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What is a VPAT?

Download the VPAT® 2.3

Per Chapter 2054, Subchapter M of the Texas Government Code, Tarleton must ensure the procurement of technology that is compliant with our accessibility standards. Exceptions and exemptions are assessed when a final product has been chosen for purchase that meets the requesting department's goals.

A Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) is a rubric designed to help vendors determine how they are compliant with each guideline in our accessibility standards. In July 2018, the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) updated the VPAT® 2.2 document used to report accessibility of Electronic and Information Resources (EIR). Additional information is provided on the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) website

Please note that VPAT® 1.0 was discontinued January 18, 2018. 

The term "voluntary" is in reference to the vendor testing their product and reporting their results. Some form of testing is required to determine compliance, and Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §213.38 specifically acknowledges the VPAT as a leading standard for this reporting, though equivalent reporting templates may be used.

If testing is not completed within the timeframe required to procure the product, the product is deemed non-compliant. Tarleton State University is liable under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 for the procurement of a product with barriers to accessibility for individuals with disabilities and/or impairments.

Vendors are encouraged to make their products compliant as quickly as possible using their testing report to guide them. Additional assistance may be acquired through many agencies, firms and organizations with expertise in accessibility standards compliance.

What does the vendor report?

Note that the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) aligns its compliance standards with the United States Access Board's compliance standards in Section 508. This makes assessing compliance for state and federal procurements easier due to their similarities.

The vendor will modify the VPAT to address the section(s) their product(s) fall under under each of the following reports

  1. WCAG 2.0 Report
  2. 2017 Section 508 Report

Responding to Reports

If you have a specifically web-only product, then you are required to fill out WCAG 2.0 report, plus just the 2017 Section 508 Report’s Chapter 3 and Chapter 6. The last two reports are more focused on the other types of electronic and information resources, such as software, hardware, non-web documents (e.g. PDF), that have additional functional requirements. 

Each report requires a response on the Conformance Level and Remarks and Explanations.

Conformance Levels must be responded to for each product and/or service affected by the success criteria with:

  • Supports: The functionality of the product has at least one method that meets the criterion without known defects or meets with equivalent facilitation.
  • Partially Supports: Some functionality of the product does not meet the criterion.
  • Does Not Support: The majority of product functionality does not meet the criterion.
  • Not Applicable: The criterion is not relevant to the product.
  • Not Evaluated: The product has not been evaluated against the criterion.  This can only be used in WCAG 2.0 Level AAA.

Remarks and Explanations must provide a detailed response regarding each product's and/or services conformance level (separate responses based on each product's and/or services level of conformance):

  • Supports: Justify how via their functions and/or features each of your products and/or service supports the criterion.
  • Partially Supports: Describe the functions and/or features with the issues and how they do not fully support the criterion.
  • Does Not Support: Describe the functions and/or features not supported and why.
  • Not Applicable: No response is required.
  • Not Evaluated: No response is required if this is regarding WCAG 2.0 Level AAA success criteria.
Good Remarks and Explanations Examples
Conformance Level Remarks and Explanations
Supported Images are accompanied by alternative text by default.
Supported [Product] is primarily text-based, and supports keyboard navigation.
Supported [Product] does not directly enable or disable any activated accessibility features.
Supported All multimedia content is provide by users.
Supported [Product] includes text to describe program elements represented by images, and Voice Over can dictate the function including question labels, answer checkboxes, buttons, alerts and modals.
Supported When a [product maintainer] attaches an animation, there is an additional option to embed a non-animated presentation.
Supported Documentation can be made available in the format of the user's choice upon request, at no additional charge.
Supported Support materials are available as videos and electronic written instructional guides. [Product] support information has been designed specifically for [product users] with accessible needs. Email, chat and phone support is also available. A support line is available by calling [phone number].
Not Applicable This criteria does not apply to [product] functionality.
Not Applicable [Product] has no timed applications or time-based response limits.
Does Not Support On the [vendor product roadmap] to support auto-logout warning to reasonably increase the time-limit on a time-response.

Responses for multiple products

Replace the defaults “Web:, Electronic Docs:,...” next to each criteria with some pre-defined shorthand of each product. For example, if P1 was your website, P2 was your software, and P3 was your mobile app:

  • If all are the same response: “P1, P2, P3: All use alternative text to describe images.”
  • If there is an exception among the products: “P1, P2, P3: All use alternative text to describe images. However, P3 has an exception regarding the Cool Track feature which is on our roadmap to be fixed by January 2018.”

Report Requirements

WCAG 2.0 Report - Required

This report is requires for all vendors to fill out for web content (e.g. web application, mobile application, website). Institutions of higher education need to comply with Level A and Level AA success criteria, so the vendor must complete Table 1 and Table 2 at minimum with their Conformance Level and Remarks and Explanations.

To assist the vendor, links to each WCAG 2.0 success criterion is provide on the table as well as what types of EIR they typically associate with. The vendor must respond on each success criterion that is relevant to each of their product(s) and/or service(s).

2017 Section 508 Report - Required

This report is requires for all vendors to fill out. Some chapters are required while others are optional, or required only if applicable to the product(s) and/or services the vendor provides:

  • Chapter 3: Functional Performance Criteria (FPC) - Required
  • Chapter 4: Hardware
  • Chapter 5: Software
  • Chapter 6: Supporting Documentation and Service - Required

Tips for Vendor Reporting

The vendor should have their technical staff assist in the testing and reporting on the VPAT. This allows the vendor's technical staff to be aware of the compliance standards that need to be added to their product's roadmap as a high priority.

After completing the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template, the vendor should make their VPAT available on their website and/or by request to reduce the time require for their customers to complete procurement processes. As each product undergoes versioning, the VPAT should be updated with any changes to accessibility compliance.

References

State Rules and Guidelines