Please note, the Accessibility Toolkit was last updated in 2014. Recommendations included in the Toolkit may not reflect current standards or best practices.

Model license and contract language


The following is a collection of suggested licensing language applicable to the procurement of library resources and associated services. This language can be used as a tool for developing a library’s own accessibility terminology when formulating procurement guidelines and should be adapted by each institution.

Model license language for eresources and databases

OCUL: ejournals and databases model license

The following statement is from the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) Model License for Electronic Journals and Databases, Section 3.15 Usage Rights:

“Licensed Materials must be provided in an Accessible Format. Without limiting the previous sentence, in the event that any Licensed Materials are not available in an Accessible Format, the Member Institution shall have the right to modify or copy the Licensed Materials in order to make it useable to Authorized Users within the scope of this Agreement.”

Ryerson University: sample collection policy language

The following statement is from the Ryerson University Collection Development Policy section on Policies by Type of Material, and is applicable to ebooks, ejournals and databases:

“Platforms with accessible interfaces (accessible via screen readers) and those which offer accessible format download options (for instance, versions that are machine-readable) will be preferred…”

Negotiating for accessible audio-visual formats

Ryerson University: sample collection policy language

The following statement is from a Ryerson University working document:

“Videos with closed captions and/or audio description will be preferred. Videos without closed captions or English subtitles will only be acquired if the permission to caption is granted by the creator or copyright holder.”

George Brown College: captioned media and e-text policy

The George Brown College Policies define “media” to include:

“VHS video, DVD, digitally streamed video files using web based applications and any other format that includes an audio-visual component closed captioning functions as well as how faculty members can ensure that material produced for their courses is accessible.”

The policies further state:

“All media resources purchased and used in the College must be captioned or captionable and all textbooks used for instructional purposes must be available in an e-text format. All new instructional, informational, marketing and promotional audio-visual materials produced by the College will be produced with captions on the master tape to ensure all subsequent copies will be captioned. This will include all course materials posted on WebCT (or other similar course management systems) for student use.”

Wisconsin University and Wisconsin Technical College

The Wisconsin Post-Secondary Captioned Media Policy Guide (Draft) was developed to comply with American legislation. It is valuable in the context of this toolkit insofar as it offers useful guidelines on ensuring media accessibility.

This guide addresses requirements on all purchases of new content and for obtaining permission to modify existing content with captions, including:

  • policy statement templates
  • obtaining copyright permissions and sample request letters
  • captioning existing media
  • purchasing new media

Permission form to caption videos

This is a sample draft of a permission form to secure the copyright or rights holder’s permission to close caption a video. It is based on a draft document from Ryerson University Library’s Accessible Format Production, and can be adopted as needed to suit your institutional needs. This form can also be implemented for all non-closed captioned future video acquisitions.

Name of rights/copyright holder or distributor:

Your name and contact information:

Title of film and duration:

Copyright year:

In the interest of fostering an environment of inclusivity and accessibility to resources, and in order to comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA),

  1. Do we have your permission to create a text transcript and a closed captioned version of the video named above? [yes / no checkboxes]
  2. If so, do we have your permission to add the closed captioned copy of the video (named above) to the Library’s circulating collection? [yes / no checkboxes]
  3. The video submitted is the original copy [yes / no checkboxes]

If you answer yes to questions 1 and 2, and if your video is captioned in- house by [NAME OF YOUR INSTITUTION], we would be happy to offer you a complimentary copy of the transcript file, and of the captions file in two common formats (a .srt and a .stl).

To facilitate the captioning of your video, please provide your video, any transcript you may have available, and the completed permission form with appropriate signatures to [DEPARTMENTAL ADDRESS].

I acknowledge that I have read the above information with care and that I am the legal copyright holder/distributor/producer of this work. [yes / no checkboxes]



Engaging external contractors’ services

Sample contract language

“The library is committed to including accessibility in the planning process. External contractors are requested to work with ________ (Name of your institution) to plan accessible routes, signage and procedures. Contractors are to ensure that all employees have successfully completed legislated AODA training. This will ensure that all users have equitable access and remain safe during the construction period.”

Accessible customer service training

Under the Customer Service Standard, employees of all organizations were expected to have completed accessible customer service training by January 1, 2012.

Section 5  of the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO)’s Guide to the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) states:

“Another criterion that could be included is accessibility training. This may be important for organizations when hiring another organization to provide services for them.”

OCUL institutions should stipulate that outside companies/businesses/contractors provide accessible customer service —which could be direct service or goods - and must incorporate accessibility principles into the management of all projects.

For more useful tips on what to look for when recruiting a new company, please consult the criteria to consider for services in Section 2: Set your accessibility criteria in the ADO’s guide to Making your purchases more accessible.

Sample policy language for accessible customer service training

OCAD University’s Purchasing Policy and Procedures Manual (2011), p.5, states:

“In compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act (AODA), 2005 all contractors are required to undertake training in Accessible Customer Service and provide the proof by sending an email to [university name] prior to start of the contract.”

The following statement is from The Americans with Disabilities Act (2013) by Angela Dresselhaus:

“Provider will [make reasonable efforts to] comply with AODA … by supporting assistive technologies or devices such as large print interfaces, voice-activated  input, screen readers, and alternate keyboard or pointer interfaces in a manner consistent with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)’s Web Accessibility Initiative and provide Licensee current completed Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT).”

Sample policy language for negotiating accessible IT hardware, software and services

“When procuring goods, services and facilities, _________ (name of your institution) will incorporate accessibility features wherever possible. Institutional procurement documents will outline the desired accessibility criteria and provide guidelines for the evaluation of proposals in respect of these criteria. Where it is impractical for ________ (name of your institution) to incorporate accessibility criteria and features when procuring or acquiring specific goods, services or facilities, the ___________

(office/individual responsible for this) will provide a written explanation, on request.”


“_________ (Name of your institution) will incorporate accessibility criteria and features when procuring or acquiring goods, services.

In the event that it is not practicable to procure accessible goods or services, the university will provide a written explanation, detailing why accessibility criteria could not be incorporated (due to prohibitive costs or availability).”

What other accessible procurement resources are available to me?

The Accessible Procurement Toolkit originally produced for Industry Canada is an interactive resource that covers a wide variety of products ranging from furniture to documentation and software. This toolkit can be searched by keyword or by type of product, making it a straightforward and easy tool to use.

American Library Association (ALA) guide

The Association of Specialized & Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), a subdivision of the American Library Association (ALA), has produced a guide for accessible procurement:

Think Accessible Before You Buy:

Other tools for evaluating product accessibility

To find out about procurement policies at your university, please visit the Ontario University Procurement Management Association (OUPMA)page.