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Re: The ITIC updated VPATs


From: Jonathan Avila
Date: Dec 21, 2018 9:34AM

Hi Sailesh, one item that customers often request us to remove is the date of the VPAT format revised that appears at the top of the conformance report document. This date could be seen as confusing as it's not the report date but the template release date. However, that line can't be changed/removed per the instructions. It would be great to get clarification if the format version could be kept but the revision date could be removed to prevent confusion of those reading the conformance report.

Jonathan Avila

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of Sailesh Panchang
Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2018 4:11 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Cc: Jeff Kline < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] The ITIC updated VPATs

CAUTION: This email originated from outside of the organization. Do not click links or open attachments unless you recognize the sender and know the content is safe.

Here are my observations and suggestions that I have submitted to ITIC with the hope they will be considered for 2019 versions. VPAT 2.3 incorporating WCAG 2.1 was released today.

1. VPAT is a registered mark and there are some essentials one is supposed to adhere to. Yet it permits a lot of flexibility: use single table or have separate tables for different content types, drop rows for subsections (in S508) / use HTM or PDF or presumably XLS formats, break up the report into multiple parts for a complex product and so forth.
And yet it says one should not materially deviate from the format.
This is confusing … with so much scope for deviating!

2. Every cell of the WCAG tables (for the different VPAT types S508 / WCAG etc). has "labels" for different content types (Web / software / authoring tools / docs). Visually it may not pose a problem but screen reader users will have a hard time filling this out or even reading the content meaningfully.
The alternative presentation that is permitted - using separate tables for different content types will work for all users and be an easy read. In fact creating one VPAT for different content types is problematic because they could be on different platforms and support and remarks may differ.
I suggest that the instructions should indicate that users should insert separate tables for the different content types that apply or create a separate VPAT for each content type. I think ITIC is in a great position to influence the creation of a separate VPAT for each content type. These can be separate docs or combined into one depending on client's needs / usage.

3. In stand alone WCAG2 format too every table cell has labels for the different content types. WCAG does not define these content types although one can apply WCAG to them. I was intrigued by this presentation.

4. The instructions state that the VPAT maybe used for revised / corrected or final S08 standards of 2017, and 2018... why not just say the final S508 one only?

5. As one is permitted to do away with entire sections / tables that do not apply, it may help to have a single version with the WCAG 2 tables and then define additional sections for S508, EN 301-549. The instructions for authors may state these sections may be retained only for reports based on those standards.

6. I also see the instructions for the different VPAT types (S508 / WCAG / EU / all in one) have very little that is different.
Therefore, if a single VPAT is drawn up as per #5 above, the instructions should also be organized along those lines: applicable to WCAG only/ applicable if S508 is used / applicable if EN 301-549 is used.

Thanks and best wishes,

Sailesh Panchang
Principal Accessibility Consultant
Deque Systems Inc
Phone 703-225-0380 ext 105
Mobile: 571-344-1765

On 12/20/18, Jeff Kline via WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> Is it just me, or does anyone else think that there are too many,
> "audience specific" versions of the updated VPAT form.
> I am trying to understand why we need separate templates for WCAG,
> EN, 508, and International. I still see many manufacturers (mfrs)
> struggling with just the basics of completing a VPAT 1.0 (Yes....sad
> but true) so sending them out to the ITI VPAT page to choose from
> multiple versions of the form is problematic and will likely
> introduce additional complexity and confusion.
> Also, it seems to me that, many IT mfrs operate internationally and
> would need the EN section completed anyway, so why make it a separate template?
> This potentially forces mfrs to maintain multiple versions of ACRs for
> a single product when one would suffice. (With added pain and cost I
> might
> add) If I put my mfr business hat back on, I know that as a mfr, I
> would not be very happy about this.
> On the procurement site, there is also the possibility that the
> procuring entity could receive different versions of the form from
> different mfrs, which could make it more difficult to compare the offerings.
> Why there isn't a single version that incorporates the criteria from
> all of the standards now covered. Wait! There is one! It's the
> International Version!!
> For US procurement organizations, public or private, they can point
> directly to the International (full) Version on the ITI website, and
> specify in the solicitation, SOW, etc., which sections of that form
> are required to be completed. For example, Texas would require the
> WCAG A, AA, and applicable sections of 508. (depending on the type of
> product or service being
> procured) That way, mfrs could use the single version of the form for
> all their business needs including the EN stuff, which we in the US
> can just ignore if its there.
> So, wouldn't it make sense for ITI to publish only the "universal"
> (International) version or am I missing something?
> Jeff Kline
> Program Director
> Statewide EIR Accessibility
> Texas Department of Information Resources Phone 512.463.3248 Mobile
> 512.426.9779
> > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
> >