What is VPAT and why does it matter?

Man filling out documents

This term has been floating around the technology industry as of late, especially for organizations that desire to work with government agencies. The Voluntary Product Accessibility Template, or VPAT, is a self-disclosing document provided by the vendor that evaluates how accessible a particular product is according to Section 508 Standards. A VPAT details each aspect of the Section 508 requirements and how the product may support each criteria.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires that agencies buy, build, and use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) that is accessible to people with disabilities, thus a company that wishes to do business with the Federal Government should test its ICT products or services offerings for accessibility based on the Section 508 technical standard, which can be found in the Accessibility Conformance Report.

Why was VPAT Created?

The Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) was developed by the IT Industry Council as a way for companies to display their accessibility conformance findings, standard by standard. When a government agency receives this report, it may proceed with the procurement by evaluating options available and specific exceptions that may apply based on their own use case. Until a report is received, the government may not legally proceed with the evaluation of the product.

 A completed VPAT is your company’s report of the accessibility of your product. Your company reads each technical standard and evaluates your product to see if the standard is either fully supported, is not supported, or is not applicable.

For us, having an Accessibility Conformance Report or completed VPAT for the PSSC Labs PowerWulf ZXR1+ HPC Cluster is extremely significant. The VPAT enables NASA or any other Federal Agency to adhere to the Code of Federal Regulations and promotes accessibility and use by all of that agency’s capable workforce, in addition to swift acquisition. As many companies have not completed a VPAT for their supercomputer products, this achievement makes PSSC Labs a leader in our field for accessibility.

About PSSC Labs

For technology powered visionaries with a passion for challenging the status quo, PSSC Labs is the answer for hand-crafted HPC and Big Data computing solutions that deliver relentless performance with the absolute lowest total cost of ownership. We are true innovators offering high performance computing solutions to solve the world’s most demanding problems. For 25+ years, organizations of all sizes and from a variety of sectors rely on PSSC Labs’ computing systems. We are proud to support many departments within the United States government, Fortune 500 companies, as well as small and medium-sized businesses.

All products are designed and built at the company’s headquarters in Lake Forest, California.


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