Requirements and Reporting
Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPATs) are used to do the research necessary to comply with the requirements of Section 508. These Internet based tools help government agencies determine if technology products they are considering purchasing meet their accessibility requirements.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Accessibility Office has created a VPAT product database to provide detailed information on the accessibility features that support Section 508 requirements.
Section 508 standards
The Section 508 standards were created by the US Access Board and are part of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and address access for people with physical, sensory, or cognitive disabilities in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). They contain technical criteria specific to various types of technologies and performance-based requirements which focus on functional capabilities of covered products. Specific criteria cover software applications and operating systems, web-based information and applications, computers, telecommunications products, video and multi-media, and self-contained closed products.
Mandate 376 - EN 301 549
The EN 301 549 standard was created by the European Union within Mandate 376 for use as the basis for an online toolkit for public procurement of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) products. The standard specifies the functional accessibility requirements applicable to ICT products and services, together with a description of the test procedures and evaluation methodology for each accessibility requirement.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) from the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) helps Web designers and developers create sites that better meet the needs of people with disabilities or age-related limitations. WCAG advances accessibility across the full range of Web content (text, images, audio, and video) and Web applications. WCAG can be precisely tested, is easy to understand and use, and allows Web developers flexibility for innovation. WCAG 2.0 has also been approved as ISO/IEC 40500:2012.
WCAG specifically addresses barriers to accessing the Web experienced by people with visual, auditory, physical, cognitive and neurological disabilities, and by older Web users with accessibility needs. WCAG 2.0 explains how to make content:
- Perceivable (for instance by addressing text alternatives for images, captions for audio, adaptability of presentation, and color contrast);
- Operable (by addressing keyboard access, color contrast, timing of input, seizure avoidance, and navigability);
- Understandable (by addressing readability, predictability, and input assistance);
- Robust (for instance by addressing compatibility with assistive technologies).