GSA Government-wide Section 508 Accessibility Program

What if the VPAT states that the product is not 100% Section 508 conformant?

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 13:58 -- BuyAccessible Team

Recently we received this question,
"We are interested in a buying a product and that product has a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT).
The VPAT shows that it is not 100% compliant. Can we craft the GPAT
for that product to mandate 508 even though it has a VPAT or do we look elsewhere for another product"

Our answer is:

  1. You should validate information contained in the VPAT. If the VPAT doesn’t include all of your Section 508 requirements (e.g. ignores certain technical requirements and/or functional performance criteria) send the vendor a GPAT to be completed. It is your Section 508 requirements that the product should meet and not what the vendor thinks are your requirements.
  2. If a product is not 100% conformant to your Section 508 requirements, you should look elsewhere for another product.
  3. However, Section 508 is one requirement. Cost and technical features are others. You should always choose the product that “best fits” your total requirements. This could mean acquiring a product that is not 100% conformant to your Section 508 requirements.
  4. In all cases, your Section 508 due diligence should be documented in the contract file.