All You Need To Know About Acquiring VPAT Certificates

VPAT Certificates

What Are VPAT Certificates?

A certificate is, as we all know, a document that serves as evidence or written testimony of something, such as status, qualifications, privileges, or the truth of something. Certificates attest to the completion of an educational course and are issued by either an institution or a certifying authority. However, in the context of VPAT accessibility, a certificate has a slightly different meaning.

A VPAT certificate is a term used to refer to the accessible findings of the ecosystem of processes and actions navigated toward ascertaining, documenting, and making accessible a product’s or service’s level of conformity with best practices in delivering accessibility as required by existing accessibility standards.

In essence, while the process of determining, documenting, and making accessible information regarding the accessibility of a product or service is usually referred to as VPAT certification, the finished VPAT accessibility conformance report (ACR) is not a certificate in the traditional sense.

If you provide a product or service that necessitates the completion of a VPAT ACR and a vendor or customer requests its VPAT certificate, keep in mind that they are most likely referring to a properly completed or filled-out VPAT form.

VPAT Certification Is Not A Pass Or Fail

As a result, VPAT certification is not meant to indicate a pass or fail result. Rather, it provides valuable insights regarding how well a product or service fulfills the VPAT accessibility requirements, allowing vendors and purchasers to have more educated discussions about a product or service during the procurement process.

Why You Need VPAT Certificates For All Your ICT Products Or Services

Whatever your reservations about using the term “VPAT certificate” when there is no actual certificate associated with VPAT accessibility nor an authority that performs VPAT certification, you should get used to it because you will encounter it frequently as you work to ensure deeper penetration of your information and communication technology (ICT) products and services.

VPAT certification acts as VPAT security, informing customers of your ICT products and services that you are aware of current accessibility requirements and have taken steps to guarantee that your product or service conforms to them.

Buyers such as the federal government and its agencies, as well as large corporations and educational institutions that value VPAT accessibility, will not consider your ICT products or services if they lack VPAT security, even if they are of higher quality than those of your competitors who have VPAT certificates developed using the appropriate accessibility VPATs.

What Is VPAT Accessibility?

Aside from VPAT certification, another term you’ll hear a lot when you will be selling your ICT products and services is “VPAT accessibility.”

The term refers to the conformity of ICT products and services to multiple defined accessibility requirements, namely the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), the Revised Section 508 Standards, and the EN 301 549 Standards of the European Union.

The first step in VPAT accessibility is selecting the appropriate accessibility VPAT form to utilize in documenting the conformance levels of your ICT products or services. The accessibility VPAT form is available in four editions: the WCAG version, the VPAT Section 508 edition, the VPAT EU (EN 301 549) edition, and the VPAT International (INT) edition.

The VPAT WCAG edition of the VPAT form is based on the WCAG standards and anchors the accessibility criteria and technical specifications for accessible websites and web-based tools.

The VPAT Section 508 edition of the VPAT form anchors the accessibility standards and technical specifications for ICT products and services that the federal government and its agencies can purchase. The Revised Section 508 Standards serve as its foundation. The VPAT Section 508 also includes the accessibility and technical specifications specified in the VPAT form’s WCAG edition.

The VPAT EU (EN 301 549) edition of the VPAT form serves as a foundation for accessibility requirements and technical specifications for ICT products and services available in Europe. It is based on the EN 301 549 accessibility criteria of the European Union. This edition of the VPAT form includes the accessibility and technical specifications specified in the VPAT WCAG edition.

All of the criteria and technical specifications found in the VPAT WCAG edition, the VPAT Section 508 edition, and the VPAT EU version are consolidated in the VPAT INT edition of the VPAT form. It is the perfect accessible VPAT for use in developing VPAT ACRs for ICT goods sold globally.

Following the selection of the appropriate edition of the VPAT form for use in your VPAT certification, the next stage in the VPAT accessibility pathway is VPAT testing of the ICT product or service. This is an important part of the VPAT certification process since it requires a detailed understanding of accessibility laws, regulations, and procurement officials’ expectations in various procurement jurisdictions. Having an experienced third-party VPAT testing specialist do the evaluation allows you to take advantage of their considerable knowledge in VPAT testing for various businesses.

After completing the VPAT testing, the following step is to accurately and thoroughly complete the appropriate accessibility VPAT. When purchasers inquire for a VPAT certificate, they usually demand a fully completed VPAT ACR! Having an expert third-party professional fill it out for you can help bring forth your VPAT certification aspirations.

Making the VPAT ACR or VPAT certificate available is the final stage in the VPAT accessibility pathway. This can be accomplished by placing the VPAT ACR on your website or making it available to anyone who requests it.

Need Help With Acquiring A VPAT Certificate For Your ICT Product?

You can learn how to develop your VPAT certificates from the duly completed VPAT forms created by VPAT accessibility experts.You could alternatively call (626) 486-2201 for third-party help in acquiring your VPAT certificate.

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