Accessibility rules for procurement
Learn how designated public sector organizations must include accessibility criteria when buying or acquiring goods, services and facilities.
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The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is the law that sets out a process for developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards. Government, businesses, non-profits and public sector organizations must follow the standards. Accessibility laws and standards help to reduce and remove barriers and make Ontario more inclusive for everyone.
What you need to do
Designated public sector organizations must include accessibility criteria in their procedures for buying and acquiring goods, services and facilities. This means you must consider accessibility, where possible, along with other criteria like the quality and cost of the items. You must also incorporate accessible design and features where possible.
Questions to ask about accessibility
When you are buying and acquiring goods, services or facilities, you should ask these questions to ensure you are meeting accessibility standards.
- Can the product be used, for example, by someone:
- in a seated position?
- using one hand, with limited upper body strength?
- with limited fine motor skills?
- with vision loss or low vision?
- with hearing loss?
- with limited cognitive ability/memory?
- if accompanied by a service animal?
- Does the product meet ergonomic standards?
- Can the product be customized to meet different needs?
- Are instructions for using the product clear and easy to follow?
- Are support materials (e.g., manuals or training materials) available in accessible formats at no extra charge?
- Does the firm provide accessible customer service?
- Can the service provider accommodate the needs of people of all abilities? For example, if you are hiring someone to do research for you, do their surveys and interviews accommodate people with different types of disabilities?
- Will the company use accessible signage, audio and/or print materials? For example, if you are hiring an event coordinator, will they use high contrast signs for the event?
- Can someone using a mobility aid (e.g., wheelchair or walker) move around the facility?
- Are signs placed at an accessible height?
- Does the facility have emergency procedures to assist people with disabilities?
If accessibility is not practical
If you cannot find or use an accessible product, service or facility, you must be prepared to:
- explain why
- provide your explanation in an accessible format or with communication supports, when requested
The aim and purpose of this webpage is to help individuals and organizations with information related to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and its associated Integrated Accessibility Standards regulation O. Reg 191/11. While we aim to provide relevant and timely information, no guarantee can be given as to the accuracy or completeness of any information provided. This guidance is not intended to nor does it provide legal advice and should not be relied upon or treated as legal advice. Those seeking legal advice should consult with a qualified legal professional.
In case of discrepancy between website content and relevant Ontario legislation and regulations, the official version of Ontario Acts and Regulations as published by the King's Printer for Ontario will prevail.
The Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility and the Government of Ontario do not endorse or recommend any accessibility consultant(s), their advice, opinions or recommendations.