Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)

A person in suit using a laptop and working with digital checklists.

Explore how the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) plays a vital role in evaluating the accessibility of digital products, enabling users and buyers to assess a product's accessibility ratings.


In the European Union alone, more than 87 million people live with disabilities, highlighting the need for technological and digital products to be highly accessible to them. The Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) plays a vital role in offering essential information to potential users and buyers of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) products, promoting transparency and ensuring accessibility, whether for a one-time use or regular basis.

What is a VPAT?

VPAT, or Voluntary Product Accessibility Template, serves as a comprehensive document for evaluating the digital accessibility of any Information and Communication Technology (ICT) product. It enables users and buyers to assess the accessibility ratings and elements of the product, and the generated report, known as the Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR), aligns with regulations established by various jurisdictions worldwide.

These regulations are typically based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.0 or 2.1, reflecting a widely accepted standard.

VPAT versions

The current versions of the VPAT now encompasses the U.S. Revised Section 508, European EN 301 549, and WCAG standards, mandated by regulations in numerous jurisdictions. It is offered in four editions:

What is an ACR, and how does it differ from a VPAT?

While VPAT is closely associated with ACR and often used interchangeably, these two terms pertain to distinct concepts within the accessibility sector.

ACR, or Accessibility Conformance Report, is the document generated based on the VPAT. The VPAT is essentially a template, while the ACR represents the finalized report for a specific product. The practice of referring to the completed document as a VPAT has led to confusion among many.

What does a VPAT contain?

The Voluntary Product Accessibility Template is a useful guidance that supports companies creating accessible ICT products. There are certain elements of the template that have been constant in all the previous and the current versions of the VPAT. These are the following:

The cover page of a VPAT.

When is a VPAT needed?

As its name suggests, completing a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template is not a legal obligation for companies to promote and market their products. However, it is a strongly recommended practice, whether by using a pre-existing template or developing one with the assistance of a professional accessibility audit provider.

Companies aiming to provide products to government bodies or federal agencies will likely require a VPAT.

Examples of VPATs

Having understood the concept and significance of a VPAT, along with its essential components, it's now beneficial to explore VPAT examples. The provided links offer a comprehensive view of the sections and fields that companies are required to complete when conducting their audits and preparing reports.

Creating VPATs from my audits

Screenshot from an audit of mine, showing a comprehensive section about focus indicators including the why and the how as well with a code snippet.

If you're considering having your ICT product assessed for accessibility, don't hesitate to reach out to me. I'm more than happy to include a VPAT along with my accessibility audits.

Additionally, I provide accessibility consultations to help your team establish and execute an effective strategy for ensuring long-term accessibility and avoiding costly re-audits.

Ready to ship accessible products?

Get in touch today at norbert@norbertpap.com to schedule a kick-off meeting and get started.