WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: IAAP Certification Update


From: Paul Bohman
Date: Sep 14, 2015 3:54PM


A few points:

- Thank you for the feedback. I'm always interested in understanding
people's thoughts about certification.
- Certification isn't so much about weeding out undesirables as it is
about providing a common definition and metric that people can reference.
- The hope is that the certification exam will be a meaningful, accurate
metric of a person's knowledge and analytical skills. There are certainly
limitations to what an exam can test. I would not expect that the
certification would be the only way to measure or prove one's accessibility
skills. It will be one way among several.
- To your points about PDF files, I'll mention that there are good and
bad aspects to it. PDF files can be fully screen reader accessible on
Windows, but not so much on a Mac, iOS device, or Android. I will mention
that the IAAP has considered offering another professional level
certification for e-documents, such as PDF, Word, EPUB, and ebook formats
of other kinds.
- The associate level is not just for managers. In a previous email in
this thread, I named managers as one category. I also named UX specialists,
visual designers, content writers and contributors, account
representatives, salespeople, and people in other non-technical roles.
Generally, for these people, accessibility is not their main focus on the
job. They do accessibility as a part of their larger set of
responsibilities. That doesn't make their job less important at all. It
just means that they themselves probably would not think of themselves as
"accessibility professionals." They would think of themselves as project
managers, UX specialists, etc., who happen to have some accessibility
- You are right that it is a challenge to get a group of accessibility
professionals to agree on testing methods or priorities. Welcome to one of
the challenges of what we're trying to accomplish! It's also an
opportunity. It will take time to bring clarity to all aspects of
accessibility. We're trying to do our part.

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