How VPAT Consultants Help You Win More Business
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The importance of a VPAT, which stands for “voluntary product accessibility template,” to any business or organization dealing with information and communication technology (ICT) products or services cannot be overstated. The VPAT templateis increasingly being used by businesses and organizations to explain how their ICT products and services, like software, electronic content, support documentation, and digital platforms, among others, conform to the established standards for ICT accessibility.
Properly filled-out VPATs help customers and buyers make informed preliminary assessments regarding the availability of commercial ICT products and services with features that support the accessibility they require for their services to be accessed by all people, including people with disabilities.
For ICT businesses focused on selling their products and services to the U.S. federal government, its departments, and its agencies, don’t ever dream of getting their business without a duly completed VPAT. That is because VPAT certification is their first check before proceeding with other prerequisites for awarding a business contract.
While VPAT certification’s primary purpose is to make ICT accessible for all people, including people with disabilities, many businesses or organizations embrace it to help them grow their market penetration, revenues, or operational reach, respectively.
For businesses, the realization that the disability market controls over $13 trillion in disposable income is significantly inspiring their quest for VPAT accessibility. This may appear somehow selfish, but as a VPAT consultant committed to promoting viable pathways toward enhanced accessibility of ICT products and services for people with disabilities, ADACP encourages businesses to research the business case for VPAT compliance and take reasonable action.
VPAT compliance is good for business. Businesses that haven’t seized up VPAT accessibility don’t realize that it can unlock a huge and often overlooked market comprised of people with disabilities, besides reducing the possibility of legal risks, lowering operational costs, and boosting the value of their brands. Nonetheless, it is recommended that businesses not over-focus on a single aspect of return on investment when considering making their ICT products and services available to everyone.
Doing that will make them miss out on some worthwhile benefits resulting from VPAT compliance components like VPAT testing that make businesses detect flaws in their products and services so that they can improve them as part of their product or service improvement agenda.
Professional VPAT testing not only helps businesses and organizations streamline the quality of their products or services but also ensures that the VPAT report developed from the findings of the assessment is credible, trustworthy, and able to help the business secure more contracts.
No wonder: a recent sampled survey of the ICT businesses that have been successful in their bids for businesses using their VPAT certification documents established that 99.9% had been developed by well-known VPAT consultancy agencies.
The majority of the information asked for in a VPAT is technical in nature and complex enough for people without VPAT accessibility experience to effectively articulate if they opt to do VPAT certification for ICT products and services.
VPAT testing and filling out the VPAT form require specific knowledge of accessibility as well as an apt understanding of each provision in the laws and policies underpinning the accepted VPAT accessibility standards and guidelines.
Predictably, vendor staff will not be sufficiently acquainted with the requisite VPAT accessibility background information as well as the changes that have been made to VPAT compliance over time to help them correctly fill out the VPAT in a way that inspires buyers to buy the associated product or service. It is also worth noting, an increasing number of purchasing departments, especially in the Federal Government, reject any VPAT that has been filled out internally from a company seeking to apply for a contract.
Because of the history of many VPAT documents filled out in-house by ICT product or service vendors being found to contain lies about the true accessibility of the products or services, buyers are increasingly seeking to know the VPAT consultant who presided over the VPAT certification for a product or service. This helps them to ascertain the credibility of the information provided in the VPAT report prior to making the purchase decision.
When you hire an experienced VPAT consultant like ADACP to help you with your VPAT certification, you’ll be sure of winning more businesses because the consultants will do the following:
A VPAT consultant will not make assumptions about your VPAT certification. They will ensure that your accessibility conformance reports (ACRs) do not contain the errors that cause many VPAT reports to be rejected by ICT buyers due to their extensive knowledge of existing accessibility laws and policies as well as experience with what different buyers look for in successful VPAT reports.
VPAT reports that are often unsuccessful in business bids have been found to frequently be incorrect because the people filling in the documents lack an understanding of accessibility and the applicable laws and policies.
If you want to win more businesses but don’t have an in-house accessibility expert who is knowledgeable in Section 508, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), and the European Union (EU) EN 301 549 accessibility standards for publicly accessible ICT, hire a VPAT consultant who can help you conduct VPAT testing for your product or service as well as complete the VPAT form for you.
Experienced VPAT consultants have worked on many VPAT reports that have helped businesses win contracts. This means that they understand what works and what doesn’t work for different kinds of buyers.
Based on that understanding, they are able to undertake conscious VPAT testing for your product or service with the hindsight of getting accurate information to fill in the VPAT document to depict the accessibility of the entire product or service, including its features and functionalities.
A VPAT consultant understands that the VPAT report isn’t a sales tool, nor is it a marketing brochure. He or she appreciates that the information provided in a VPAT report is as vital as providing the technical specification of a product or service and, hence, must be objective and unbiased.
A VPAT report completed by a VPAT consultant is held in high regard because, when completing the document, the consultant is conscious of the importance of maintaining his or her credibility in the VPAT vendor space.
No VPAT consultant wants to be associated with VPAT certification that resulted in an untrustworthy ACR. As they work to maintain their reputation, VPAT consultants produce high-quality VPAT reports that secure increased business for their clients.
When you hire a VPAT consultant to develop a VPAT report for you, they don’t just see the report as the ultimate outcome of the consultancy. Rather, they go the extra mile to see to it that what is required to enable a company to secure a given business is considered during the VPAT certification process.
At ADACP, for example, we take time to research the procurement processes that an organization or entity where a company wants to submit a VPAT report has. Helping the company win business becomes the goal of the consulting firm. This means that besides doing a comprehensive review of the targeted product or service to assess the accessibility of all its features and functionalities, we go the extra mile to help the product or service improvement teams in the companies we work with make changes to the product or service and make it accessible before its release to the market.
We also work in consultation with management teams to provide comprehensive time-bound plans for dealing with the inaccessible features or functionalities of a product or service that cannot be addressed in the short-term. We also walk alongside businesses to ensure the plans they put in place to ensure the accessibility of inaccessible features are effectively implemented.
Get a Dedicated VPAT Consultant to help you with your VPAT certification by calling (626) 486-2201 to schedule an appointment and discuss your needs. Our consultations are always free!