Quick review of a VPAT

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This document will help you assess the accuracy of vendor-provided accessibility documentation. The intent is to:

  • Establish reliability of the vendor's accessibility documentation
  • Use the information as a filter for potential products, to narrow options

You should complete the longer VPAT initial review and interpretation for any products that pass this filter.

Estimated time to perform task: Under 10 minutes.

Evaluation time may vary depending on the scale and complexity of the product being evaluated.

Compare a VPAT and an ACR

Before starting, you should understand the difference between a VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template) and the accompanying ACR (Accessibility Compliance Report).


The VPAT is the entire template with all the pages of instructions and resources to help gain a comprehensive understanding of the document.


The ACR is the report portion of the VPAT after the instructions and resources are removed. The ACR contains only the introduction form and the details of the criteria tables.

Review the ACR

The vendor may send an entire VPAT or just the ACR portion of it. The ACR is the document you will review.

Establish accuracy

  1. Product description: The product description should accurately describe the product, including essential features.
  2. Evaluation methods used: The evaluation methods are perhaps the most critical aspect to the introduction form. Look for:
    • Assistive technology used during the testing process
    • Multiple methods, including both manual and automated testing
    • Third party evaluators that can be vetted to certify their value
    • Specific methodology references

    Answers that should concern you:

    • Similar to another evaluated product
    • Use of a vendor-proprietary testing method, unless the method can be vetted appropriately
    • Automated testing with no manual testing
    • General product knowledge
    • Other similar responses
  3. Terminology: Each guideline in the data tables will indicate a conformance level. Look for use of these terms:
    • Supports
    • Partially Supports
    • Does Not Support
    • Not Applicable (N/A)

    Responses that should concern you:

    • Non-standard terms, such as "Passes" and "Fails" or "Not evaluated"
    • Many responses of N/A, especially for features you know are included
    • All criteria are marked as "Supports"
    • "Supports with Exceptions", which was replaced with "Partially Supports" in December 2018 with the release of VPAT 2.3

Test critical guidelines

These few guidelines are easy to test. They can also help confirm the reliability of the ACR and provide a sense of the general accessibility of the product.

Compare your results to the conformance level and the remarks and explanations indicated in the ACR. Any issues you found should be explained in the ACR. If they aren't, the ACR is not accurate.

  • 2.1.1 Keyboard (Level A), 2.4.7 - Focus Visible (Level AA)

    Navigate the product using only the keyboard. You should be able to access and use everything you would use with a mouse. You should also be able to tell where you are, with a highly visible keyboard focus indicator. View a 1-minute video on testing keyboard support.

  • 2.2.2 Pause, Stop, Hide (Level A)

    Any automatic movement, such as animations or videos, should stop within five seconds or have a pause feature that can be accessed with mouse, keyboard, and touch.

  • 2.4.1 Bypass Blocks (Level A)

    Any web-delivered product should include a skip link, usually "skip to content", as the first focusable item. When testing with keyboard, this should be the first item you tab to. View a short video on checking skip links.

  • 3.3.1 Error Identification (Level A)

    Submit any forms with incorrect or missing data. You should be able to tell which fields have errors. The errors should be described accurately, with suggestions for correcting the problem.

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Last modified on 2021-11-05 14:56:19.