ASL Interpreter helping a student and professor communicate in class
Professor presenting a slideshow to his class
Guest speaker, Ken Petry, speaks at a past Access MU symposium to a large audience
The varsity hockey team glides across the ice with members of the Best Buddies Choir

VPAT Guidance

The following information demonstrates what is expected from a VPAT and how to fully complete it. If a vendor has a Section 508 VPAT on file for the product in question, a WCAG 2.0 VPAT will still have to be completed or you can follow the Matrix below for all sections of Section 508 that apply.

Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 VPAT Requirements

Hardware

Section 508 Standards: 1194.25, 1194.26, 1194.31, 1194.41

Software (Standalone/Web)

Section 508 Standards: 1194.21, 1194.22, 1194.31, 1194.41

Do you have video? If so, include 1194.24
Otherwise complete the full WCAG 2.0 VPAT

Websites

Section 508 Standards: 1194.21, 1194.22, 1194.31, 1194.41

Do you have video? If so, include 1194.24
Otherwise complete the full WCAG 2.0 VPAT

Developed Components

WCAG 2.0 Standards as checklist during development

Use additional language (ATS must test the developed product for accessibility prior to going live.)

Telecommunications

Section 508 Standard: 1194.23

Do you use VOIP? Refer to "Software"


Completing a VPAT

For vendors completing a Voluntary Product Assessment Template (VPAT) document, this guidance provided below is purely advisory; it is intended as a tool to help you understand your obligations when communicating the accessibility of your product and services.  We recommend that technical staff with training in accessibility complete your VPAT form. If there is no such person on your staff, you may want to hire a vendor that specializes in accessibility assessments to perform the task. In addition, we recommend you refer to the "Resources" section below for additional information.

Should Miami enter into a contract with your company, your VPAT will most likely become part of the final contract as legal documents detailing your offering's capabilities and creating specific expectations for deliverables. Thus, it is critical that you have confidence in your VPAT's clarity and accuracy.

General Process

The VPAT is organized in tables with four columns.

Technical Standards

This column identifies the segment of the relevant standard and the technical requirement.

Compliance Level

This represents your product’s level of support for the technical requirement and cannot be a "yes" or "no" answer. See "Recommended Language" below.

Recommended Language

Based on guidance from Section 508 and WCAG 2.0, the recommended language includes the following terms:

Yes—Supports
Use this language when you determine the product fully meets the letter and intent of the Criteria.

In "Explanation or Comments" column: List exactly what features of the product do meet and describe how they are used to support the Criteria.


Supports with Exceptions
Use this language when you determine the product doesn't fully meet the letter and intent of the Criteria, but provides some level of access relative to the Criteria.

In "Explanation or Comments" column: (1) List exactly what features of the product do meet and describe how they are used to support the Criteria and (2) List exactly what parts of the product do not meet and describe how they fail to support the Criteria.


No—Does not Support
Use this language when you determine the product does not meet the letter or Intent of the Criteria.

In "Explanation or Comments" column: Describe exactly how the product does not support the Criteria.


Not Applicable
Use this language when no response is needed for this row (Not Applicable).

In "Explanation or Comments" column: For sections within specific standards where Not Applicable is used, describe exactly why the Criteria is not applicable to the product. (This is not needed if the entire standard does not apply, such as all of 1194.23 because it does not have any telecommunications.)


Partially Supports
Use this language when accessibility is currently being updated and current compliance is incomplete but may be completed within 180 days of submission of the VPAT.

In "Explanation or Comments" column: List exactly what methods do and do not work in additional to any other methods exist in the product and describe how they are used to support the Criteria.


Upcoming Support
Use this language when the next release will comply. Must supply approximate release date.


Configured Support
Use this language when the application has the capability and can be configured to admin/user to comply. Must include instructions for accessibility configuration.


Customized Support
Use this language when compliance requires vendor to make changes that may not have been originally scheduled as a priority.

Supporting Features

This is the rationale for your answer in the previous column.

Explanation or Comments

Comments are mandatory. They enable you to validate your answers in the "Supporting Features" column. The quality of the comments also indicates the skill level of the person who completed the document. This is a key indicator of the vendor’s approach toward accessibility and therefore the product’s viability as a candidate for procurement.


Resources