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Re: FW: Maryland Accessibility Job


From: Jonathan Metz
Date: May 27, 2014 9:33AM

Thanks for responding!

I think that the "lack of certification or consistent curriculum" is a
huge part of it.

Another challenge is probably trying to figure out where our field fits in
a specific category (the same categories typically found on a job board's
drop down menus). Graphic Design has had this problem for years: Is a web
designer the same thing as a graphic designer? Do they basically do the
same things as someone who writes software? All code is the same, right?

I think another problem is that major players in our field have different
ideas about how the rules are interpreted and therefore how accessibility
must be implemented. I suspect that as a community, we suffer from similar
problems the US government has with their Section 508 Coordinators: Too
many Sous Chefs without an Executive Chef for a bunch of different

I wouldn't be surprised if organizations human resources departments come
to us from time to time and get mixed results for what to ask for.


On 5/27/14, 9:25 AM, "Jonathan Avila" < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:

>[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
>knowledgeable in that area and can pass the requirements for creating
>materials that comply with a specification/standard in an appropriate
>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
>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
>worth doing requires a degree.
>Only individuals with specific kinds of disabilities will have any chance
>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
>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
>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
>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
>>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?
>>>messages to <EMAIL REMOVED>