VPAT Assessment Services
If you’re a vendor or product developer, Microassist is your go-to for Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPAT) creation services. Our team also helps government and private sector purchasers evaluate VPATs and support documentation provided by product developers.
Electronic information and communication technology (ICT) products and services sold to government agencies must be accessible. This holds true for federal agencies through Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. State and local governments frequently pass laws and implement policies based on Section 508. The challenge of procuring technology that complies with these regulations is daunting for public-sector organizations. A VPAT and Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR) is frequently the evaluation method used to ensure accessibility compliance.
Need assistance with your VPATs? From creating accurate documents to reviewing vendor-provided VPATs for conformance, our team is here to help. Email our Accessibility Team, and let’s work together to strengthen your digital accessibility compliance
Vendor Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) Assessment Services
Microassist can help vendors create accurate VPATs; we can also help purchasing organizations review vendor-provided VPATs against needed conformance levels.
A Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) is an essential document utilized by buyers to assess the accessibility level of hardware, software, or digital products and services during procurement. It’s the responsibility of vendors to generate VPATs for their offerings. To cater to the requirements of the purchasers effectively, the VPAT must be precise and comprehensive.
Creating an accurate VPAT calls for the vendor to understand accessibility standards and their implications for users with disabilities. The VPAT creation process demands awareness of relevant accessibility standards and a keen insight into the user experience of individuals with various accessibility needs.
The VPAT must be interpreted against accessibility standards by the public procurement team. Without accessibility knowledge on both ends of the transaction, both vendors and agencies are at risk of entering into contracts for non-accessible products and services.
Lower Risk with Accurate VPATs
An incomplete or inaccurate VPAT can put you at contractual risk. Federal government, state government, education, and corporate customers rely on you to self-evaluate and report levels of compliance on your VPAT. Because VPATs are provided as part of an official federal, state, or local government procurement contract, they represent your official claim regarding the accessibility of your products and services.
To lower that risk, you can engage Microassist to help you evaluate and accurately document your ICT product and services. As a government-contracted IT services provider with a team well-versed in accessibility implementation across a range of technical environments, we can help you generate a more accurate assessment of your offering. We can also help you produce the documentation agencies require as part of the procurement process and meet contract requirements.
Government Agencies: Procurement Support for Accessibility
Procurement teams dedicated to the acquisition of accessible Information and Communication Technology (ICT) / Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) and/or technology-based services may be required to evaluate numerous Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPAT®) in the form of both VPAT responses and Accessibility Conformance Reports (ACR applicable to VPAT). Evaluating these documents presents a challenge for purchasers. Purchasers must interpret the compliance standards relevant to documents and frequently seek clarification from vendors on their responses.
To help streamline the purchasing process, Microassist offers four services designed to aid procurement professionals.
VPAT Evaluation Services
Baseline VPAT/ACR Review
Our Baseline VPAT/ACR focuses on the accuracy of the VPAT/ACR response provided by the vendor to procurement. Our team reviews the Accessibility Conformance Report for compliance with WCAG and 508 standards. As part of the review, Microassist may contact the vendor to get clarification on issues of concern. Our goal is to verify, to the extent possible, the accuracy of the vendor’s accessibility declaration and provide a report to your procurement group.
Baseline VPAT/ACR + Vendor Qualification Review
Microassist can supplement the Baseline VPAT/ACR review by gathering additional information from the vendor during the procurement process to help determine if the vendor’s product meets accessibility requirements. Microassist will work with your team to determine additional information needed from the vendor to attest to the accessibility of the vendor’s product. For example, our team can review vendor-supplied audits from internal or third-party quality assurance (QA) testing. We can also review the PDAA (Policy-Driven Adoption for Accessibility). If needed, we can produce a custom accessibility questionnaire for the vendor and help your purchasing team interpret the survey.
Software Product Audit
For high-value projects, Microassist can perform an accessibility software audit on a vendor’s software product–not just review the vendor-provided VPAT. We will work with your procurement department and the vendor to scope an appropriate engagement. Our software audit team will test the software for compliance against required standards such as the WCAG 2.0/2.1 AA, Section 508, and other applicable standards.
Hardware Product Audit
For high-value projects, Microassist can perform an accessibility hardware audit on a vendor’s physical product. We will work with your procurement department and the vendor to scope an appropriate engagement. Our hardware audit team will test whether the software meets compliance against appropriate accessibility requirements and standards.
Contact Our Accessibility Team
Ensuring accessible ICT procurements means being confident about the conformance of the product or service being considered. Make sure your digital environment complies with accessibility standards and welcomes people of all abilities to access your content, mobile apps, and tools. Contact us about our accessibility evaluation services for procurement today and see how we can help.
Contact our Accessibility Team
Digital accessibility empowers users with disabilities to independently navigate, browse, use, and otherwise interact with your digital content. Contact our accessibility team today. We’ll help you make sure your website, applications, and digital files comply with accessibility standards such as WCAG 2.0/2.1 or Section 508, enabling people of all abilities to access your content with ease.