Why Is VPAT Testing Important To Your Business?
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VPAT testing is the self-disclosure by a business of its information communication technology (ICT) product’s conformity to the U.S. Section 508 Standards using the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT). The Section 508 Standards are part of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and address electronic and information technology access.
VPAT testing does not comprise of a pass or fail outcome. Rather, it is a self-evaluation process that significantly facilitates businesses in demonstrating their adherence to Section 508 Standards regarding the accessibility of their ICT products and services to people with disabilities. It is particularly beneficial to federal government buyers who are required by Section 508 to only procure goods and services that comply with the law.
According to the law, businesses who create technological goods and services for sale or lease to the federal government and its agencies must take responsibility for making sure that everyone who may use the products, including people with disabilities, find them equitably accessible.
This means that if you have a website, any electronic content, ICT hardware, a mobile app, or any software solution that you would like to sell or lease to the federal government and/or any of its agencies, you must make sure that it goes through a VPAT audit to produce the necessary data for the creation of a VPAT for the product or service.
Do you have a VPAT for each of your business’s ICT products or services? If not, consider it urgent to conduct VPAT assessments for the products or services. Some of the reasons for this advice are as follows:
Your potential clients will better comprehend the accessibility characteristics of your ICT product or service due to the support of VPAT testing and the preparation of an accurate VPAT document.
Customers can decide whether your product or service is the best fit for their needs after reading the brief and clear responses you provide to queries about your ICT product in the VPAT document.
By making the data and information gathered through the VPAT testing available, you are also leveling the playing field for all enterprises applying for contracts to provide ICT products and/or services to the federal government and its agencies. This is because your efforts will enable customers to make better decisions regarding universally accessible ICT products.
In order to do VPAT testing, a full manual accessibility VPAT audit must be performed, which detects and ranks the defects in an ICT product or service in accordance with Section 508 Standards. The Section 508 Standards mandate that the federal government and its agencies do research to evaluate the level of Section 508 compliance of all competing items before finalizing procurements.
VPAT audits not only guarantee that the VPAT report created for the individual ICT goods accurately reflects the existing level of accessibility compliance, but they also offer information on the aspects of the products that may be improved to increase their accessibility. Businesses can improve the quality of their ICT products and the user experience by addressing any discovered mistakes or deficiencies. In turn, this distinguishes the business’ products from those of their competitors.
Federal government procurement teams are required to investigate the level of Section 508 compliance of all competing ICT products on the basis of Section 508 Standards. Because the standards make the procurement process more accessible, it is your legal responsibility as a business to ensure sure that your ICT product has a VPAT report that accurately and concisely conveys the product’s level of compliance.
You will increase your chances of winning bids to sell or lease your ICT products to the federal government and its agencies by fulfilling your legal responsibility of developing and ensuring access to an accurate VPAT document.
VPAT testing distinguishes you from your rivals who haven’t taken a comparable step and shows your commitment to accessibility. Additionally, because customers will already be aware of the accessibility aspects of your ICT product, it helps you avoid any potential delays or obstacles during the consideration of your ICT product by procurement teams.
Everyone wants to conduct business with a company or vendor that they can trust and who exhibits acceptable levels of social responsibility. This is particularly the case with the federal government agencies that must ensure compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and are answerable to the taxpayers.
The credibility of your company is greatly increased when you create and maintain VPATs for your ICT products that are in line with the interests of the taxpayers. In reality, VPAT compliance shows that you value accessibility and are prepared to go above and beyond to ensure the optimal user experience for all of your ICT products and services. As a result, your company’s brand gains credibility and trust, which may open up new business options for the business.
A business’s ICT product sales are boosted through VPAT testing. That in turn, enhanced the business’s overall revenues. A smart business can innovatively enter the sizable market of people with disabilities simply through devoted VPAT testing and making efforts to enhance the accessibility of its products.
In the US alone, people with disabilities control approximately $645 billion in discretionary income. Making a business’s ICT products VPAT compliant would allow the business access to this sizable market, that could have a significant impact on the business’s revenues and profits.
Numerous situations could develop and need a company to defend itself in court with regard to the use of its ICT products. When that occurs, the business needs sufficient paperwork to back up its defense.
The VPAT report for a product might assist a business in defending itself against claims that it violated accessibility standards. In circumstances like this, qualified VPAT testing professionals often help their clientele by guiding them through the background concerns of the relevant litigation and advising them on the best course of action.
Call us at (626) 486-2201 for more information or help on conducting VPAT testing for your ICT product right away. You may also use this link to contact our sales team, who are always available to answer your questions and are even ready to set up a meeting with you to discuss your Section 508 VPAT testing needs.