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Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)

Updated July 31, 2007

Originally provided by the Social Security Administration Section 508 Program

Purpose:

This document provides Vendors with instructions on completing the Section 508 Evaluation Template for the US Department of Health and Human Services

Background:

In 2001, the Information Technology Industry Council partnered with the General Services Administration to create a tool that would assist Federal contracting and procurement officials in fulfilling the market research requirements specified in Section 508. The result of their collaboration was the 508 Evaluation Template — a simple, web-based checklist that allows Vendors to document how their product did or did not meet the various Section 508 Requirements.

How the Section 508 Evaluation Template is organized:

This template is also known as the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)

The Section 508 Evaluation Template consists of a long series of tables. The Summary Table is used to provide a sense of your product's overall "level-of-conformance" with the Section 508 Standards. Subsequently, the Section 1194.xx Tables contain the detailed subparagraphs that a Section 508 Standard is composed of. It is within these Section 1194.xx Tables that you will define in detail how your product did or did not comply with a specific requirement.

Use the following to understand the use of the three columns in the Section 508 Evaluation Template's tables:

Summary Table
Column Name Use
Criteria: Describes Subparts B, C, and D of the Section 508 Standards.
Supporting Features: Enter information summarizing a product's overall "level-of support" for the corresponding Subpart or, when appropriate, to specify Not Applicable .DO NOT ENTER REMARKS OR EXPLANATIONS IN THIS COLUMN.
Remarks/Explanations: Enter general comments regarding a product's overall "level-of-conformance" with the Applicable Subpart.
Section 1194.xx Tables
Column Name Use
Criteria: Describes a specific guideline that a Subpart is composed of.
Supporting Features: Enter information summarizing a product's "level-of-support" for a specific guideline.
Remarks/Explanations: Enter detailed information on how the product did or did not support a specific guideline.

The Supporting Features and Remarks/Explanations columns are used to document exactly how a product did or did not meet the Section 508 Standards.

Supporting Features (second column on 508 Evaluation Template)
Language What It Means?
Supports Product FULLY meets the letter and intent of the Criteria.
Supports with Exceptions Product does not ENTIRELY meet the letter and intent of the Criteria, but does provide some level of access.
Supports through Equivalent Facilitation Product provides alternative methods to meet the intent of the Criteria.
Does not Support Product does not meet the letter or intent of the Criteria.
Not Applicable The Criteria does not apply to the product.
Remarks & Explanations (third column on 508 Evaluation Template)
If 2 nd 'column statesâ-¦ Thenâ-¦
Supports List exactly what features of the product do meet and describe how they are used to support the Criteria.
Supports with Exceptions List exactly what features of the product do meet and describe how they are used to support the Criteria. AND List exactly what parts of the product do not meet and describe how they fail to support the Criteria.
Supports through Equivalent Facilitation List exactly what other methods exist in the product and describe how they are used to support the Criteria.
Does not Support Describe exactly how the product does not support the Criteria.
Not Applicable Describe exactly why the criterion is not applicable to the product.

To complete the Section 508 Evaluation Template, enlist the services of your company's technical specialist for the product being sought for purchase. HHS requires a measure of technical detail in the responses. Once you have enlisted their assistance:

1) Determine which sections of the Technical Standards (Subpart B-1194.21-26) apply to your product. * Keep in mind that you always must complete the Functional Performance Criteria (Subpart C — 1194.31) and Information, Documentation, and Support (Subpart D — 1194.41) sections of the Section 508 Evaluation Template.

2) For each section that applies, determine if the product does or does not meet the specific Criteria elements.

3) Using the information found in the How the Section 508 Evaluation Template is organized section, document in the Section 1194.xx Tables exactly how your product did or did not meet the applicable standard.

  • If the product supports the standard, provide detailed examples of what accessibility features exist and how they are used to support the standard.
  • If the product does not support the standard, remember that Section 508 allows products to meet the Access Board Standards in innovative, non-traditional ways. The product can meet the standard by providing an innovative solution, as long as the feature performs in the same manner as it does for any other user without a disability.
  • If the product does not possess an innovative, non-traditional way of supporting the standard, provide detailed examples of exactly how the product did not meet the standard.

4) Once documented in the Section 1194.xx Tables exactly how the product did or did not meet, return to the Summary Table and document the product's overall "level-of-conformance" in each of the applicable sections.

5) Post the final Section 508 Evaluation Template on your company's web site or on the GSA Buy Accessible Wizard.

6) It is the Vendor's responsibility to maintain the integrity of the data on the Section 508 Evaluation Template. The information provided on the Section 508 Evaluation Template is considered a self-representation unless expressly affirmed otherwise. Even so , HHS uses this form to complete required Market Research associated with the agency complying with Section 508 and may use the form to eliminate this product compared to other more accessible products that meet the HHS business needs.

* Please Note: Any WEB application being purchased by HHS also requires the Vendor to complete Section 1194.21 of the Section 508 Evaluation Template in addition to Sections 1194.22, 1194.31, and 1194.41.

  • HHS reserves the right to reject a PAT and corresponding proposal/offering if the answers do not address the standards. HHS needs the PAT to address the standards in order to evaluate it for conformance.
  • Please answer honestly and be prepared to work with HHS to improve accessibility for your product if it is purchased.
  • Submission of this documentation constitutes a warrant on behalf of the vendor of the conformance of their product. Remediation of a product or service to the specified conformance shall be the responsibility of the vendor.