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Re: Seeking feedback on IAAP certification roadmap

From: Paul Bohman <paul.bohman@deque.com>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2014 10:28:27 -0400
Message-ID: <CA+20umHiaCP4xOgRH2NmtHkCdy-Aj4uxXmhB7DigYWdcm3+FCg@mail.gmail.com>
To: davebest@cogeco.ca
Cc: W3C WAI ig <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Thanks for your detailed feedback.

Affordability is a sensitive issue that the IAAP has heard over and over
from many people, so we are well aware of the need to make things
affordable, in particular for people with disabilities. I don't know
exactly how that is going to play out, since I can't speak for the entire
IAAP on that issue, but I can definitely say that the people in IAAP are
taking that concern very seriously.

As for the idea that certification is an effort to control the ecosystem,
we're also aware of that concern. The certification assessments will be
designed in such a way as to test transferable knowledge across
technologies and tools. We haven't yet designed the actual assessment, so I
can't say at this point whether any specific tools (such as tools by Deque,
SSB Bart, WebAIM, HiSoft or others) will be a part of the assessment. We're
aware of the need to be vendor neutral. And in fact, it is possible to do
everything without any vendor tools, so the assessment may not look
specifically at any of them. That part has yet to be decided. We want to
create something generalizable, but also test skills that are practical to
employers, who may want to hire people with skills on a specific tool. So
those are things we will discuss as we go forward. As always, public input
is welcome during the process.

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

On Wed, Apr 9, 2014 at 9:43 AM, David Best <davebest@cogeco.ca> wrote:

> Paul, in general I agree with the need for accessibility certification,
> and like the proposed road map and suggested skill levels. However, I fear
> that this process and IAAP benefits, is a platform for large corporations
> to control the accessibility ecosystem. Accessibility laws, being passed by
> governments around the world, has created a new ecosystem in which
> disability has become a market opportunity.
> There are a lot of companies who genuinely care about improving
> accessibility to their products, and services, but the focus tends to be on
> research and development rather than sustainable job skills for disabled
> people. It is good to see large mainstream technology companies engaged in
> the accessibility chalenge, but there appears to be little effort in
> creating sustainable job opportunities for disabled employees of today. I
> can understand the need to charge a fee for professional certifications,
> but within the current IAAP business model, only those individuals who work
> for a large corporation will be able to afford IAAP education and benefits.
> With the so called technology skills gap and trend toward entrepreneur
> employment in North America, the IAAP business model should be more
> inclusive by sponsoring partnerships and collaboration opportunities. The
> disabled population has a very high unemployment rate, and unfortunately
> the recent accessibility ecosystem has continued to marginalize them.
> Accessibility must become part of the corriculum of relevant academic
> institutions, and IAAP should focus on collaboration in course development
> with recognized educational organizations rather than a private
> certification programme. Supporting education and employment opportunities
> will allow IAAP to become more involved with real life challenges
> confronted by disabled people today.
> Regards,
> David
> *From:* Paul Bohman [mailto:paul.bohman@deque.com]
> *Sent:* Tuesday, April 08, 2014 1:16 PM
> *To:* w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> *Subject:* Seeking feedback on IAAP certification roadmap
> Cross posted request for feedback:
> The International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) needs
> your feedback on our roadmap for accessibility certification. Here is the
> roadmap as it stands now:
> http://www.accessibilityassociation.org/content.asp?contentid=163
> We are still in the early stages of designing the certification, so your
> feedback is most valuable now, before we commit to a certain path.
> Here are some questions to consider as you read the roadmap:
>    1. What do you think of the roadmap overall?
>    2. What would you do to improve our roadmap?
>    3. What do you think of the *levels* of certification outlined in the
>    roadmap?
>    4. Are there any broad *Knowledge Domains and Roles* that we have left
>    off that should be included?
>    5. Do you like our list of *Digital Accessibility* areas of
>    certification? Should we add to or subtract from this list? (For example,
>    one person commented that we should add gaming to the list.)
>    6. Do you like the idea of certifying for these areas separately, in a
>    modular approach as we have done? (See the section on *Referencing
>    IAAP Credentials* for an explanation of how this might work)
>    7. Do you like the 3 year period for certification? Would you make it
>    shorter (2 years) or longer (5 years)?
>    8. What kind of certification assessment would you create? Keep in
>    mind that it has to be a valid and meaningful test of the right kind of
>    competencies, it must be challenging enough that novices could not pass it
>    without first studying or gaining experience,  it must be scalable (not too
>    burdensome to administer or grade/score the assessment), and translatable
>    into other languages.
>    9. Once certification becomes available, do you think you would go
>    through the process to become certified? Why or why not?
>    10. What else should we consider as we move forward?
> To give feedback, you can reply directly to this email, or you can send an
> email to the certification committee: CC@accessibilityassociation.org
> Paul Bohman, PhD
> Chair, IAAP Certification Committee
> Director of Training
> Deque Systems, Inc
> www.deque.com
> 703-225-0380, ext.121
Received on Wednesday, 9 April 2014 14:29:15 UTC

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