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Dahlgren Memorial Library

Accessibility and Disability

What is a VPAT?

VPAT stands for Voluntary Product Accessibility Template. "This is a document that explains how information technology products like software, electronic content, and support documentation conform to the revised 508 standards for IT accessibility" (Section 508.gov). The purpose of the VPAT is to assist customers and buyers in making preliminary assessments regarding the availability of commercial "Electronic and Information Technology" also referred to as “Information and Communication Technology” (ICT), products and services with features that support accessibility. 

According to the Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC) , VPATs should contain the following: 

  • Essential requirements to use the VPAT service mark and best practices which provide for consistent, uniform and more complete reporting by the manufacturer
  • A description field for the product
  • Evaluation Methods Used field describing methods used to test the product accessibility
  • Notes field for the report and for each table to provide additional detail concerning product tested and evaluation methods
  • Provided as a MS Word file

DML Resources

A VPAT, as the name suggests, is voluntary. Many of the library's resources have provided VPATs. If a resource is unable to provide a VPAT, they usually have an Accessibility statement that describes how they are working towards complying with WCAG 2.0 or 2.1 standards, Section 508, and/or other global Accessibility guidelines. 

If certain webpages do not conform to either A or AA of the WCAG standards, it will list those pages as "Does not support". Some VPATs describe workarounds that are available to users if certain aspects are not supported.  If there is partial conformance, a heading of "Partially Supports" along with whether it is referring to A or AA will be listed. If there is full conformance with either A or AA then it will be listed as "Fully Supports".