Businesses should always strive to include as much of the market into their products as possible. It is even more critical to have those people with disabilities as they too would require products and services. Unfortunately for some, not all of these are accessible to them.
While the VPAT compliance strongly focuses on digital applications, all companies can ensure that they improve their accessibility to their clients. Clients may have various special needs, including difficulty hearing or seeing, which can hinder them from properly using the standard platforms, like internet banking.
There are specific steps to take to conduct a successful VPAT testing at any company, so read about it in more detail below:
1. Have the Correct Documentation Template
The information that a company needs to measure its compliance is available online in the form of the documentation required for certification. It stipulates all the rules and regulations to get the company products and services up to standard and is a valuable tool to start the process.
Companies can use the document as a checklist to ensure that each aspect is in place and conforms to the requirements for certification. A priority list will help teams make the necessary changes if any elements need improvement before the VPAT testing.
With a focus on the digital aspect of products or services, the IT department would do most of the work in conjunction with other departments that give their input. The client services department would be most helpful in this instance.
Client services work with the business’ customers daily and have a unique insight into the challenges their clients face. They can relay this information to the IT department to assist them with making the changes.
2. Submit Information for Auditing
After a business sorts out all the potential errors, it can complete the documentation and submit it for auditing. A specialized auditor will review the information from the documents they receive and do independent checks if the data provided is accurate.
During the audit, every aspect of the company’s products or services is under the microscope, and the auditor will identify any areas that could still need work. The auditor then compiles a report to send to the company. If there are no errors to correct, the company can move on to submitting its data. Otherwise, they should ensure to make the necessary adjustments before submission.
3. Refine the Identified Errors
Companies that receive feedback containing information about errors should immediately focus on getting these improved. If their staff isn’t capable of refining the products or services any further, it would be best to employ the help of a third party.
These companies offer their assistance to businesses who need help with the VPAT testing process, and their extensive experience and knowledge would speed up the process significantly. They can provide unbiased feedback that is accurate and relevant feedback to the specific industry of a company.
After years of working with the VPAT process, a third party can look at the technical, functional, and support aspects, especially for disabled clients, and supply the feedback companies need to ensure they meet all the requirements for VPAT certification.
4. Ensure to Have All Required Data
It remains the responsibility of the applying company to have all the required information together when submitting their application for VPAT compliance. Once they have gone through the entire process, all that is left for them to do is send their VPAT information to the proper authorities for approval.
Once the information is submitted, the company will receive feedback on whether its application was successful. With every successful application, the company will receive the documentation and certificate to prove they are now VPAT compliant.
5. Display the Company’s Compliance Status
Companies that pass the VPAT testing and become certified can display their status in their business strategies and documentation, improving their chances of receiving funding and a new client base and preventing future queries about their VPAT standing.
The Final Word
Being VPAT certified could be challenging for some companies, especially when their products and services don’t comply with these standards. Improvements to these could bring them closer to their certification, but the testing phase is crucial for success.
If companies or their IT professionals need help with the adjustments, they shouldn’t hesitate to involve a knowledgeable third party. Someone with years of experience could ensure a speedy route to making changes during VPAT testing.
Companies that remember to include all the members of a demographic into their customer base will make their products and services more accessible. After all, that is what companies aim for – increasing their customer base and improving sales.