GSA Government-wide Section 508 Accessibility Program

How to Read a VPAT

Mon, 11/25/2013 - 12:17 -- BuyAccessible Team

In a past post, we talked about how agencies need to ask for more VPATs. But what do you do with a VPAT once you have it? Just because a company has created a VPAT, doesn't mean that the product or service fully conforms to all Section 508 requirements. Here are some thing to watch out for:

  1. First read the VPAT! It may tell you that even the vendor thinks that they do not meet some Section 508 provisions.
  2. Check to see if all the provisions the vendor marked as applicable match what your agency thinks is applicable. For example, did they discuss Functional and Information, Documentation, and Support provisions?
    Note: Buy Accessible Wizard or Quick Links can help you determine applicable provisions for your product or service requirements.
  3. Check the version number. Does the VPAT cover the version of the product you are buying? Upgrades may have increased or decreased the accessibility of the product.
  4. Verify that if the vendor says that they meet a provision that they actually do. This takes a little more time and means you need to conduct acceptance testing of the product.

Do you have any comments or suggestions you would like to share about how to use and read VPATs?