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Re: VPAT version for AODA


From: chagnon@pubcom.com
Date: Mar 25, 2020 2:04PM

I've questioned the validity and usefulness of VPATs.

After all, the V stands for "voluntary." And when using GSA's template, the author can write just about any gibberish or BS they want.

There's no mandated testing or evaluation done by the government; they take the word of the vendor as stated in the VPAT.

And surely no one is surprised that the PDF is not tagged. So many PDFs from "authorities" are not accessible, such as the WCAG and PDF/UA standards from the ISO.


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-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of Philip Kiff
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2020 3:17 PM
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] VPAT version for AODA

Errrg. Just a quick follow-up, I noticed that on the page with the link I sent, there is a note about how these might not be "perfectly accessible," and that you provide a link to a document to help users sort through such issues, entitled "Reporting Conformance to ICT Accessibility Standards":

Unfortunately, when I downloaded that PDF file, I discovered that it is not a tagged PDF. I would recommend that your team also take the time to make that PDF accessible in order to help improve the usefulness of your VPAT offerings.

Still sincerely,

Philip Kiff.

On 2020-03-25 15:10, Philip Kiff wrote:
> I'm curious about this as well. In fact, I didn't even realize that
> there was a VPAT that might theoretically be used to make a claim
> about compliance with the AODA or WCAG. I had always thought of the
> VPAT as something related to requirements of the US government and
> Section 508.
> Here in Ontario in Canada where the AODA applies, I can't say that
> I've EVER seen anyone make reference to a VPAT other than in the
> context of compliance with U.S. regulations. But maybe I've just been
> out of the loop on these things?
> Lastly, Mitchell, I noticed a couple problems and limitations with the
> sample VPAT documents currently available from the ITI site here:
> https://www.itic.org/policy/accessibility/vpat
> First, these are not formatted using the current MS Word docx file
> format? I would recommend updating all files to using current docx
> format. A user of such a form can't even run the rudimentary, but
> still useful, built-in MS Word accessibility checker without upgrading
> the file format to docx.
> Second, they contain font sizes that I consider too small to be
> considered accessible in a default context (11 point Calibri). I would
> recommend reformatting the documents to use a minimum 12-point font
> size. Possibly use Legal-size paper (landscape orientation) instead of
> Letter-size paper if you want to preserve more space for user input?
> Lastly, I'm not sure that Microsoft Word is even the best format for
> this kind of file. Is this what everyone in the US is filling in when
> they talk about VPATs? It seems to me that this is actually a fillable
> form, and as such, especially given the number of tables and use of
> subheadings within individual tables, I wonder if these VPAT files
> might not be better formatted as accessible PDF forms? Or maybe that
> is what you intend consumers of these files to do with them?
> Regardless, on first impression, I have to say that they don't
> immediately inspire me to start jumping in to use them for AODA
> compliance.
> I would welcome any corrections or clarifications on all this,
> however, as I really don't know hardly anything about VPATs, and
> that's why I'm wondering.
> With sincere curiosity,
> Philip Kiff
> D4K Communications
> On 2020-03-25 01:33, Mitchell Evan wrote:
>> Hi Logan,
>>> I'd like to chime in and state that if this is related to AODA,
>>> the City
>> of Ottawa will not accept a VPAT as it still isn't relevant to us. We
>> have vendors submit assessments utilizing the WCAG-EM Tool.
>> I agree the WCAG-EM Report Tool
>> <https://www.w3.org/WAI/eval/report-tool/#!/ > can produce excellent
>> WCAG reports, but I'm curious — what aspects of VPAT 2.x
>> <https://www.itic.org/policy/accessibility/vpat> have been
>> problematic? If the WCAG section in VPAT hasn't worked well for
>> Ottawa's needs, then I'd like to understand what's lacking and see if
>> we can get it fixed, either in the VPAT template itself or in its
>> instructions for vendors.
>> The WCAG edition of VPAT and the International edition of VPAT might
>> be new to some folks here. They are meant to help buyers and
>> regulators compare accessibility reports from different vendors
>> easily, while vendors shouldn't have to rewrite the same
>> accessibility findings in multiple report formats.
>> (Multiple languages, that's another matter.)
>> Cheers,
>> Mitchell
>> Mitchell Evan
>> +1 (510) 375-6104
>> Twitter @mitchellrevan
>> https://www.linkedin.com/in/mitchellrevan/
>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf
>>> Of Logan Trafford
>>> Sent: Tuesday, March 24, 2020 2:28 PM
>>> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] WebAIM-Forum Digest, Vol 180, Issue 25
>>> I'd like to chime in and state that if this is related to AODA, the
>>> City of Ottawa will not accept a VPAT as it still isn't relevant to
>>> us.
>>> We have
>>> vendors submit assessments utilizing the WCAG-EM Tool.
>>> In terms of PDF, while the legislation only states they need to be
>>> WCAG
>>> 2.0 AA conformant, assuming you consider a PDF as part of the "web
>>> content"
>>> definition, the better standard you should use is PDF U/A, Those
>>> documents can be validated by using either the free PAC (PDF
>>> Accessibility Checking
>>> Tool) or the free CommonLook Validator tool.
>>> Logan Trafford
>>> Web Accessibility Coordinator
>>> City of Ottawa
>>> On Tue, Mar 24, 2020 at 2:03 PM
>>> wrote:
>>>> Send WebAIM-Forum mailing list submissions to
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>>>> Today's Topics:
>>>> 1. Re: VPAT version for AODA (Lisa Snider)
>>>> 2. Re: VPAT version for AODA (Sudheer Babu)
>>>> 3. Re: VPAT version for AODA (Karlen Communications)
>>>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>>> From: Lisa Snider < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
>>>> To: WebAIM Discussion List < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
>>>> Cc:
>>>> Bcc:
>>>> Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2020 07:47:47 -0300
>>>> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] VPAT version for AODA Hi Sudheer,
>>>> Currently, the AODA Information and Communications Standard is
>>>> based on WCAG. So the regular VPAT will do for it. However, look
>>>> for the ICS Review that hasnt been put into the final revised
>>>> version (phase 2 particularly)... the government may or may not accept that Review.
>>>> Cheers
>>>> Lisa
>>> [snip]
>> >> >> archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
>> > > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives