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Re: [WebAIM] Questions about the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP)

From: Paul Bohman <paul.bohman@deque.com>
Date: Fri, 9 May 2014 16:03:09 -0400
Message-ID: <CA+20umGC+dOEEzAGNQAkMmSd=HjjT2rSJkHzDA+7cVWkPUWYLQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: WebAIM Discussion List <webaim-forum@list.webaim.org>
Cc: info@accessibilityassociation.org, W3C WAI ig <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, David Dikter <ddikter@atia.org>, "rob.sinclair" <Rob.Sinclair@microsoft.com>
Excellent questions, John. I am involved as the certification committee
chair with IAAP, but I have not been involved in either of the two
decisions that you ask about, so I will have to leave it to others do
address your questions, but I agree those questions are worth asking, and
they can have important consequences.

Perhaps a follow-up question to you would be: How would you prefer to
handle these scenarios? It's entirely possible that the IAAP has not yet
finalized all of those details (I'm sure they'll correct me if I'm wrong on
this), and that it will look to the community to offer their input. What
input would you offer?

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

On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 2:24 PM, John Foliot <john@foliot.ca> wrote:

> An Open Letter to the Board of Directors of the International Association
> of
> Accessibility Professionals (IAAP)
> Hello.
> Upon recently reviewing of the IAAP website, and your Bylaws & Policies
> http://www.accessibilityassociation.org/content.asp?contentid=239#A3%20S3I
> have a question or 2 that I am unable to find answers to. It is my hope
> that
> you can answer them here for both myself and the community, as well as
> update your website with the (what I believe to be important) information I
> am seeking.
> *************
> Voting Rights
> (http://www.accessibilityassociation.org/content.asp?contentid=239#A3%20S3
> )
> Your website states: "Section 3. Voting Rights - Each member having voting
> rights shall be entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to a vote of
> the members having voting rights."
> Outside of the somewhat circular logic and nonsense speak offered there
> (paraphrase: those who can vote get to vote whenever there is a vote), I
> cannot find anywhere on your site *WHICH* members have voting rights, and
> how those voting rights are acquired. (I am concerned with the phrase "...
> a
> vote of the members having voting rights", which somehow implies that not
> all members will have those rights...)
> * Does every (paid) member have a voting right? One member, one vote? (How
> does the initial "first year free" for individual members impact this?)
> * Or is voting restricted to corporate membership only?
> * If it is one member, one vote, how are corporate memberships handled?
> Does
> a Standard Corporate membership (20 members) accrue 20 votes? Silver gets
> 40
> votes? Platinum 120 votes? (I strikes me that one way to stack the deck is
> to buy your way to the table) - what mechanisms are in place to ensure that
> the rank-and-file individual Professional member's voice and vote is heard
> equitably?
> *************
> ** Use of IAAP logo and "implications" based upon Membership
> What rules, requirements and/or restrictions apply to the use of the IAAP
> logo?
> [scenario]
> The XYZ Company (registered in Delaware, or maybe Nevada <wink>), has
> recently released the "5-Zero-8 Wonder Widget (TM)", a software tool so
> powerful and awesome that the proprietary technologies involved are
> patented
> (see:
> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/05/09/amazon_granted_patent_for_taking_pho
> tos_against_a_white_background/).
> This "Wonder Widget" will, amongst other things, continually scan your
> website, finding and fixing every accessibility problem known to man, after
> which it will fold your clean laundry, take the trash to the curb, and on
> Fridays give you a relaxing back rub.
> Excited at the lucrative business opportunities this new technology
> represents, the owner of the XYZ Company purchases a membership to the
> and then proudly displays the IAAP logo on their website.
> After an independent review of the accessibility claims proffered by this
> amazing tool, it is discovered that one of the instant fixes is to
> automatically find all images and insert or replace all alt values with
> alt="", ensuring that each and every image on the page and site has a valid
> (if null) alt attribute! (It is also discovered that all of your socks are
> mis-matched, and it gives a lousy back rub...)
> [end of scenario]
> * What mechanism is in place to ensure that such an abuse of the IAAP logo
> can be avoided?
> * How does the IAAP plan on addressing the implication that simply
> purchasing a membership to the IAAP in no way constitutes or implies
> credence to the idea that the purchaser has any real or valid/valuable
> accessibility relevance?
> * Is there (or will there be) a public registry of members of the IAAP
> (perhaps with "reviews" or referrals)? Or will the IAAP operate similar to
> the Better Business Bureau, where you "register", display the logo, and as
> long as no-one has complained (and sometimes even if they have), you get to
> claim to be part of the BBB?
> * Article 3, Section 6 of the bylaws notes a mechanism to revoke membership
> from agents clearly seeking to benefit on the goodwill of the IAAP name,
> without providing the value that this implication may afford. However,
> again
> details are foggy: if they "purchased" membership, will they be
> re-reimbursed? Fully, pro-rated, none?
> To be perfectly candid and clear, I support the idea of applying
> professional rigor to the profession of which I am a part of. The need for
> a
> transparent mechanism to identify qualified practitioners of our trade (or
> is it Craft?) is increasing daily, there is an identified gap between the
> numbers of professionals needed, and the supply of said professionals, and
> the goal of addressing those needs is laudable. Before I participate in any
> professional activity however, I owe it to myself, and my own sense of
> professionalism, to do my due diligence and ensure that any investment I
> make toward a professional association is in keeping with my current
> personal standards of equitability and transparency.
> I thank you in advance for the answers to the questions I pose today. I am
> sure that there will be more, either from myself or others, and I look
> forward to continued progress and success of this initiative.
> Sincerely,
> JF
> ------------------------------
> John Foliot
> Web Accessibility Specialist
> W3C Invited Expert - Accessibility
> Co-Founder, Open Web Camp
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Received on Friday, 9 May 2014 20:03:58 UTC

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