What Is An Accessibility Conformance Report?
An Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR) is a document that formally summarizes the extent to which an information and communication technology (ICT) product or service conforms to an established set of accessibility standards and guidelines.
ACRs typically detail how an ICT product or service complies with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 or 2.1, the Revised Section 508 Accessibility Standards, and the European Union’s EN 301 549 Accessibility Standard for publicly procurable ICT products and services in Europe.
How Is An ACR Generated?
Choosing the proper version of the VPAT template to describe how accessible your ICT product or service is the first step in the VPAT accessibility process, which ends with the creation of an ACR.
The VPAT WCAG edition is used to evaluate and document the accessibility of digital offerings based on the WCAG standard. This edition of the VPAT template is used to document the accessibility of websites, web content, electronic documents, software, and authoring tools.
The VPAT Section 508 edition is used to prepare ACRs for ICT products and services procurable by federal agencies. It is based on the revised Section 508 accessibility standards.
The VPAT EU edition is based on the EU’s EN 301 549 accessibility standards for ICT products and services that are publicly procurable in Europe, while the VPAT International (INT) edition combines all the accessibility requirements in the other three VPAT editions and is used to develop VPAT reports for ICT products and services that are publicly procurable globally.
After choosing the right accessibility VPAT, the next stage in the VPAT accessibility pathway is the VPAT testing of the targeted product or service. This assessment helps identify any accessibility barriers in the product or service so that they can be fixed.
Findings of the assessment are captured in the ACR or VPAT report that is basically the filled out accessibility VPAT. The VPAT accessibility process is completed after the duly filled-out VPAT is made publicly accessible.
What Is VPAT Accessibility?
We’ve extensively used the term “VPAT accessibility” when illustrating how an ACR is generated. What does this term mean?
“VPAT accessibility” refers to the inclusive practices or actions associated with the VPAT to identify and deal with the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from interacting with and accessing information and communication technology (ICT) products and services.
Why Might You Need To Produce A VPAT ACR?
Today, VPAT ACRs are a widely utilized instrument in the procurement or tendering procedures for ICT products and services. In order to select the vendor that best satisfies their needs, buyers of various products and services utilize ACRs to compare the compliance levels of competing suppliers.
While VPAT certification is not mandatory, some buyers will not permit your products or services to participate in their procurement procedures if they are not ACR compliant. If you want to sell your products and services to state governments, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations that receive government funding, then you’ll need this VPAT report as part of your bid documents.
Having a VPAT ACR for each of your ICT products and services is therefore a smart idea in case a chance to offer them to markets that need them emerges. It would be nice to have an ACR even if it is not mandated as part of the procurement procedures where you sell your ICT products and services because it will reflect your dedication to making your products and services accessible to as many people as is feasible.
How Acrs Are Structured?
ACRs are structured into six sections: the product or service summary, the applicable standards or guidelines, the WCAG 2.0/2.1 report, the revised Section 508 report, the EN 301 549 report, and a legal disclaimer.
Need Assistance With Creating Or Updating Your VPAT ACR?
You can create a VPAT ACR for your ICT product or service by learning from this duly filled-out VPAT report example. It is however advisable to get a third party professional to help you through the VPAT accessibility process so that your VPAT ACR is viewed from a credibility perspective.
If you ever consider having a third party to help you in creating your ACR, talk to ADACP who did for us a great job. You can schedule an appointment with them by calling (626) 486-2201. Their consultations are usually free.