Procurement & Accessibility
As outlined in Section 5 of the Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulation, Laurier is " shall incorporate accessibility criteria and features when procuring or acquiring goods, services or facilities, except where it is not practicable to do so." Although a broad statement, this requirement is important for various reasons: first it ensures that as Laurier enters new purchase agreements or replaces existing products, it takes accessibility into consideration; second it helps create change in the overall consumer market as more and more consumers demand vendors create accessible products and services; third, it forces departments to take a minute and re-evaluate their own deliverables using an accessibility lens (are the services and products we produce accessible for all potentials users?).
Accessible procurement is EVERYONE'S responsibility. If you are involved in decisions relate to purchasing products or services (from office equipment, to web applications, to educational tools...), you must make considerations for accessibility. If a product or service is not accessible, you will be responsible for ensuring its accessibility. For example, if you purchase an electronic forms tool which allows you to easily gain information from students and the tool is not compatible with screen readers (not accessible), you are responsibility for finding an alternative way to get information from students who use screen reading software. It is much easier to consider accessibility when purchasing the tool instead of making workarounds after it has been purchased.
Resources to help you make accessible purchases
The Diversity & Equity Office and Procurement Services have worked to compile resources related to accessible procurement including an Accessibility Checklist. Please visit Procurement Services for the most up-to-date resources.