How do I request a VPAT and what do I do if a vendor doesn't have a VPAT?

In alignment with SUNY Policy 6901, Fredonia will need to review technology requests for Electronic Information Technology (EIT) Accessibility conformance. As part of the compliance process and SUNY’s commitment to accessibility, this requires the collection of a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) for the accessibility review phase of the Technology Request Process.

Some vendors may have VPAT/accessibility compliance information available on their website. However, the majority do not have the information publicly available and then the vendors need to be contacted with a request for a VPAT.

Please use the sample email below for requesting a VPAT, and if the vendor does not have a VPAT use the sample email for requesting further documentation.

NOTE: Please review the vendor’s website BEFORE sending an email to them. They may have an accessibility compliance webpage and/or a VPAT publicly available.

Sample email for requesting a VPAT from a vendor:

Make sure to replace the bold text below.

Dear [vendor contact name],

Fredonia 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 products and services.

The first step of this process is to request a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT); 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 and WCAG AA standards. Please send me your VPAT so that we may begin our review process.

If you have not created a VPAT for this product, you can find more information on VPATs as well as a template here: www.section508.gov/sell/vpat.

Thank you and please contact me if you have further questions,
[Campus requestor name]
[Contact information]

Sample email for requesting documentation if a vendor doesn’t have a VPAT:

Make sure to replace the bold text below.

Dear [vendor contact name],

Thank you for checking on the VPAT availability for this product.

In the absence of a VPAT, can you provide us with any information regarding the accessibility of the product? For example, what are known supports for accessibility criteria? What are known accessibility gaps of the product and how are those addressed? Do you have clients who require accessibility? If so, can you provide a reference for someone who can speak with us about the accessibility of your product? What experiences does your team have coding for accessibilities? What standards are used (e.g. WCAGs)? Do you do testing with users with disabilities? Does your company have a roadmap for accessibility going forward? Have you tested mobile apps with accessibility in mind? Would your company indemnify the college against legal action related to accessibility?

Is there a plan to create a VPAT for this product? We currently request and review VPATs at purchase and renewal. For purchases to move forward, a VPAT will be requested at the next purchase/renewal period. Information on creating VPATs, as well as a template, may be found here: www.section508.gov/sell/vpat.

Thank you for your assistance,
[Campus requestor name]
[Contact information]