAT to reflect changes in the product or accessibility standards.
Clear Communication
Writing the VPAT in clear language that can be understood by all stakeholders, with detailed explanations.
Accessible Format
Providing the VPAT in formats accessible to individuals with disabilities.
Stakeholder Involvement
Including input from stakeholders, particularly users with disabilities, in the VPAT creation process.