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Accessibility of Third Party Products & Services

There is not a perfectly accessible product, but that doesn't mean that NYSDSC can't ask questions, and use our New York State presence to provide information to companies about their products and acknowledge those products that have the accessibility features or conforms to technical specifications that makes it easier for a student with a disability to use their tools or that an end user may find useful.  When seeking out products and services the individuality of the person with a disability and their need is an essential part of the need for a particular accessibility feature.

Saving time for our institutions and working together NYSDSC can prepare and work with a repository to assist when purchasing products with  accessibility in mind.


Questions for Publishers

Questions for Vendors

VPATs

A VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template) is a document which indicates compliance with Section 508 accessibility guidelines. It was developed by the Information Technology Industry Council and the Government Services Administration to assist with federal procurement practices. For more information on the VPAT, see the U.S. Dept of State VPAT Policy & Information document.

What is a VPAT?

VPAT stands for Voluntary Product Accessibility Template. It is a form with details about how a product or service meets or does not meet the Section 508 standards. Many vendors fill out VPATs about their products and services and make it available to the public.

How do you find a VPAT?

There are two main ways to find a VPAT.

  1. Check the product website. If there is a VPAT it may be displayed on a page called Accessibility or Section 508. The link to this page is often found in the footer of the home page or sometimes in the Help resources.
  2. Call customer support or another applicable number and ask if there is a VPAT available.

How to Read a VPAT

The VPAT is usually in table form with three columns. One column lists the Section 508 criteria. Another column states whether the vendor believes that standard is applicable to their product. The last column should have explanations or further clarification on how it meets a standard or why it does not meet a standard. For more information on how to read a VPAT, review this article on Reading VPATS on Section508.gov. 

Federal & New York State Guidelines

New York State Information Technology Policy - Accessibility of Web-Based Information and Applications

 

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