Accessibility Statement or Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT): Which Do You Need?
Increasingly, site owners add the links to the Statement of Accessibility and Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) in their site's footer alongside other important information. Do you know
- What an Accessibility Statement and VPAT are?
- Whether your site needs these documents?
- What the difference is between a Statement of Accessibility and a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)?
If you knew all the answers to these questions, then you probably wouldn't be reading this blog.
Our web development team puts everything in its place and explains the Statement of Accessibility, the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT), and the difference between them.
What is an Accessibility Statement?
A Statement of Accessibility is a document or page on your site. It contains information on how you are working to make your site accessible to users with disabilities and what you have already done. If a Statement of Accessibility is on the site, it means that it is accessible to users with disabilities.
In this document, you describe what has already been done and what else you want to do to improve the accessibility of your site for all users on the Internet, especially for people with various disabilities.
Plus, a Statement of Accessibility must contain information on how to contact you. This is so a disabled visitor can contact you and report the problem.
An accessibility statement certifies that your site follows anti-discrimination laws and does not violate laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, etc.
Why is an Accessibility Statement Important?
Why do websites need an accessibility statement? Placing Accessibility Statements on your site shows that you are respectful of users with various disabilities and comply with your country's anti-discrimination laws.
Add Accessibility statements to various parts of your site such as footer, header, sidebar. Everyone who needs it should find it easy.
What to include in an accessibility statement:
- Measures to support accessibility
- Conformance status
- Compatibility with browsers and assistive technology
- Date when they were created or updated
- Feedback address
What is a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)?
A Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) is also a document or a separate page on your site that contains information on how your site complies with each technical requirement of accessibility standards.
In this document, you demonstrate, point by point, what accessibility requirements your site currently meets.
Also, a VPAT is required if you will be working with the federal government in any capacity.
Why is a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) Important?
The VPAT on your site is an indicator that you are aware of potential disability issues and that your site is available to everyone, regardless of their disabilities. In this document, you are describing in more technical terms what you have already done to create an accessible site according to the Section 508 Standards.
Like the Accessibility Statement, the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template should be posted in a prominent place on your website. The VPAT must show whether your site meets each of the Section 508 Standards requirements.
What to include in a VPAT?
- Name of Product
- Product Description
- Report Date
- Contact Information
- WCAG 2.1 Report
- Product Accessibility Improvements and Fixes
VPAT vs. Statement of Accessibility
First of all, we would like to give you accessibility statements and voluntary product accessibility template examples. We think this will help you to see the difference between an Accessibility Statement and a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template.
Who Should Publish an Accessibility Statement and Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)?
Web Accessibility Policy vs. Statement are completely different things.
- The Statement of Accessibility says “we are working to improve the accessibility of our site.”
- A VPAT says “we already did this in order for our site to comply with Section 508 or any other government law.”
Both the Accessibility Statement and the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) are important for your site. Your business needs them if you want to create an accessible website and partner with the federal government. However, these are serious documents, and creating them requires a detailed accessibility audit of the site. Contact the website development company to create and add an Accessibility Statement and (VPAT) to your website.