Skip to main content

CUNY LIBRARIES ARE OPEN ONLINE! We are open online for reference & instruction. E-resources are fully available. Library buildings remain closed.

Support Students Impacted by Coronavirus Crisis Donate Now

Accessibility Toolkit for Open Educational Resources (OER): VPATs & Accessibility Statments

Accessibility guide for creating OER

VPAT description

A VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template®) is a reporting format that enables vendors to document their product's conformance with relevant accessibility standards.

Consistent with the original VPAT®, version 2.3 provides a column for recording conformance to each provision of a standard or guideline relevant to a product or service. Manufacturers or venders declare the degree of conformance using one of four conformance levels: supports; partially supports; does not support; or not applicable. Note that, in a previous update of the VPAT, “partially supports” replaced “supports with exceptions.” This change was made at the request of representatives of the U.S. Access Board. Version 2.3 also includes a column for providing a more detailed explanation for each reported conformance level.

  • A VPAT is a vendor generated statement (using the required template) that provides relevant information on how a vendor’s product or service claims to conform to the Section 508 Standards.
  • The VPAT was designed to provide information on how a product or service conforms to the Section 508 Accessibility Standards (from the U.S. Access Board) for Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) in a consistent fashion and format. In general, Vendors should generate a VPAT whenever they develop products or services that are determined to be EIT.

In each VPAT, the vendor is expected to make specific statements, in simple understandable (recommended) language, about how their product or service meets the requirements of the Section 508 Standards (section by section, and paragraph by paragraph)

There are various types of VPATs. Here are blank copies of each version of VPAT with detailed explanations of each.VPATs:

There are based on:

  • VPAT 2.3 508: Revised Section 508 standards – the U.S. Federal accessibility standard
  • VPAT 2.3 EU: EN 301 549 – the European Union’s “Accessibility requirements suitable for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe”
  • VPAT 2.3 WCAG: WCAG 2.1 or ISO/IEC 40500 – W3C/WAI’s recently updated Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
  • VPAT 2.3 INT: Incorporate all three of the above standards

These are VPATs collected from vendors we partner with Centrally.

If you get a VPAT from a vendor, please send a copy to Amy Wolfe, OLS Accessibility Librarian amy.wolfe@cuny.edu or Nancy Egan, OLS Head, Budget and Collections nancy.egan@cuny.edu for inclusion on this list.

CUNY VPAT Repository

There are over 50 DBs which CUNY gets from EBSCOHost which the above VPAT covers.

  1. Art Abstracts (H.W. Wilson)
  2. Academic Search Complete
  3. Applied Science & Technology Abstracts (H.W. Wilson)
  4. Applied Science & Technology Source
  5. Art Museum Image Gallery
  6. Biography Index Retrospective: 1946-1983 (H.W. Wilson)
  7. Biography Reference Bank (H.W. Wilson)
  8. Book Review Digest Plus (H.W. Wilson)
  9. Book Review Digest Retrospective: 1903-1982 (H.W. Wilson)
  10. Business Source Complete
  11. Communication & Mass Media Complete
  12. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost)
  13. EconLit
  14. Education Source
  15. ERIC
  16. Essay and General Literature Index (H.W. Wilson)
  17. Essay and General Literature Retrospective (H.W. Wilson)
  18. General Science Full Text (H.W. Wilson)
  19. GreenFILE
  20. Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition
  21. Humanities Source
  22. Legal Source
  23. Library & Information Science Source
  24. MAS Ultra - School Edition
  25. Military & Government Collection
  26. Professional Development Collection
  27. PsycARTICLES
  28. PsycINFO
  29. Readers' Guide Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson)
  30. Readers' Guide Retrospective: 1890-1982 (H.W. Wilson)
  31. Regional Business News
  32. Social Sciences Full Text (H.W. Wilson)
  33. Social Sciences Index Retrospective: 1907-1983 (H.W. Wilson)
  34. AHFS Consumer Medication Information
  35. The Serials Directory
  36. SocINDEX with Full Text
  37. Teacher Reference Center
  38. LGBT Life with Full Text
  39. MasterFILE Complete
  40. CINAHL Complete
  41. MEDLINE Complete
  42. American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Historical Periodicals Collection: Series 1
  43. American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Historical Periodicals Collection: Series 2
  44. American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Historical Periodicals Collection: Series 3
  45. American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Historical Periodicals Collection: Series 4
  46. American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Historical Periodicals Collection: Series 5
  47. MLA Directory of Periodicals
  48. MLA International Bibliography
  49. MasterFILE Reference eBook Collection
  50. Biography Reference eBook Collection

NOTE: March 13, 2019  CAST.org (Center for Applied Special Technology) announced a new partnership with ISKME external link. to improve the availability and accessibility of OERs. CAST, founded in 1984, has earned international recognition for its development of innovative approaches to expanding educational opportunities for all individuals based on the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

As of March 2019, Zotero does not have a VPAT.
On a Zotero forum the following was stated when a user asked if there was a VPAT:
"People are using Zotero with NVDA on Windows fairly successfully, though we're aware of areas where we need to improve.

In our limited testing, the current version of Zotero does not work particularly well with VoiceOver on macOS. (The current version of Zotero is based on Firefox, which has only very basic VoiceOver support.)

We're in the process of porting Zotero to a new architecture, and we're hoping to address many accessibility issues at the same time. We're also working on a new version of the web library with much better accessibility support.

Libraries for Universal Accessibility VPAT Repository

Big TEN Academic Alliance Library E-Resources Accessibility Testing