Product Accessibility Documentation for Vendors

The University of Alabama works with numerous technology vendors and many of them provide documentation of product accessibility status, often through a VPAT (voluntary product accessibility template) and information related to UA’s web content accessibility guidelines, which follow the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, Level 2.0 AA (includes A).

The VPAT checklist, created by the Information Technology Industry Council, mirrors the US Federal Government’s technology accessibility requirements. Vendors indicate to what degree their product complies with each accessibility criterion. More information about the VPAT is available from the Information Technology Industry Council’s Accessibility page.

WCAG 2.0 AA success criteria are followed by a growing number of higher education institutions and are the guidelines the University of Alabama is implementing to help make accessible its web resources.

Questions to ask vendors

While many vendors have accessibility documentation, it can also help to ask for more information.  Vendor responses to the following questions can help reveal the depth and breadth of a vendor’s commitment to inclusive design and accessibility.

  • Can users perform all functions without a mouse?
  • Has the tool, product, or site been tested using assistive technologies?
  • If so, which assistive technology tools?  What methods were used?  What were the findings? Who did the testing?
  • If the product supports audio, does it support captions?
  • If the product produces output, is the output accessible?
  • What other accessibility documentation is available?
  • What are common accessibility-related issues with the products?

VPATs and other information submitted to The University of Alabama

Message to vendors

Like many higher education institutions, the University of Alabama is committed to ensuring that our facilities and the information, services, courses, and technology that we provide are inclusive and accessible in accordance with applicable law.  Because our institution uses your products or services, it is important to make sure we have documentation regarding how you address accessibility. Please send the information requested below, as well as any other relevant information to aid us in this effort.  These resources will be kept on file for use at The University of Alabama and will need to be updated when the product changes. The responses will be used to aid UA in evaluating products and services and may be added to a publicly available repository of accessibility information.

  • A copy of or link to the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template for your product(s), particularly the version or release relevant to the University of Alabama. Information about the VPAT and a template for its completion are available from the Information Technology Industry Council’s Accessibility page.