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Vendor Accessibility

Northwestern University makes deliberate efforts to select software products that will be accessible to all users. To view a list of vendor applications and guidelines as of June 2018, please visit Northwestern Information Technology's vendor accessibility documentation page.

Vendor Documentation: VPAT

The most commonly found measure of a product’s accessibility profile is a VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template). The VPAT template:

  • Guides vendors’ self-assessment of the ability of their software to meet federal technology accessibility requirements
  • Allows vendors to designate to what degree their product complies with each accessibility criterion
  • Created by the Information Technology Industry Council


Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are a more demanding indicator of the accessibility profile of a software product than a VPAT. Vendors may indicate adherence to WCAG instead of providing a VPAT.

  • Current WCAG standard is WCAG 2.0 Level AA
  • WCAG 2.0 Level AA certification for all of the University’s major software applications is a key goal of Northwestern’s accessibility efforts
  • Created by the Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium

Additional Resources