Vendor Accessibility Requirements

A VPAT, or Voluntary Product Accessibility Template, is a self-assessment template completed by a vendor to generate an Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR). A completed ACR provides relevant information on how a vendor's product or service conforms to the Section 508 Accessibility Standards.

Vendor instructions for completing an Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR) for SF State

SF State follows the California State University (CSU) requirements for completing an Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR).  

  1. Download the latest version of the VPAT: VPAT 2.4 508 (February 2020) template (Word Document format)
  2. Read the instructions on pages 1-9 of the VPAT 2.x
  3. Complete the relevant sections of the ACR by reviewing What information does CSU require from a vendor

Old VPAT 1.x

The Section 508 standards were updated in January  2017 and vendors were encouraged to switch to the new VPAT 2.x shortly after. SF State can no longer accept VPATs in the old format and requires vendors to submit Accessibility Conformance Reports (ACR) based on the VPAT 2.x templates discussed above.

Sample VPAT Request Template to vendors

If a vendor does not know what a VPAT or ACR is or needs assistance in filling one out, you may use the template below to help explain the process.

Dear (vendor contact name),

SF State, along with the California State University system (CSU), is committed to creating a culture of access for an inclusive learning and working environment that ensures all campus information resources and technologies are accessible to persons with disabilities. We are therefore required to purchase the most accessible Section 508-compliant products and services.

The first step of this process is to request an Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR) from the vendor, manufacturer, or developer of the technology product. Our website has information that explains the ACR and Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT). It is a comprehensive guide for your technology team to help understand the various criteria within the template(s), along with the criteria’s application to Section 508 standards.

Having a completed ACR will assist us in determining your products level of Section 508 compliance. We trust that you will arrange the resources necessary for completing an ACR for each of your products and interfaces. Your commitment to providing us with an ACR will help us determine if the purchase can move forward. 

Thank you and please contact me if you have further questions,

(campus requestor name and contact information)

What if a vendor does not have an ACR completed or is unable to complete it on time?

While this is not ideal, the ATI team can still perform the accessibility review via two options:

  1. ATI team performs accessibility testing on the vendor's product
  2. Vendor demonstrates accessibility features for ATI team in a live demo

For the first option, we will need to have access to a functional demo of the product from the vendor. For the second option, we will ask vendors to answer some questions and demonstrate actions listed below in real-time (summarized below).

Vendor Accessibility Demonstration Requirements

Vendor Questions

  • How is accessibility integrated into your development process?
  • Does your company have an accessibility training program for product developers?
  • What specific tools are used for accessibility testing during product development?

Demonstrate the following actions in a live demo

  • Operate the entire interface with the keyboard only
  • Demonstrate defined keyboard visual focus throughout
  • Raise the text size to 200% without loss of content or functionality
  • Color contrast: The visual presentation of text and images of text has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1, except for large text, incidental text or images, and logos
  • Screen reader – demonstrate how the application works with a screen reader (JAWSNVDA, etc.)
  • Demonstrate the extent of dependency of the product on CSS by removing the style sheets – application should reflect that the structure is still functional and not dependent on CSS positioning
  • Navigate to <Help> information from within the application and demonstrate where a user finds any accessibility related features and how a user contacts product support and reports any accessibility barriers.
  • Navigate to the product Accessibility Statement

Further Questions

If you or the vendor has further questions regarding a VPAT/ACR or the process, please contact us via email