History of the VPAT

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Speaker 1

Who created the VPAT?

Doug

Who created it? It was a combination of people representing industry and some folks from GSA, but primarily industry. As I said, there is this organization, ITIC, and it's very lucky, they have a couple of decent folks who take accessibility seriously. One of the things that happens in any commercial organization, I guess it happens in any organization, is that anybody, I'll just stick to accessibility, I'm sure it happens in any area. Anybody who takes accessibility seriously and thinks an organization ought to do more about it, often is facing an uphill battle. There was a major move to get the VPATs beefed up, and more internal testing done by ITIC, to verify that their individual members were actually being accurate on their VPAT. And, that certainly would've increased the credibility if that organization would have done some vetting of the VPATs. The management of ITI came down very hard on the guys who wanted to do it and said no, we're not going to ride our memberships that hard. They're paying us to represent them to not be regulated by government, this is a lobby group. We're not going to help, we're not going to go through these steps of telling people that they're doing a bad job, you know, through the VPAT. This got kyboshed, which is really a shame, because it would've been good. It has been slightly revised, but it is, you know, it's what, 4 years old. Yeah, around 4 years old. It is an industry attempt by an industry organization to give some structure for people to respond. See, there is a big hole. That is, in the federal government the GSA folks refuse to develop language, boiler plate language, that could go into RFPs that would specify what it is that somebody is looking for in terms of the 508 compliance of the specific product. To fill that whole of GSA willing to do this, this is where ITI stepped in. It doesn't mean that you folks, here at Cal State, can't develop your own RFP language and go in and you would have language that covered when you're buying software, or language when you're contracting to have a website. It would basically, for instance, list, here are the provisions, or requirements that we want followed, an explanation with it, and please check off any ones that you think you can't do and tell us why.

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