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Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPATĀ®)

Using a VPAT® to purchase accessible software, hardware, and electronic content:

In accordance with section IIIB of Sinclair's Web Accessibility Policy, vendors must submit a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template® (VPAT) to the Purchasing department before Purchasing will approve software, licenses, or contracts for said goods related to this policy.

If a vendor is not able to provide an accessible product or services supporting making their goods accessible then another vendor must be found or Sinclair's supporting internal departments must have adequate access from the vendor to be able to provide accessibility support. If it is technologically not possible for the vendor or Sinclair's internal departments to provide accessibility support then justification and an exception must be approved.

Sinclair employees initiating a purchase of software, hardware, or electronic content must complete and send the 4 questions below to Purchasing, to help determine if a VPAT® is required.

If a VPAT is required, then the initator must get a completed VPAT from the vendor and send it to the Web Accessibility Coordinator and Purchasing.

What is a VPAT®?

A Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT®) is a document that explains how information and communication technology (ICT) products such as software, hardware, electronic content, and support documentation meet (conform to) the Revised 508 Standards for IT accessibility. VPATs® help Sinclair to assess ICT for accessibility when doing market research and evaluating proposals.

Download the VPAT® Template

Make sure to use the 508 version. VPAT® was created by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI).

When must a VPAT® be submitted?

Sinclair Community College is strongly committed to ensuring equal access and equal opportunities to all its constituencies. In accordance with Sinclair's Web Accessibility Policyvendors must submit a VPAT® with their proposals to Sinclair's Purchasing office for consideration of purchasing applicable services connected to web sites, online content, web applications, software or licenses to ensure compliance with applicable state and federal regulations, including, but not limited to: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), Web Accessibility Initiative – Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite (WAI-ARIA), as amended.

Questions Sinclair Purchasing Initiator Completes

Sinclair administration, employees, staff, and faculty need to answer the below questions and send them with their requisition or purchase order to the Purchasing office to review for approval of services connected to web sites, online content, web applications, software or licenses.

1) Will the software be publicly used and have high traffic? (If yes, then needs VPAT)
  • If no, who will be using the software? What number of people will be using it? (Possibly yes, if audience might include those with disabilities)
    - No VPAT is needed if the software is for archival of records.
    - No VPAT is needed if the services the software provides can also be completed in an accessible format elsewhere.
    - No VPAT is needed if it will require extraordinary measures or no accessible equivalent exists, however, accessible alternatives must be provided.

2) Is the software part of the student cycle? (If yes, then needs VPAT)
  • Is the software required to complete a course? (If yes, then needs VPAT) 
    - No VPAT is needed if it is supplemental course material.
    - No VPAT is needed if it's required for the course but there is an accessible alternative already available. 

  • Is the software required to complete a mandatory student process? (If yes, then needs VPAT)
    - No VPAT is needed if there's an alternative accessible way to complete the process.

3) Is the software essential for student success? (If yes, then needs VPAT) 
4) Does the software have a login internal and high traffic? (If yes, then needs VPAT)
  • If no, who will be using the software? What number of people will be using it? (Possibly yes, if audience might include those with disabilities)
    - No VPAT is needed if the software is for an individual or private audience.
    - No VPAT is needed if there's an accessible alternative.

How do I use the VPAT?

The VPAT® should be completed by the vendor developers who are knowledgeable in answering the technical questions. Included with the VPAT® template are instructions for how to complete it.

Addendum for Accessibility

In some cases, vendors sending proposals to Sinclair will be asked to sign an addendum for website accessibility. This is at the discretion of Sinclair's Purchasing office and Sinclair's legal counsel. Download the Website Accessibility - Vendor Contract Addendum to be signed by the vendor and submitted to Purchasing as part of the approval process.