WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Re: IAAP Certification Update


From: Paul Bohman
Date: Sep 13, 2015 8:38AM


With regard to test preparation:

Yes, the IAAP will publish a list of courses and other learning resources
so that people will be able to prepare adequately for the certification
exam. In addition to cataloging the resources I'm already aware of, I'll
distribute a questionnaire to accessibility training providers to allow
them to say which exam topics their training covers currently, and if they
don't currently cover all topics, they will be able to say if they have
plans to cover them and the anticipated availability of those new

I'll also reiterate that the Body of Knowledge document will be detailed,
and will serve as a good outline of the topics. People will likely still
benefit from taking preparation courses, but there is no requirement to
take any exam preparation course. The exam is competency-based.

With regard to target audience:

There are two levels of IAAP certification: associate and professional. The
associate level is conceptual and broad, with little technical content. The
professional level is technical. The associate level credential can be
considered the final IAAP credential (no need for professional-level
certification) for people in roles such as:

- Project or program or product managers who oversee
accessibility-related activities -- Examples include managers at IT
companies, ADA coordinators (U.S.), Section 508 coordinators in U.S.
government, Coordinators of student disability services in higher
education, executive leadership (especially in IT companies), and anyone in
a leadership or manager role who could benefit from accessibility knowledge.
- Visual designers and artists ("the creatives")
- Content writers and contributors
- User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) professionals (or they
have the option to also complete the professional level if they are
- Account representatives and salespeople who deal with
accessibility-related services.
- Customer service representatives (and their managers).
- Other non-technical positions that deal with accessibility issues in
one way or another.

The plan all along has been for the associate level to be a prerequisite
for any professional-level certifications that follow, but a final decision
has not yet been made on that point. My strong preference would be to have
the associate level serve as a prerequisite so that we wouldn't have to
duplicate topics on the professional-level exams. I want people to have a
strong conceptual foundation, which the associate-level exam will provide,
before certifying on the technical requirements.

By way of contrast, the professional-level certification exam for web
accessibility will be appropriate for:

- Web developers
- Web programmers
- Quality assurance (QA) analysts
- Accessibility analysts and consultants
- Accessibility instructors
- Anyone in a technical role who deals with accessibility issues

Paul Bohman, PhD
Director of Training, Deque Systems, Inc
703-225-0380, ext.121