Use the section below to describe in detail the product feature. Additional paragraphs can describe what you do with the feature, what it cannot do (within reason), in what situations you would use it, and why it is important. A diagram can show relationships and connections better than text, so you may want to include pictorial conceptual info as well. Examples may illustrate a concept also. Notes or tips about a feature can be useful, such as a tip for a user who is accustomed to another, similar product, or an older version of a feature.
A VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template) is a vendor-generated statement (using the required template) that provides relevant information on how a vendor's product or service claims to conform to the Section 508 Standards.
The VPAT product is a tool developed by the ITIC-Information Technology Concil and government GSA-Government Services Administration to help facilitate the market research responsibilities of Federal IT professionals, enabling government requestors to compare vendor products.
The VPAT was designed to provide information on how a product or service conforms to the Section 508 Accessibility Standards (from the U.S. Access Board) for Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) in a consistent fashion and format. In general, Vendors should generate a VPAT whenever they develop products or services that are determined to be EIT and are to be sold in the Federal market place. In each VPAT, the vendor is expected to make specific statements, in simple understandable (recommended) language, about how their product or service meets the requirements of Section 508 Standards (section by section, and paragraph by paragraph).
In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794d) to require federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology public content accessible to people with disabilities. Inaccessible technology interferes with an individual's ability to obtain and use information quickly and easily. Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals.
Section 508 requires that when federal agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology, federal employees with disabilities have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access and use by federal employees who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency. Section 508 also requires that individuals with disabilities, who are members of the public seeking information or services from a federal agency, have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to the public who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency.
Contrary to what you may read on the web, Section 508 does not directly apply to private sector websites or to public websites which are not U.S. federal agency websites. In fact it does not even apply to the Congress or to the Judiciary. It also does not (generally) apply to agencies or establishments using federal funds.
Updated 12 months ago