The Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) ®, adapted by the University of Arizona from the Knowbility VPAT Validation Rubric, provides the opportunity for prospective vendors of information technology products to report on accessibility. All electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used in carrying out University programs and activities must be compliant with Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as amended, other relevant local, state, and federal laws, and related university policies.
The following set of rubrics were created to help guide procurement departments in assessing VPATs and other claims of conformance submitted by vendors. The University of Arizona has determined that they will be helpful to Procurement and Contracting Services' purchasing agents in seeking to meet legal requirements in purchasing accessible electronic information technology products and in ensuring that information and function is, in fact, equally available to people with disabilities who may use assistive technology (AT). By asking the following questions and verifying the results, the University can increase its confidence that products purchased will meet both legal mandates and the needs of the broadest possible set of customers, employees and citizens with disabilities.
Because VPATs are not always accurate, the Disability Resources' IT accessibility staff is available to verify VPAT conformance claims. Procurement agents can request consultation by contacting DRC at 520-626-9409 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The rubrics are meant to serve as a framework. Many of the requirements of Section 1194.22 for Web-Based purchases can be validated using standard operating system functions or free testing tools. For an overview of recommended tools, please visit Knowbility AIR support pages in the section titled "Helpful Browser Plug-ins and Tools" http://bit.ly/a11y_tools.
A more comprehensive list of tools is found on the W3C website http://www.w3.org/WAI/RC/tools/complete