VPAT Compliance And VPAT Certification: A Complete 2022 Guide

What Is VPAT Compliance?

The term “VPAT compliance” refers to the collection of processes and actions performed using the correct edition of the VPAT document to ensure that a product or service complies with the defined accessibility standards and guidelines: the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), the Revised Section 508 Standard, and the European Union’s EN 301 549 Accessibility Standard. “VPAT accessibility” and “VPAT accessibility” are terms that are frequently used interchangeably.

VPAT is an abbreviation for “voluntary product accessibility template,” which is a self-disclosing document that describes the level of accessibility conformance a certain product or service features.

Editions Of The VPAT Documents Used In VPAT Compliance

The four editions of the VPAT used in VPAT accessibility are: the VPAT 2.4 Rev 508, the VPAT 2.4 Rev EU, the VPAT 2.4 Rev WCAG, and the VPAT 2.4 Rev INT.

The Vpat 2.4 Rev 508

The VPAT 2.4 Rev 508 contains the criteria and technical specifications that EIT products and services must comply with to conform to the Revised Section 508 of the United States Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

This VPAT edition is a 26-page VPAT document that includes WCAG 2.0 accessibility criteria and technical requirements besides those of the Revised Section 508 Standard.

The VPAT 2.4 Rev EU

The VPAT 2.4 Rev EU is a 40-page document that comprises the EN 301 549 European Union’s accessibility requirements suited for public procurement of EIT products and services in Europe.It incorporates WCAG 2.0 and WCAG 2.1.

The VPAT 2.4 Rev WCAG

The VPAT 2.4 Rev WCAG is the VPAT edition that anchors the WCAG standard. This 15-page edition of the VPAT template includes WCAG 2.0 and WCAG 2.1 accessibility criteria, with WCAG 2.1 being the most recent version of the WCAG.

The VPAT 2.4 Rev INT

The VPAT 2.4 Rev INT is the international edition of the VPAT document.  It incorporates the standards underpinning all three of the VPAT template editions listed above.

This 51-page document includes the WCAG 2.0, WCAG 2.1, Revised Section 508 Standards, and the European Union’s EN 301 549 Accessibility requirements for ICT products and services.

What Is VPAT Certification?

“VPAT certification” refers to the array of processes and actions used to assess a product’s or service’s compliance with specified accessibility standards and guidelines by employing an appropriate accessibility VPAT.

The processes and actions include selecting the correct accessibility VPAT to utilize in the certification, performing the VPAT testing of the product or service, duly and accurately completing the accessibility VPAT, and making the subsequent VPAT accessibility conformance report (ACR) accessible.

Any government or public procurement agency in the United States or Europe, as well as companies receiving federal money, must perform VPAT certification testing on all electronic and information technology (EIT) products and services. The tests assist them in producing VPAT ACRs that indicate the level of accessibility of the products or services.

Most businesses have adopted VPAT compliance and certification as the best strategy for avoiding lawsuits as well as complying with the requirements of numerous organizations that require a completed VPAT ACR in order to do business with them.

Steps To Take Toward VPAT Compliance And Certification

To succeed in your VPAT compliance or certification, follow the following steps that VPAT accessibility experts offered to renowned businesses:

  • Identify The Right Person To Fill Out The VPAT

Get someone who is familiar with accessibility laws and requirements, understands the legal obligations of the VPAT and VPAR ACR, is aware about your EIT product or service, and knows how to test for accessibility and fill out the VPAT form effectively and succinctly. Top companies use third-party specialists to conduct this task to ensure objectivity.

  • Review And Update Your VPAT ACR Annually

An obsolete or incomplete VPAT is the worst thing you can have as a well-known company. New accessibility requirements are added to the VPAT as the accessibility standards are changed.

If your VPAT ACR is not updated on a regular basis, your accessibility report will lack responses to the new accessibility criteria. An out-of-date or inadequate VPAT ACR could expose you to legal action or prevent you from obtaining desired business contracts.

  • Use Feedback To Improve Your Product Or Service

Your prospective consumers can offer you comments about the accessibility of your product or service using the contact information provided on your VPAT ACR. Use the feedback to make your product or service more accessible, which improves its quality and raises its chances of winning bids.

Need Help With VPAT Certification And Compliance?

You can get help with VPAT compliance and certification.You can use this 508 compliance checker to find out the VPAT compliance of your website, or if you need assistance with VPAT accessibility involving other types of digital properties,call (626) 486-2201 for assistance. Consultations are always free!

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