A VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template) is used to publish a report about your compliance with digital accessibility laws. The report aka ACR (Accessibility Conformance Report) is not just used to demonstrate your level of conformance with the accessibility guidelines but it is also endlessly beneficial for your business.

Companies that are selling hardware and software to federal agencies are filling and updating their VPAT on an annual basis. Although, there are many individuals who don’t even know what is a VPAT.

Are you clueless about the VPAT ACR or have you recently heard about this during a business pitch with your prospective clients? A VPAT is a generic template that is used by federal agencies to assess the compliance of vendors of Information and Communication Technology products.

When a fiscal year ends, a VPAT becomes a crucial document to seal the deal with federal agencies. Indeed, VPAT assessment is a mandatory process for the federal sales team, however, regardless of your client base, you must ensure regular updating of your VPAT documents. Keep on reading to know why and how.

What Is VPAT Compliance?

A VPAT is a template used to test ICT products on varied standards and guidelines related to digital accessibility laws. One can use VPAT to publish their compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title III of the ADA (Americans with Disability Act).

One more version of a VPAT is available that is used to assess compliance with the European Union’s standards of digital accessibility.

If a business wants to attain 100% VPAT compliance they can opt for the INT edition of this template, which provides ACR based on 508, ADA and EN 301 549.

In order to attain VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template) compliance. One must be well aware of the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). WCAG is like a roadmap to digital accessibility. There are 4 different categories of operability and accessibility which leads to a total of 78 success criteria.

These success criteria are supported by 13 different guidelines which tell a developer or organizational administrator about the accessibility standards. The guidelines are related to web content, software or authoring tools.

To put it simply, VPAT compliance is all about using a framework of guidelines. And digital accessibility standards that include a thorough assessment of the design, code and content.

Steps To Attain VPAT Accessibility

To attain digital VAT testing is very useful. It ensures that all users are capable of perceiving the content provided by your brand. You need to make sure that every user is capable of reading text. Accessing multimedia content or filling up forms despite having vision impairment, hearing loss or cognitive ability.

The first step in attaining VPAT compliance is to determine the layer of guidance you need for your business. WCAG defined three levels of conformance: A, AA and AAA.

For federal level procurements level AA is considered mandatory. However, if you want to attain the following benefits you may opt for level AAA.

1)- VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template) helps you improve your product. And reach a wider segment of the target audience including the disabled population.

2)- Accessible websites become SEO friendly, rank on top and get a higher amount of organic traffic.

3)- VPAT helps you serve the users better and you gain a competitive edge over your competition.

4)- VPAT ensures compliance with the ADA which is most important to reduce the risk of lawsuits.

Begin by testing your website against the determined success criteria. For technology specific details, it is best to leave the job to those who have years of expertise in the essential components of web accessibility.

Once the accessibility experts conduct the audit, they can help you fill out the VPAT and generate an ACR. Click on the link given below to have a one-on-one consultation with an accessibility expert and learn What Is a VPAT.

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