Three Easy Steps Toward Improving Your VPAT ACR Results


Understanding what a VPAT ACR is requires some knowledge about what the term “VPAT” refers to, because it is this tool that underpins the VPAT ACR.

“VPAT” is an abbreviation for “Voluntary Product Accessibility Template.” This is a document template developed by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) in collaboration with the General Services Administration (GSA) to assist suppliers of information and communication technology (ICT) products and services in providing information on how their products or services conform to the established accessibility standards and guidelines for ICT in a consistent fashion and format.

The VPAT contains technical specifications and criteria for accessible ICT for public procurement in various jurisdictions. These specifications and criteria serve as the foundation for VPAT testing of a specific ICT product or service. They assist in obtaining data and information about a product’s or service’s compliance for use in filling out the VPAT document and generating a VPAT accessibility conformance report (ACR).

The VPAT ACR of an ICT product or service is thus a VPAT document that is filled out using data and information obtained from a thorough VPAT audit of the product or service based on the accessibility specifications and criteria laid out in the relevant edition of the used VPAT form.

What Is The Purpose Of A VPAT ACR?

A VPAT ACR, also known as a VPAT report, is designed to assist buyers of an ICT product or service in making informed decisions before purchasing the product or service.

Specifically, the ACR assists buyers of the product or service in understanding the level of accessibility compliance associated with the product or service, comparing the compliance of similar products or services, selecting the product or service that best meets the accessibility standards as well as the functional and legal requirements put in place by the buyer, and planning for equally effective access when an accessible product or service is not available.

For an ICT vendor or manufacturer, a good VPAT ACR heralds results, which include the following:

  • Opening up the business prospects for working with accessibility-conscious organizations like the U.S. federal government, its departments, and its agencies, as well as the organizations that receive funding from the federal government.
  • Identifying the accessibility issues in a product or service so as to prioritize features to focus on at different times during the product or service development processes.
  • Expanding the market pool, particularly by making products and services accessible to the disability market, which increases revenue and profits.
  • Enhanced access to bespoke compliance and product development services.

Three Easy Steps To Help You Improve Your VPAT ACR Results

You can improve your VPAT ACR results as enunciated above by adhering to the following three basic steps:

  1. Undertaking A Proper VPAT Compliance Baseline

You will improve the results associated with your VPAT ACR by completing the VPAT audit for your product or service with hindsight on the scope dictated by your needs as provided by a determination of compliance and enough baseline data to help create a VPAT ACR that is targeted to achieving the results you want.

  1. Ensuring The Accuracy And Completeness Of The VPAT ACR

It is your responsibility to ensure that the data and information provided in your VPAT ACR are correct and understandable. This helps to enhance the report’s outcomes among buyers of your products and services.

Identify the sections of the technical standards that apply to your product or service to ensure the accuracy of your VPAT ACR. Also, examine each relevant section of the VPAT form to determine whether your product meets the specific requirements; choose the level of conformance that best describes your product or service; explain in detail how your product or service meets or fails to meet the applicable standard; return to the summary table and document the overall level of compliance in each section; fill out every line and column in the table section; and include detailed explanations in the remarks and evaluation columns to back up your answers.

  1. Ensuring Your VPAT ACR Is Publicly Accessible

You will not get the desired results from your VPAT ACR unless you make the report publicly available for prospective buyers of your product or service to review. You can post the ACR on your website or provide links so that anyone who is interested can easily access it.

Need Help To Improve Your VPAT ACR’s Results?

Working with an accessibility expert like ADACP to conduct the VPAT audit that underpins the ACR and fill out the VPAT for you, as shown in this VPAT example, is the most reliable way of achieving the aforementioned three steps toward improving your VPAT ACR results. You can also work confidently with us to update your VPAT ACR whenever your product or service is updated, as this improves the results you get from your VPAT ACR.

Call Our VPAT Consultant Today to discuss how we can assist you in improving the outcomes of your ICT products’ or services’ VPAT ACRs. We will provide you with free consultations!