Recently we received this question,
"We are interested in a buying a product and that product has a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT).
The VPAT shows that it is not 100% compliant. Can we craft the GPAT
for that product to mandate 508 even though it has a VPAT or do we look elsewhere for another product"
Our answer is:
- You should validate information contained in the VPAT. If the VPAT doesn’t include all of your Section 508 requirements (e.g. ignores certain technical requirements and/or functional performance criteria) send the vendor a GPAT to be completed. It is your Section 508 requirements that the product should meet and not what the vendor thinks are your requirements.
- If a product is not 100% conformant to your Section 508 requirements, you should look elsewhere for another product.
- However, Section 508 is one requirement. Cost and technical features are others. You should always choose the product that “best fits” your total requirements. This could mean acquiring a product that is not 100% conformant to your Section 508 requirements.
- In all cases, your Section 508 due diligence should be documented in the contract file.