VPAT®: Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (Procurement and Vendor Guide)

contract being signed
VPAT requests in the private market will skyrocket in 2021.

(Updated for 2023)

A Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT®) is a template that vendors fill out and deliver to procurement officers to officially speak to and represent a product or service’s accessibility.

Once the VPAT is completed and finalized, the document becomes an Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR).

A VPAT comes into play whenever buyers and sellers are dealing with information and communications technology (ICT) products and services with accessibility features.

In the United States, a VPAT has traditionally been a document created in response to vendors contracting with government agencies under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

However, as accessibility has risen to the forefront in recent years, we can expect procurement departments to increasingly demand VPATs in the private market in 2021, particularly in B2B transactions.


The term VPAT is technically only meant for the fill out-able template but it is often used interchangeably with the term ACR which stands for Accessibility Conformance Report.

For the purposes of this guide, I’ll commonly refer to an ACR as a VPAT because the term “VPAT” is the prevailing term in the market.


There is a handful of key information that must be included in each report:

  • Report Title: “[Company Name] Accessibility Conformance Report”
  • VPAT version
  • Name of Product (and version, if applicable)
  • Product description
  • Date of Publication
  • Contact information
  • Evaluation Methods Used
  • Applicable standards: WCAG 2.0, WCAG 2.1, Revised Section 508, EN 301 549

Material Content

The primary content of the VPAT is the accessibility table where each WCAG success criteria is addressed.

There are three columns in the table:

  • Criteria
  • Conformance Level
  • Remarks and Explanations


The first column, criteria, is for listing out each WCAG success criterion that is being addressed.

Conformance Level

Directly across from each success criterion, a conformance level column will be filled out to indicate whether the product or service:

  • Supports: The functionality of the product has at least one method that meets the criterion without known defects or meets with equivalent facilitation.
  • Partially Supports: Some functionality of the product does not meet the criterion.
  • Does Not Support: The majority of product functionality does not meet the criterion.
  • Not Applicable: The criterion is not relevant to the product.

There is also a not evaluated option but this is reserved only for AAA conformance level success criteria.

Remarks and Explanations

Next to this column there is a column for remarks and explanations. This is where you provide any elaboration for the answer provided in the “support” column.

When the conformance level is ‘Partially Supports’ or ‘Does Not Support’, the remarks should identify:

  • The functions or features with issues
  • How they do not fully support

If the criterion is not applicable, you’ll also need to explain why.


There are many different versions of a VPAT.

The current version is VPAT 2.4.

You can download version 2.4 from ITIC.org.


There four different editions of the VPAT. This is so ICT manufacturers and vendors can create Accessibility Conformance Reports relevant to their target markets and contract requirements:

  • VPAT 2.4 508: Revised Section 508 standards — the U.S. Federal accessibility standard
  • VPAT 2.4 EU: EN 301 549 — the European Union’s “Accessibility requirements suitable for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe”
  • VPAT 2.4 WCAG: WCAG 2.1 or ISO/IEC 40500 — W3C/WAI’s recently updated Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
  • VPAT 2.4 INT: Incorporate all three of the above standards

vs. Accessibility Audits

A VPAT / ACR is not an audit.

An audit goes into much greater detail than a VPAT.

The good news is that if you have an audit performed, you can usually get a VPAT at a much lower cost, if not included with the price of the accessibility audit.

Independently Issued vs. DIY

It’s much better to have an independent, expert third-party issue your VPAT vs. creating your own VPAT in-house.

As markets continue to evolve, internally produced VPATs will see their value dwindle.

Of course, having a VPAT is better than having none at all (unless your VPAT is deceptive) but to stay competitive in 2024, your organization needs to have VPAT documentation.

There are several reputable third-party companies who can issue accurate VPATs for your organization.


VPATs are not typically for websites or mobile apps but for products and, sometimes, services. If a website is part of a product or service, then it may be appropriate to obtain a VPAT for it.

Illustration: Software is a great example of where a VPAT is called for. If a website is referenced for the support documentation for that software, then you may need to include the website as part of the VPAT.

For non-product websites or apps, you’ll want to ask for a conformance statement that states that your website or app meets all WCAG success criteria.


There are a handful of reputable companies that offer VPAT / ACR services for organizations that need to provide accessibility status on products.

If you need help with a VPAT, feel free to reach out to me at Accessible.org.

Learn about the ADA compliance website legal landscape and services marketplace.

Would you like to certify your website’s accessibility? Read my guide to ADA compliance certification for websites.

Working on WCAG 2.2 conformance? Study the latest version of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines with my WCAG 2.2 checklist.

Learn key difference between WCAG 2.0 vs. WCAG 2.1.

Are you new to ADA compliance and website accessibility? Read my website accessibility for beginners introduction.

Researching VPATs for vendor assessment? Read why you should know what an ACR or accessibility conformance report is.

The Americans with Disabilities Act is just one of the laws that concerns website accessibility. Read my 504 website compliance and 508 website compliance guides. Companies with employees in Ontario may also be interested in my AODA compliance requirements explainer.

What exactly is a website accessibility audit? My write-up on audits will help you understand what goes into an WCAG audit.