HiSoftware and the Information Technology Industry Council Announce the Enhanced VPAT

Today HiSoftware Inc.and the Information Technology Industry Council  unveiled a new XML VPAT specification for ITI’s Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT), a tool used to document a product’s conformance with the accessibility standards under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. The companies also announced plans of the upcoming release of the ITI VPAT Authoring Tool, a Web-based application that lets users fill in an easy-to-use form to instantly create a VPAT that fully conforms to the XML VPAT specification.

“ITI is proud of the VPAT model and honored that it has become the de facto standard worldwide,” said Dean Garfield, President and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI). “We are excited about the new and enhanced VPAT and the opportunity for better market research and user – friendly functionality.”

The new XML VPAT structure has a number of benefits over the previous version including:
• More Flexibility, Particularly for Different or Changing Standards
• Ability to Regroup Standards as Necessary
• Versioning to Automate Comparing Related Data

The ITI VPAT Authoring Tool, is a Web-based application that lets users fill in a familiar, easy-to-use form and instantly create a VPAT that fully conforms to the new XML VPAT specification. The authoring tool will be hosted either on a Federal government or ITI server.

Key Features of the ITI VPAT Authoring Tool:

• No XML knowledge required—Enables creation and updating of VPATs without any expertise in XML.
• The tool can be adapted to different standards easily—this will provide flexibility to revise VPATs to meet changing requirements using the same familiar tool.
• Allows users to create a VPAT and save it to their hard drive.
• No data is saved on a server, thus ensuring security and privacy of corporate assets.

Ken Nakata, GM / Director – Accessibility Consulting Practices (ACP) at HiSoftware, said, “The ITI VPAT Authoring Tool makes it easier than ever for companies to create great-looking VPATs that fully conform to tomorrow’s XML standards. HiSoftware is excited to be a part of this key initiative that will improve the accessibility of tomorrow’s technology from both a corporate and government perspective.”

ITI and HiSoftware will host a panel discussion and demonstration of the tool during the IDEAS conference at the George Washington University Marvin Center, Washington, D.C.

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