What are the Distinctions Between a VPAT and Accessibility Statement?

  • 14.10.2022
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    Section 508 VPAT

    As long as you are a vendor or buyer of information communication technology (ICT) products or services, you will come into contact with the phrase “VPAT” frequently. The term refers to a template designated as a “Voluntary Product Accessibility Template,” which contains details about how an ICT product or service complies with the Revised Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

    Federal government organizations are required by Section 508 to provide people with disabilities with an equal level of access to information as everyone else. In order to assist federal government officials in conducting market research on ICT products and services for procurement, the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) collaborated with General Administration Services, the federal government’s central procurement office, to create the VPAT document.

    What is a VPAT?

    As a result, the VPAT document is a common method for a business to inform both the federal government officials who are deciding on VPAT accessibility during the procurement of ICT products and services in accordance with Section 508, as well as the public, about the accessibility of its ICT products.

    VPAT compliance is a prerequisite for all ICT products and services procured by the federal government, its agencies, and federally funded organizations. It entails assigning a member of your staff or contacting a third party who is knowledgeable about Section 508 and the other VPAT provisions to conduct a VPAT assessment of your ICT product in order to identify any potential obstacles to its usage by people with disabilities.

    The VPAT process is complicated. Let us handle it for you.

      A VPAT and an Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR)

      Findings from a VPAT assessment are documented in the VPAT document, which, once filled out, is referred to as the Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR).

      The difference between the VPAT document and the ACR is that the latter is the VPAT document that has already been filled up with data and information regarding the accessibility of an ICT product or service, whilst the former is the document that is not filled out. Here is a VPAT example, which the wider procurement world refers to as an ACR when it is completed.

      What is an accessibility statement?

      To better serve the sizable market of persons with disabilities, several forward-thinking companies have created an accessibility statement. An accessibility statement is a piece of publicly available information that outlines a company’s internal organizational policies, accessibility goals, and prior successes in serving and cooperating with people with disabilities.

      The need for an accessibility statement stems from the fact that customers with disabilities may not be aware of the work your business is making behind the scenes to provide accessibility.

      An accessibility statement may impress people with disabilities if it shows how an organization goes above and beyond the law. Additionally, it offers a crucial service that might draw in repeat business from the market comprised of people with disabilities.

      Difference between a VPAT and an accessibility statement

      It is helpful to have a look at a VPAT example and an example of an accessibility statement to understand how the two differ from each other. Both are essential for your business if you want to demonstrate your commitment to accessibility to federal government procurement officials and people with disabilities. The following features differentiate the two accessibility declarations:

      Actions taken versus intentions about accessibility

      An accessibility statement is entirely distinct from a VPAT. In contrast to a VPAT, which says, “We already worked on our ICT product or service to enable it to comply with Section 508 or any other relevant law,” an accessibility statement says, “We’re striving to improve the accessibility of our ICT product or service.”

      Listing in the Vendor Accessibility Resource Center versus supplying products for use by federal employees

      Legal compliance might involve the publication of an accessibility statement. Additionally, w hen requesting to be listed in the Vendor Accessible Resource Center of the federal government, businesses frequently include a link to their online accessibility statement proving their familiarity with and adherence to Section 508. However, your ICT product or service must have a VPAT ACR in order to take part in government procurement processes.


      An accessibility statement often includes the steps that a company must take to enable accessibility, as well as information about their conformance level, compatibility with browsers and assistive technology (for websites), statement creation or update date, and feedback address.

      In contrast, a VPAT includes the following information about the product: name, description, report date, contact details, accessibility updates and fixes, and a report pertaining to the applicable VPAT version, i.e., VPAT 508 (Revised Section 508 Standards), VPAT WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), VPAT EU (European Union), and VPAT INT (International).


      An accessibility statement demonstrates compliance with anti-discrimination laws that you might be required to follow, demonstrates commitment to accessibility and social responsibility, informs customers about the accessibility of your product or services, and helps users of your product or service understand the degree of accessibility across your product or service.

      A VPAT can be thought of as an accessibility metric. It helps ICT product and service businesses determine the degree to which their offerings adhere to recognized accessibility requirements. It helps businesses in identifying accessibility issues and problems with their product or service so that they may take steps to resolve them. It serves as a benchmark for making ICT products and services accessible, and businesses can use it as motivation to develop accessible products and services.

      Additionally, a VPAT boosts sales, helps in reviving corporate revenue, and assists consumers in making informed judgments regarding the purchase of an ICT product or service. Because the buyer may get all the accessibility information on a product or service through the VPAT ACR rather than reading from business brochures, VPATs assist in streamlining the procurement process.

      VPATs also assist customers in comparing the compliance of related products and services to determine which ones best satisfy their intended accessibility standards as well as organizational functional and legal requirements.

      Need help with VPAT compliance and accessibility statements?

      Our VPAT-specific team at ADA Compliance Pros is prepared to assist you with your VPAT accessibility and accessibility statement requirements. The team can help you fill out a thorough and understandable VPAT ACR that guarantees a smooth procurement of your ICT products or services because they have the necessary technical expertise for VPAT compliance and Section 508 accessibility.

      We provide you with fully accurate, objective, and unbiased VPAT ACRs as well as routine monitoring and reassessments to make sure you retain VPAT accessibility with new releases of your ICT products and services.

      Call us at (626) 486-2201 for additional information on how we may assist you with maintaining VPAT compliance, or send us a message by clicking here.