What is the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template?
The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) partnered with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to create an Internet-based tool to assist federal contracting and procurement officials in fulfilling the new market research requirements contained in the Section 508 implementing regulations. The result of this partnering is the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template or VPAT. VPATs assist procurement officials in making preliminary assessments regarding the availability of commercial, electronic information products by highlighting features that support the Section 508 accessibility criteria. BNA, Inc. has produced a VPAT, and has added BNA's name to GSA's Buy Accessible Web site.
What is GSA's Buy Accessible?
The Buy Accessible Web site is a place where government procurement staff are able to search by specific product or service type and see all vendors who have provided links. They can then use the links to reach the VPAT template information and product descriptions necessary to complete their market research.
How is the VPAT organized?
The VPAT is organized into a three column table. The first column contains the subsections of the Section 508 standard. The second column describes the supporting features of the product with regard to that subsection. The third column contains any additional remarks and explanations regarding accessibility.
Supports: This language is used when the product fully meets the letter and intent of the Criteria.
Supports with Exceptions: This language is used when the product does not fully meet the letter and intent of the Criteria, but provides some level of access relative to the Criteria.
Does not Support: This language is used when the product does not currently meet the letter or intent of the Criteria.
Not Applicable: This language is used when the Criteria do not apply to the specific product(s).
For more information:
For more information, please visit the following Web sites:
Information Technology Industry Council (ITI): http://www.itic.org
GSA's Buy Accessible: http://www.section508.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Content&ID=98
Section 508 and accessibility: http://www.access-board.gov/508.htm; http://www.section508.gov
Section 1194.22 Web-based Internet information and applications - Detail Voluntary Product Accessibility Template
Remarks and explanations
(a) A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided (e.g., via "alt", "longdesc", or in element content).
“alt” text for graphics has been provided on BNA's Web products.
(b) Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation.
Multimedia files are not used on BNA's Web products.
(c) Web pages shall be designed so that all information conveyed with color is also available without color, for example from context or markup.
Color is not used to convey information on BNA's Web products.
(d) Documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet.
Documents are readable without style sheets on BNA's products.
(e) Redundant text links shall be provided for each active region of a server-side image map.
BNA's products do not use server-side image maps.
(f) Client-side image maps shall be provided instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape.
BNA's products do not use client-side image maps.
(g) Row and column headers shall be identified for data tables.
Supports with exceptions
Work is ongoing to test and update all data tables, though the vast majority have been updated with appropriate HTML tagging.
(h) Markup shall be used to associate data cells and header cells for data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers.
(i) Frames shall be titled with text that facilitates frame identification and navigation
Support with exceptions
Work is ongoing to provide meaningful descriptions to frames within BNA's web products.
(j) Pages shall be designed to avoid causing the screen to flicker with a frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.
There are no animations on BNA's Web products, all of the pages are static.
(k) A text-only page, with equivalent information or functionality, shall be provided to make a web site comply with the provisions of this part, when compliance cannot be accomplished in any other way. The content of the text-only page shall be updated whenever the primary page changes.
At this time, all features on BNA's Web products are usable with assistive technology, therefore, a text-only version is not required.
(l) When pages utilize scripting languages to display content, or to create interface elements, the information provided by the script shall be identified with functional text that can be read by Assistive Technology.
Work is ongoing to test and update all scripts.
(m) When a web page requires that an applet, plug-in or other application be present on the client system to interpret page content, the page must provide a link to a plug-in or applet that complies with §1194.21(a) through (l).
Links to plug-ins/applets are provided in the help files all of BNA's Web products.
(n) When electronic forms are designed to be completed on-line, the form shall allow people using Assistive Technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.
Work is ongoing to test and update all electronic forms.
(o) A method shall be provided that permits users to skip repetitive navigation links.
Does not support
Work is planned to add skip navigation tags to BNA's Web products.
(p) When a timed response is required, the user shall be alerted and given sufficient time to indicate more time is required.
There are no timed responses required on BNA's Web products.
Note to 1194.22: The Board interprets paragraphs (a) through (k) of this section as consistent with the following priority 1 Checkpoints of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (WCAG 1.0) (May 5 1999) published by the Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium: Paragraph (a) - 1.1, (b) - 1.4, (c) - 2.1, (d) - 6.1, (e) - 1.2, (f) - 9.1, (g) - 5.1, (h) - 5.2, (i) - 12.1, (j) - 7.1, (k) - 11.4.