Why Is VPAT Testing Important To Your Business?

The US law mandates that organizations that are instrumental in the development of technology products which are sold to the federal government must ensure barrier-free access to their offerings.

The technology products that must abide by the accessibility laws are websites, electronic content, mobile apps, along with software and hardware products. If you deal in any of such products, it is important to attain VPAT security.

VPAT stands for Voluntary Product Accessibility Template, which is used by organizations to assess their offerings in accordance with the law. VPAT testing makes your product compliant with the accessibility guidelines mentioned in section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Further, the template is also used to test the products against WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) which are part of the Americans With Disabilities (ADA) Act.

Is VPAT Necessary For Everyone?

A VPAT statement is voluntary; it is a self-disclosure procedure to assess the offerings. Federal agencies or companies that receive funding from the federal government only work with vendors who have their accessibility levels disclosed.

However, experts suggest that self-evaluation is important for every business, whether or not their products are sold or leased to the federal government.

The Information and Technology Industry (ITI) Council created the VPAT to help the panel of government buyers. Although, the evaluation document is useful for every business organization, regardless of their client base. The next section covers the business benefits of accessing your technology products for the VPAT declaration.

What Are The Business Benefits Of Filling Out The VPAT Template?

  1. You get a competitive edge over others: The level of competition in the marketplace is intense. Buyers get plenty of choices when it comes to technology products. VPAT declarations make you a preferred supplier as your vendors and buyers will think that your products are accessible and have more potential than others.
  2. VPAT enhances your brand reputation: A VPAT statement directly benefits your brand credibility. When your potential buyers are aware that your website is accessible, the text content has alternatives, and the disabled users can also use the offerings easily, it improves your brand’s credibility levels. Knowing that the products are designed by keeping the disabilities in mind, your brand gets recognition at a vast level and becomes the favourite of a large segment of the target audience.
  3. Improved products and services mean increased profits

During the VPAT audit, the experts can help you find out problem areas in your products and offerings. Rather than thinking of VPAT merely as a pass/fail document, you can leverage this opportunity to find areas of improvement.

When you are constantly finding and remediating problem areas, your products and offerings become immensely popular among disabled users. As a result, you win bids, reach your sales target and increase your profits. 

How To Conduct VPAT Testing?

To fill out the VPAT document, you need to first conduct an accessibility audit of your technology products. There are certain automated VPAT testing tools that can be used to run a quick scan of all the text and images. However, an in-depth examination of the navigation, screen readers and screen magnifiers needs a thorough manual audit.

Relying on automated scans can be timesaving but the results are not accurate and can get you in trouble with the very government entity or procurement department you are trying to impress! It is important to be totally honest and accurate in self-evaluation. To fill out the VPAT with utmost integrity, your in-house team must have strong domain knowledge.

Instead of filling out a false VPAT, it is best to hire audit experts and accessibility specialists. Having an expert by your side is helpful in attaining the business benefits of VPAT that are discussed in this post.  Visit the link given below to book a complimentary VPAT accessibility consultation with the industry leaders.