Documenting Section 508 Conformance
In 2004, the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) partnered with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to create a simple, Internet-based tool to assist Federal contracting and procurement officials in fulfilling the new market research requirements contained in the Section 508 implementing regulations. The result: the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template, or VPAT.
Many E&IT manufacturers routinely produce VPATs and post them on their company websites. Feedback from E&IT companies and government procurement officials suggests that
VPATs significantly assist procurement officials in making preliminary assessments regarding the availability of commercial electronic and information technology products and services by highlighting features that support the Section 508 accessibility criteria;
E&IT vendors would like further assistance regarding how to complete a VPAT; and,
VPATs will be of even greater value to procurement officials if E&IT vendors use consistent language when filling out VPATs.
ITI responded to this feedback by developing a Best Practices document. Here are several resources that will facilitate understanding VPATs and how to complete them: