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Accessibility and SLS

covers what SUNY Library Services is doing to address accessibility both internally and for SUNY

Best Practices for Retrieving a VPAT®

Search:

  • Check the SUNY Library Vendor Accessibility Repository to see if a current VPAT® has been uploaded
  • Check online to see if the vendor provides access to their current VPAT® on their company webpages
  • Avoid using versions of the VPAT® stored on non-vendor sites like library accessibility pages or other repositories because there is no guarantee that this content is current
  • Check the date of the VPAT® and if it's more than a year old, contact the vendor to see if they have a more current version. Most sites will provide either a general customer service email, or accessibility-specific contact information

Vendor email

Vendor Contact Template Examples:

Dear [______],

I am writing to request a copy of the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) for [NAME OF PRODUCT/PLATFORM]. As you may know, VPATs provide documentation about the ways that an information and communication technology conforms or does not conform with the requirements of U.S. Revised Section 508, European EN 301 549, and/or WCAG standards. SUNY is committed to providing equitable access to individuals with disabilities and, as such, relies on VPATs in making purchasing and subscription decisions. Understanding your product’s level of conformance is vital for us to make procurement decisions related to your product.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about this matter.

Best,


Or this template provided by Broome Community College (edit bold content):

Dear VENDOR,

SUNY Broome Community College requires all electronic and information technology and online/web-based content to be fully accessible to all persons, including those with disabilities. A copy of the College’s Web Accessibility Policy, which includes vendor and purchasing requirements, is available at: xxxxx

College policy requires us to obtain a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) for any EIT or online/web-based products we are seeking to purchase. Please provide a copy of the VPAT for PRODUCT. We ask that VPATs have been created or updated within the last year and be on version 2.0 or higher of the VPAT template.

If you have not created a VPAT for this product, you can find more information on the VPAT as well as a template here: https://www.section508.gov/sell/vpat. Having a complete VPAT will assist us in assessing whether this purchase is able to move forward.

Thank you for your assistance.

Minimal VPAT Email

Dear [______],

Thank you for providing a copy of the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) for [NAME OF PRODUCT/PLATFORM]. I have reviewed the VPAT that you have provided and note that it provides minimal information. For example, [FILL IN EXAMPLE OF THE ISSUE WITH THE VPAT]. SUNY is committed to providing equitable access to individuals with disabilities and, as such, relies on VPATs in making purchasing and subscription decisions. In order to make these decisions, it is very important for us to have the information necessary to understand your product’s level of conformance. Could you please tell us when we can expect a more robust VPAT? You can find information about understanding and creating VPATs as well as a model VPAT on Deque’s website. [THIS COULD BE REPLACED OR SUPPLEMENTED WITH A VENDOR VPAT EXAMPLE.]

If you are not able to provide a more robust VPAT in a timely manner [OR REPLACE WITH SPECIFIC TIMELINE IN ADVANCE OF RENEWAL DEADLINE], please send us additional information about the accessibility of this product. For example, what are known supports for accessibility criteria? What are known accessibility gaps of the product and how are those addressed? Do you have clients who require accessibility? If so, can you provide a reference for someone who can speak with us about the accessibility of your product? What experiences does your team have coding for accessibilities? What standards are used (e.g., WCAGs)? Do you do testing with users with disabilities? Does your company have a roadmap for accessibility going forward? Have you tested mobile apps with accessibility in mind? Would your company indemnify the college against legal action related to accessibility?

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about this matter.

Best,