Know the Instructions to Vendors for Section 508 VPAT

4 min read

Who are vendors for purposes of Section 508 VPAT?

Within the scope of Section 508 accessibility, a vendor is any business that manufactures, develops, designs, produces, educates, resells, or offers information and communication technology (ICT) products or services to federal organizations and federally funded entities.





This includes companies that manufacture electronic components, create websites, or offer the raw materials necessary to create any ICT equipment utilized by federal organizations or entities that receive federal funding. It also covers companies that offer managed services, cloud services, and software.


For any ICT vendor to do business with federal organizations, they must demonstrate that the products or services they are offering are accessible and meet the established compliance criteria as outlined in the revised Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.


The Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT), created in 2001 by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) and the General Services Administration (GSA), was designed to assist vendors in meeting Section 508 VPAT accessibility criteria.


ICT vendors can more easily document how their goods and services adhere to the established VPAT Section 508 compliance standards via the VPAT Section 508 document’s standard reporting format. Additionally, the template makes it simpler for procurement departments to perform early evaluations of the compliance of ICT products or services with the 508 accessibility requirements.


Instructions to vendors with regard to VPAT Section 508 compliance

If you are a VPAT Section 508 vendor, ensure you arm yourself with the following instructions so as to be assured of being successful in your Section 508 VPAT compliance pursuits:


  1. Demonstrate up-to-date VPAT 508 accessibility for your products or services

Opportunities to supply ICT products or services will most likely emerge at any time of the year. It is therefore instructive for every Section 508 VPAT vendor to ensure that his or her products or services are regularly audited and provided with an up-to-date VPAT Section 508 compliance certification.


  1. Have a brief VPAT Section 508 compliance statement accessible

Procurement departments usually undertake research to establish the most accessible ICT products or services to procure. It is therefore instructive to provide a brief VPAT Section 508 accessibility statement for your ICT product or service so that when market research is undertaken, your product or service is considered alongside others.


  1. Ensure you take care of the concerns in your VPAT 508’s functional criteria

Deal with the issues identified during the 508 VPAT audit of your product or service and provided in the functional criteria section of your completed VPAT. For example, if your product or service requires the provision of suitable assistive technology, put in place measures to provide the same.


Also identify any accessibility concepts you have that require extra ICT elements in addition to those specified in the VPAT Section 508 compliance requirements and provide for them.


  1. Enhance your understanding of Section 508 VPAT accessibility

You will undoubtedly answer numerous requests for bids as an ICT vendor to deliver ICT goods or services. Additionally, you will receive requests for information that call for thoughtful responses. In order to consistently show that you understand the VPAT 508 accessibility standards and procedures, it is helpful if you become fluent in the Section 508 VPAT accessible language.


You should also learn to articulate how your product or service adheres to the VPAT section 508 compliance criteria outlined in the revised Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.




Need help with more instructions to vendors for Section 508 VPAT?

Get more instructions to vendors about Section 508 VPAT compliance or get assistance on any Section 508 accessibility and bidding by talking to a Section 508 VPAT consultant at (626) 486-2201 and arranging a free consultation and a quick Section 508 VPAT certification quote.

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