The Purchasing Department at Fanshawe College is committed to not only adhering to the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, but with the spirit of the legislation as well. We wish to support the College’s vision statement, “Unlocking Potential” by ensuring that the College and its programs are more accessible and inclusive to students, staff and the public. This document outlines how we will achieve these goals.
The Legislation effective January 1, 2013
According to the “Integrated Accessibility Standards, Ontario Regulation 191/11”, Section 5, Procuring or Acquiring Goods, Services or Facilities; 5.(1) “…designated public sector organizations shall incorporate accessibility criteria and features when procuring or acquiring goods, services or facilities, except where it is not practicable to do so.”
Factors relevant to practicability may include availability of accessible goods, services or facilities, and technological compatibility between older products and newer ones being procured.
- Specifications are the responsibility of the requisitioner. Purchasing continually reviews many different types of specifications for adherence to standards; certifications; legislation and other types external and internal factors which decide the type of good or service purchased. The college’s aim is to release specifications which allow a fair response by the vendor. In addressing these AODA requirements the Purchasing department will continue to rely on good communication between the requisitioner and the buyer. Accessibility requirements will be added to the list of items discussed by the buyer with the requisitioner at the stage of writing the specifications.
- Keep a good vendor base. Purchasing wants to maintain good competition by asking the potential vendor for the accessibility features of their product or service instead of setting up a marking system that would eliminate potential bidders based on the accessibility features of their product.
- Match our effort to significant purchases or areas of risk for the institution. Purchasing is involved in quoting for goods and services over $10,000 and significantly involved in writing documents that support purchases of over $20,000.
- Keep the accountability at the appropriate level. Purchasing will follow the already established levels for purchasing approvals and not develop an executive waiver or sign-off that would eliminate the need for the review of accessibility criteria based on “practicability.”
- Keep things simple to encourage compliance. Purchases that require accessibility checklists will be managed by our department and be developed as needed in conjunction with the requisitioner. We know from experience that sending out blanket templates without personal direction confuse and complicate the process often causing unnecessary delays.
- Keep a mix of proactive and reactive processes to maximize service levels. Prescribed standards in designing facilities allow for a very effective proactive approach in addressing accessibility issues whereas equipment purchases that might require adaption or customization are more typically a reactive process based on individual needs.