What is a VPAT? 

The Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT®) is a standard form for vendors to use to document how a given product provides accessibility support for persons with disabilities according to the Section 508 federal guidelines for accessibility. The VPAT template was designed by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC).

Why does CSU Channel Islands require a VPAT for procurements? 

CSU Channel Islands (CI) is required by CSU policy (see CSU Executive Order 1111) and state law to ensure that all information technology products procured for use by CI students and employees are compliant with Section 508 guidelines.  Our campus wants to partner with vendors that can demonstrate a good-faith effort in evaluating and building access into the product(s) they deliver to us, and the VPAT helps to document that good-faith effort. 

This seems like a lot of work. What's the benefit of completing a VPAT and spending time documenting the accessibility of a product? 

Each of the California State University (CSU) system's 23 campuses is required by state law and CSU policy to procure technology which is accessible and usable by all, including students and employees with disabilities. ​The VPAT is a standard way to document accessibility and is used by all 23 of our campuses for IT procurement.

Once a VPAT is completed for a given product for one campus, it can be used to support procurements by other campuses, as well as other government and public entities. In addition, creation and delivery of a VPAT demonstrates good-faith effort by vendor partners in actively evaluating and building access into the product(s) they deliver to us. For these reasons, creating a VPAT may also provide vendors with a competitive advantage in the marketplace for discerning customers who are concerned about product accessibility. 

If you're still not convinced, here are a few resources that make a business case for addressing accessibility and documenting accessibility compliance:

How do I complete a VPAT? 

  1. First, view & download the latest VPAT WCAG Edition Word Document template. The latest version will be at the bottom of the page under the Resources section.
  2. Read the instructions on the first 9 pages of the template.
  3. Complete the sections on page 10 of the Accessibility Conformance Report section.

As a vendor to CSU Channel Islands, are there other accessibility documents I may be required to provide?

Possibly. For products that may have a high impact on student and/or employee activities, vendors may also be required to provide an Accessibility Roadmap (in MS Word format) to clarify their plans to remediate their product to ensure greater accessibility.

If I have questions about completing a VPAT or Accessibility Roadmap for CSU Channel Islands, who can I contact?

You may contact Daniel Martinez, Web Services Supervisor, daniel.martinez@csuci.edu. We are happy to review VPATs & Accessibility Roadmap documents submitted by our vendors, provide feedback, and confirm the documents have been filled out correctly.

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