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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.71
Liaison Jeffrey Severin
Submission Date July 17, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Kansas
IN-1: Innovation 1

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Snacks Within Everyone's Reach at KU - Assessibility Issues and Vending Machines

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome :

Vending machines have long been difficult for people with disabilities to access, but thanks to the initiative of Jamie Lloyd Simpson, the Director of Accessibility and ADA Education at the University of Kansas (KU), snacks and sodas are within their grasp in Lawrence.
Simpson was given a heads up by the campus fire marshall that the university was negotiating a new contract in 2012, and her thoughts quickly went to the fact that most of the controls on the existing machines were too high. She checked with David Mucci, director of KU's Kansas and Burge unions, who showed her photos of the new vending machines that were going to be provided by Canteen.
Simpson could tell from the photos that the credit card readers were going to be too high. “I remember thinking, unless the model is designed for an Amazon woman, the vending machine was not going to comply,” she said. Indeed, the reader was located at 66 inches, a substantial foot and a half higher than the new 2010 ADA guidelines allow.
Canteen representatives told Mucci that 66 inches was the “industry standard” and that because of the mechanics of the machines, lowering the credit card reader would be an “impossible” change.
Before drawing a line in the sand, Simpson wanted to be sure. So she called Ray Petty.
Petty is the Kansas Coordinator of the Great Plains ADA Center. The Great Plains ADA Center has been providing ADA training and technical assistance in the region for more than 20 years. “I told her that they wouldn’t be in compliance with the new or the old standards from 1991”. The highest operable part must be 48 inches or lower and the lowest operable part has to be 15 inches or more above the ground.
, Canteen countered at 53 inches. Again, Simpson checked with Petty. “I told her to stick to her guns. If they buckled, who knows how long they’d be stuck with these inaccessible machines,” said Petty. Simpson and KU stood firm.
After consulting further with their own experts, Canteen agreed.
Buoyed by her success, Simpson asked Mucci for the contact information for their Coca Cola distributor, Dave Nabazas,. This time, she sent the information about the requirements to Nabazas ahead of their meeting on campus.


A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):

According to Coca Cola officials, KU's efforts to educate Coca Cola about the ADA standards during their first design of their CO2 refigerant vending machines, they would also make their newly designed machines comply with the new accessibility standards.

Coca Cola installed 30 of the newly accessible machines at KU August 16, 2012


A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of 5):
Yes or No
Curriculum No
Research No
Campus Engagement Yes
Public Engagement Yes
Air & Climate No
Buildings Yes
Dining Services Yes
Energy No
Grounds No
Purchasing Yes
Transportation No
Waste No
Water No
Coordination, Planning & Governance Yes
Diversity & Affordability Yes
Health, Wellbeing & Work Yes
Investment No

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:
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The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.