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Quality Accessibility Conformance Reports Using The VPAT

taught by: Mary Jo Mueller

Session Summary:

Learn important aspects of making a good, quality Accessibility Conformance Report using the VPAT® template.

Description:

Many companies and government agencies want to purchase accessible ICT. To meet the demand, vendors need to supply good, quality Accessibility Conformance Reports that can showcase the effort they’ve put into making their products accessible. This session focuses on some key aspects of using the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT®) to produce a quality conformance report. The target audience is anyone that would need to create Accessibility Conformance Reports using this template.

This session is planned to cover the following topics:

Where do I find the latest version of the VPAT?

The latest version of the VPAT can be found on the ITI website VPAT page. The template is available in four editions explained as follows:

  • INT: the international edition with 3 standards in one file – European EN 301 549, Revised 508 and WCAG standards
  • EU: for reporting EN 301 549 conformance
  • 508: for reporting Revised 508 conformance
  • WCAG: for reporting conformance to WCAG 2.0 or 2.1.

Which VPAT edition should I use?

Choose the edition based on your customers’ requirements. Alternately, choose the one that matches the market where you’ll be selling your product. Companies that sell internationally might use the INT edition because it includes all three main international standards in a single report, while others might prefer to use the individual editions to create a conformance report only for the desired standard. A benefit of the individual edition is the overall length of the report is as short as possible.

Which file format to provide?

Choose what file format you want to deliver your Accessibility Conformance Report in:

  • Microsoft® Word .doc
  • Adobe® .pdf file
  • HTML file

You don’t have to use the Word file provided by ITI. Just remember, whatever format you choose, make sure it is accessible! There are resources on the web that can help you make files in any of these formats accessible.

Aspects for creating a good, quality Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR)

We’ll provide a step-by-step process for using the VPAT template to generate a conformance report such as:

  • how to fill in the background information about your product that demonstrates the hard work you’ve done to make it accessible
  • how to know which sections to fill in, based on the functionality of your product, be it hardware, software, communications and so on.
  • what conformance answers to use and comments to supply for each of the relevant provisions or requirements in the VPAT

Accuracy is key! A completed ACR must be as accurate as you can make it. It should not be a misrepresentation of the level of accessibility of your product. It is not an aspiration of what you hope the product meets, but what proper testing has proven to show. When supplied with a bid, this becomes a legal document that your product will be held to. Don’t put your company at risk for lengthy negotiations and remediation that would be required to bring your product up to the accessibility level documented in the ACR.

I also have some tips and tricks for making your Accessibility Conformance Report shorter and more consumable. I’ll show an example ACR that demonstrates the guidance, tips, and tricks given in this presentation.

Practical Skills:

  • How to know what parts of the VPAT to fill in
  • How to make your Accessibility Conformance Report shorter
  • Important aspects consumers of your report are looking for