What is a VPAT?
A VPAT, or voluntary product accessibility template, is a document that comprehensively details how information and communication technology (ICT) services and products like software, hardware, electronic content, and support documentation adhere to the Revised Section 508 Standards for IT accessibility.
When conducting market research and assessing proposals, government buyers and contracting officers from federal agencies use VPAT documents to assess ICT products and services offered by prospective suppliers, for accessibility.
Indeed, ICT-related federal government solicitations frequently include accessibility requirements that list the clauses that must be present to guarantee an accessible product. To fulfill the accessibility standards specified in such solicitations, a VPAT document is typically an appropriate option.
Therefore, the goal of a VPAT document is to confirm that a product qualifies for procurement in accordance with the existing accessibility compliance standards. Additionally, it states that no statements have been made regarding the product that could lead to future legal action against the company or the government.
What a VPAT can do for your business
A VPAT is not entirely voluntary, despite its name. Businesses wishing to offer ICT products and services to any federal agency or organizations receiving federal funding will need to submit a VPAT document.
Here is what a VPAT document can do for your business:
- Working with federal government agencies and federally funded entities
It is advised to start the VPAT process as soon as possible so that the VPAT document is ready when you need it if your business wants to offer ICT goods or services to any federal agency or organization financed by the federal government, even in the distant future. This is due to the fact that VPAT certification is required for businesses to work with any government agency or provide services to the agencies.
- Demonstration of compliance with Section 508
Your business can conduct a thorough analysis of its compliance with the Revised Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act using a VPAT. That is because the template summarizes the most important Section 508 accessibility requirements and gives enterprises the opportunity to describe how they adhere to each of the compliance requirements.
A VPAT, in short, describes the digital accessibility features of a company's digital properties and demonstrates how the company has taken all necessary measures to make sure that its goods and services are fully accessible to individuals with disabilities.
- Customized compliance services
The procedure of completing a VPAT can assist you in understanding the elements that you need to concentrate on to make your product or service accessible if your company wishes to offer customized compliance services. This can help you if you hire an accessibility specialist to guide you through the VPAT audit procedures because it saves you time from having to comprehend the necessary compliance concerns to improve the quality and profitability of the VPAT ACR creation.
- Identification of critical accessibility issues
A business has the opportunity to think about all the features of their goods or services, even the features that are lacking, when they fill the VPAT. The template makes it easy to identify the accessibility concerns related to the product or service owing to the VPAT test that is conducted on the product or service during the VPAT filing stage.
Additionally, the VPAT audit's accessibility specialists can figure out what the product or service's accessibility percentage is. The characteristics of the product or service that need to be fixed or added to make it accessible can then be suggested in their Acr Report.
- Increase of your customer base
A VPAT document provides proof to existing and prospective clients that you are concerned about accessibility. Your product or service's customer base will grow as a result of making it accessible to people with disabilities by addressing the accessibility issues discovered through VPAT audits. This is because you will be attracting more customers from the sizable market segment that is made up of people with disabilities.
- Better SEO scores
A VPAT helps your business to improve the accessibility of its goods or services, which in turn, facilitates and encourages improvement in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rankings. For instance, an accessible website is frequently promoted in the Google results, increasing the brand's online visibility. In the end, that results in higher conversions, sales, and profits.
Get help with your VPAT audit today
Need to learn more about how a VPAT can help your business? ADA Compliance Pros can help you with all the information you need about VPATs. You can call (626) 486-2201 to speak with their accessibility experts.