Accessible Procurement

Guidelines for Ensuring Accessible Purchase of Course Materials 

Preface

As mandated by the Ontario government (the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Integrated Accessibility Standard), accessibility criteria and features must be incorporated into all purchasing practices.  It is the responsibility of each employee purchasing a food, service or facility to consider and apply the appropriate accessibility criteria to their purchasing decisions.  If it is not practical to incorporate accessibility criteria or features you must be ready to provide an explanation upon request. 

This standard applies to the purchase and use of text books, course materials, platforms and websites in the following manner:

1. That large scale organizations (e.g., universities) provide educators with awareness training related to accessible program or course delivery and instruction (effective Jan 2013).  An online training module has been created by the Diversity and Equity Office. 


2. Libraries of educational and training institutions, shall provide, procure or acquire by other means an accessible or conversion ready format of print, digital or multimedia resources or materials for persons with a disability upon request (Jan 1 2015).


3. Obligated organizations (universities) shall provide educational or training resources or materials in an accessible format that takes into account the accessibility needs of persons with a disability. Organizations shall provide this by procuring through purchase or obtaining by other means an accessible or conversion ready electronic format of educational resources when available; arrange for the provision of a comparable resource in an accessible or conversion ready electronic format if educational or training resources or materials cannot be procured, obtained by other means or converted into an accessible format (Jan 1, 2013).


4. Producers of print based educational or training supplementary learning resources for educational or training institutions shall upon request make accessible or conversion ready versions of the printed materials available to institutions (conversion ready textbooks by Jan 1, 2015; supplementary learning resources (by Jan 1, 2020).

To ensure educators and staff are making purchases that meet AODA accessibility standards and abide by Laurier’s Procurement Policy, the following questions can be asked of producers to determine accessibility of materials:

  • Is the text book available in a pdf or e-text format
  • When animation or video are used, are controls to navigate the key board easily operable?
  • Is there consistent key board navigation, including across operating systems and browsers?
  • Have videos been closed captioned?
  • Are described videos available?
  • Is the transcription of videos available?
  • Is there a strong colour contrast on both textual and visual elements?
  • Can material be zoomed to 400% preserving the readability of the content?
  • Can content and meaning be perceived by someone with colour blindness?
  • Can instructors identify screen reader accessible content and options when creating their assignments through the use of accessibility icons or identifiers?
  • If you have asked if materials are accessible, here are some probing questions to ensure materials are accessible or conversion ready:
    • How have materials been tested?
    • Have AODA standards and guidelines been followed in the production of materials?
    • WLU uses Jaws (version 16), Zoomtext (version 10.1) and Kurzweil (version 14), have materials been tested with these adaptive software?
    • Can material be forwarded to the Accessible Learning Centre for further testing? 
    • If the material is in progress of being made accessible, ask what final format will be provided and projected timeline for completion. 
    • If dynamic study materials utilizing web content are used, are they accessible?
      • How have they been tested for accessibility?
      • If they are not accessible, what is the plan for alternative access (e.g., working with the Accessible Learning Centre)?
      • Can solutions to web-based study questions or self-assessments be forwarded to Accessible Learning for formatting in a conversion-ready format?
      • Is there a technical contact person responsible for responding to accessibility issues available for consult?  If so, who?

Created by the Accessible Learning Centre, 2016 - Accessible Procurement Website

 

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