A VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template), is a document that provides an evaluation of how accessible a particular product is according to the Section 508 Standards and WCAG 2.0. Texas Administrative Code (TAC )§213.38 acknowledges the VPAT 2.1 from Information Technology Industry Council as the leading standard for accessibility reporting, though equivalent reporting templates may be used.
The VPAT document is a vendor's self-disclosure that details each of the Section 508 requirements and how the product supports each criteria.
VPATs are used by buyers to determine how accessible a product is and where any potential accessibility deficiencies are.
What do vendors report?
Vendors may provide any of the following:
- VPAT forms (VPAT 2.1) are hosted by the Information Technology Industrial Council (ITIC) and are available in Microsoft Word format.
- Instructions are within the VPAT 2.1 form
- Submit Report requirements in sections: WCAG 2.0 and 2017 Section 508 Report.
- an independent third party evaluation providing WCAG 2.0 report and Section 508 information from an accessibility consultancy
Note that the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) aligns its compliance standards with the United States Access Board's compliance standards in Section 508.
Tips for Vendor Reporting
The vendor should have their technical staff assist in the testing and reporting on the VPAT. After completing the VPAT, it is recommended that vendors make their VPAT available on their website and/or by request to reduce the time required to complete the procurement processes. As products undergoes versioning, the VPAT should be updated with any changes to accessibility conformance.
VPAT Applicability Checklist
If the vendor does not readily have a VPAT, please review the VPAT applicability checklist. This checklist will help communicate accessibility requirements for IT products based on the Revised 508 Standards.