How Can I Write A Voluntary Product Accessibility Template
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    • Last updated December 19, 2021
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How Can I Write A Voluntary Product Accessibility Template

Posted By adacompliancepros adacompliancepros     December 19, 2021    


Statista reports revealed that 90% of the American population can’t imagine their life without the internet. With the rising rate of internet usage, it has become imperative for all sizes of businesses to make their products and offerings accessible to their potential customers; including those who have some sort of disabilities. In fact, the Federal Law ensures that an individual withphysical, cognitive or sensory disabilities should not be excluded from accessing commercial websites. If they do, the DOJ ruled their exclusion to be discriminatory and the businesses will be subject to hefy fines and lawsuits. To ensure compliance, the government provides certain benchmarks like Section 508 standards of the Rehabilitation Act or the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).


Failure in complying with these standards may cost you tens of thousands of dollars in the form of lawsuits. Reports revealed that there is a whopping increase of 30% in website lawsuits this year. One proactive measure to steer clear of this legal exposure is obtaining a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT). To avoid lawsuits and to help your buyers make an informed decision, this VPAT template acts as a powerful resource. Let’s discuss what are the steps involved in preparing the VPAT report and how it’s actually done.


What is a VPAT and what does it cover?

A VPAT is a document used by businesses to showcase their compliance with accessibility standards. The template is usually linked with accessibility guidelines for Information Technology and Communication (ITC) products. However, completing the VPAT template makes you compliant with the following guidelines:


  1. Section 508: The section confirms that any organization involved in procuring, developing, maintaining or using ICT products like software, applications, operating systems, computer, laptops, smartphones, tablets, information kiosks or distant learning portals are bound to ensure its accessibility for the disabled.
  2. WCAG 2.0: The guidelines are designed to ensure web content accessibility and confirm that any website should accommodate accessibility options for consumers with a wide range of disabilities including visual, physical, speech, auditory or neurological.
  3. WCAG 2.1: It is an extension of the previous guidelines which include accessibility conformance levels for mobile users and ease of usage with assistive technologies.
  4. EN 301549: The European standard for digital accessibility can also be covered when you generate the VPAT report for your business.


How to create a VPAT?

The template can be downloaded from the official website of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI). But before you fill out the template, there are several steps that you need to consider:

  • Complete anaccurate Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR)
  • Proven auditing techniques to confirm error free reporting
  • Wide knowledge to determine the applicable accessibility standards
  • Identify the areas of improvement to validate the accessibility of products offerings
  • Dedicated resources to have up to date ACRs

The above mentioned factors are required to fill up the global accessibility conformation with compliance to the latest version of the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template. You may get it done inhouse but do you think your team can accurately handle all the above requirements? Should the VPAT be filled out incorrectly or should it be based on shoddy testing results, you can be at risk for not only fines, but lawsuits.


It is best to hire a VPAT specialist for the job. They can guide you with the right options and ensure accurate reporting during the auditing process. For more information on how we can help, visit the link below.