As part of WashU’s commitment to making its web and electronic information accessible, those responsible for purchasing EIT products and services should talk to the vendor about their accessibility standards and how they incorporate those standards into their product development.

Voluntary Product Accessibility Template

The VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template) is a form developed by the ITI (Information Technology Industry Council) that vendors complete and provide to purchasers to report on the accessibility of their digital products.

Students gather around computers working in a computer lab setting

Updated in April 2019, there are four different versions of the VPAT:

  • VPAT 2.3 WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) – preferred
  • VPAT 2.3 508 (Section 508 standards)
  • VPAT 2.3 EU (European Union standards)
  • VPAT 2.3 INT (includes all three of the above)

Although the VPAT is an important part of purchasing, manual testing is still needed to fully assess a digital product’s accessibility.

What vendors should provide

  • Information about how the current product version conforms to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0)Level A and Level AA standard.
  • Formal documentation (VPAT, Accessibility Conformance Report, etc.) regarding the current level of conformance with the WCAG 2.0Level A and Level AA standards from the past 12 months.
  • Contact information for the designated representative at the company to address issues, questions, or the resolution of accessibility barriers in the application.
  • Description of processes used to evaluate and remediate accessibility issues as part of the software development lifecycle, including any tools and/or assistive technologies used as part of the review process.
  • Description of the types of automated and manual accessibility testing procedures performed when evaluating the accessibility of an application.