The following VPAT documents describe how the accessibility features of Microsoft products help federal agencies address the requirements of Section 508 Standards.
A Voluntary Product Accessibility Template, or VPAT, is a standardized form developed by the Information Technology Industry Council to show how a software product meets key regulations of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. The act requires all agencies and departments of the U.S. federal government to make electronic information and technology accessible to federal employees and members of the public with disabilities.
Microsoft typically publishes VPATs which reflect the complete product or service, and generally does not create VPATs for individual features or components. In some cases, we may release a new component for an existing product, or a new version of an existing component which users may choose to install separately, and we may publish a VPAT for that component. For example, users of certain Windows versions may allow updating the Internet Explorer component to a more recent version than originally included in that Windows release, in which case a VPAT for that new component may be published.
At Microsoft, our commitment to developing innovative accessibility solutions started more than two decades ago. Our longstanding commitment to accessibility reflects our evolution as a global leader.
Accessibility is a business practice that is part of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing efforts which focus on integrity and responsibility in our business practices. Microsoft recognizes that trust in computer technology is directly related to trust in the technology industry. Microsoft takes a strategic approach to accessibility by focusing on integrating accessibility into product planning, research and development, product development, and testing. We actively promote this integrated approach as a best practice within the industry. Many Microsoft products feature accessibility and personalization options.
Microsoft leads the industry through accessibility-related research and development projects including large-scale nationwide studies, targeted usability, and one-on-one interviews. We studied the market for accessible technology and discovered the demand for accessible technology is expanding as our population ages and as more individuals with mild and moderate impairments recognize the benefit of using accessibility.
Microsoft is promoting innovation and incubation of new accessible technology solutions through the Microsoft Accessibility Developer Center community. This Development Center is the portal for guidance, essential information, tools, and technologies for developing accessible applications and writing accessible code.
Microsoft works with leaders in the industry through involvement in organizations such as the Accessibility Interoperability Alliance (AIA) and the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA). Through these industry groups, Microsoft encourages technology innovation across platforms and devices to create the broadest ecosystem of solutions for people with disabilities and to drive down the cost and complexity of building accessible mainstream products.
* Only the latest version of Microsoft Office VPATs are available online. Please contact us to obtain VPATs from previous releases of Microsoft Office.