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Re: FW: Maryland Accessibility Job


From: Jonathan Avila
Date: May 27, 2014 7:25AM

[Jonathan wrote] Why do organizations expect anything better from someone
with a Master's degree specifically for this kind of position? The title
doesn't include "Director", "Manager", "Senior".

I share your frustration. I've seen situations where people with Master's
Degrees were simply creating materials in alternative formats. Creating
alternative formats doesn't require a Master's -- it requires someone who is
knowledgeable in that area and can pass the requirements for creating
materials that comply with a specification/standard in an appropriate amount
of time.

Part of the challenge may be that there is a lack of certification or
consistent curriculum that organizations can point to in order to make sure
candidates have the appropriate skill set.


-----Original Message-----
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Jonathan Metz
Sent: Friday, May 23, 2014 11:02 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] FW: Maryland Accessibility Job

I've been seeing a bunch of these job descriptions recently.

Why do organizations expect anything better from someone with a Master's
degree specifically for this kind of position? The title doesn't include
"Director", "Manager", "Senior". Requiring advanced degrees for jobs where
skill and experience would be better only perpetuates the myth that anything
worth doing requires a degree.

Only individuals with specific kinds of disabilities will have any chance of
consideration for positions like this. Cognitive disabilities and IWD who
have struggled with our broken education system will likely suffer because
organizations and companies attach this unnecessary requirement.
Just because you can't openly admit it doesn't mean it isn't obviously

If your organization is looking for someone to help with accessibility/user
experience/usability needs, tell people EXACTLY what you want. If people
send a cover letter arguing that in their Master's thesis they've proven
techniques that will further your goal, kudos to them. I bet you money that
someone with or without only a certification from AIIM or a PMP could do
anything listed in this description.

>SALARY: State Salary Grade 21
>Annual Salary Range: $59,355 - $86,690

This right here basically covers a single year of post-graduate study in the
fields they want.

>LOCATION: 200 West Baltimore Street
>Baltimore, Maryland 21201
>NATURE OF WORK: This is a professional position responsible for
>ensuring that all digital products generated by the Maryland State
>Department of Education (MSDE) are accessible to individuals with

Ok, so someone who can correctly apply the laws and responsibilities to EIT.

>Increase the capacity of MSDE to provide fully and equally accessible
>content and information for independent use by individuals with

Procurement, training, technical assistance, probably Information
Architecture, project management, etcetera

>reviews digital resources;

Testing, qa, making sure nobody breaks laws, etcetera

>ensures that all communications, including meetings, are accessible;

Ok, some IT capabilities, sure…

>utilize software and hardware and assistive technologies needed to
>create and evaluate products for individuals with disabilities;

Ok, more testing, and being able to use AT should theoretically be a
no-brainer but whatever…

>collaborates and provides technical assistance to MSDE and local school
>systems related to the procurement and development of accessible

Sure, an ability to translate the stuff regarding the
what/why/when/who/where/how/etcetera to the uninitiated is a step in the
right direction.

>develops policies and processes related to presentation of digital
>content in accordance with federal and state regulations and policies.

Ok, develop some guidelines and rules. Got it.

>EDUCATION: Master's Degree or equivalent 36 credit hours of post
>baccalaureate course work in Special Education, Instructional
>Technology, Assistive Technology, or a related field.
>Knowledge of current accessibility regulations, laws, Web Content
>Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, experience in the use of assistive
>software and hardware resources; skill in developing and presenting
>professional development programs; ability to interpret and apply laws
>and regulations; ability to organize, prioritize and manage multiple
>tasks; ability to work as a team member and establish and maintain
>effective working relationships; ability to communicate effectively,
>both orally and in writing.

Only MS degrees would be able to perform these responsibilities?

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