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RE: Recognised courses in Web Accessibility?

From: Simon White <simon.white@jkd.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2002 16:12:26 -0000
Message-ID: <FDFC0668A850D246BC4231715D94904E0CD38B@uranus.jkd.co.uk>
To: "David Sloan" <DSloan@computing.dundee.ac.uk>, "WAI List (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Dear David,
In answer to why I am asking for accreditation as a result of a need to prove something to potential clients, I will say this:

When speaking to clients within the 'new media' industry, the need to show relevant qualifications on specialist subjects is becoming paramount. I have been working with accessibility for approximately 15 months now, and although I can show the ability of *knowing what I am talking about*, when I am helping pitch a client that has not spoken to me directly they have no way of knowing if I know anything about the subject, let alone implementing it. So, that is the basis for my question. The reason that it is arising, I believe, is that it is simple nowadays to find an article within industry press, read up a bit on the subject and then sell that 'knowledge' to a client, when in actual fact they think that all that is required is a few alt attributes on a website and it is going to be accessible to all.

I taught myself basic HTML through the need to speak to technical staff, and am currently taking myself through a beginners guide to JavaScript and ASP, in order that I can help solve problems with technically-minded people. I don't profess to be a PhD on the subject, but I am proud that I have found ways to work around things through sheer persistence, often without the help of a technical mind. To be able to apply my knowledge to a course that has accreditation within this Web industry is something that would help me in my job, as well as allowing me to move in my career should I wish to do so.

I am lucky that the agency I work for takes the accessibility issue seriously and uses it as a basis for pitching for work, and we are having a great success with that. Not only that, our clients are beginning to see the benefits of this service, especially as the legal issues in the UK are being taken up by commercial websites. As with anything commercial, the ability to show (on paper) that you can do a job always helps enormously. In many cases, clients may not be aware of the issue, or if they are they simply think that it only involves a few alt attributes, when clearly it is a bigger issue than that.

I don't want to waffle on too much here, as I feel that I have said enough. I hope that this clarifies the question to everyone.

Also, a big big thank you to everyone who has replied. The resources that you have all listed is going to come in very handy.

Kind regards to all

-----Original Message-----
From: David Sloan [mailto:DSloan@computing.dundee.ac.uk]
Sent: Thursday, March 14, 2002 15:51
To: WAI List (E-mail); Simon White
Subject: RE: Recognised courses in Web Accessibility?

As I would hope computing departments at higher educational institutions
across the world do, Dundee University's  Applied Computing undergraduate
and postgraduate courses include a strong emphasis on accessible and usable
design of software, including web sites, and we encourage student projects
in that area. But we don't offer a specific Accessible Web Design course.

Simon, can I ask whether your request is as a result of a need to prove to
potential clients a professional or academic qualification in accessible
design, or is the enquiry more from the aim of validating a CV or resume?

It would be very interesting to hear that there are organisations putting
design jobs out to contract who are now demanding from interested parties
evidence of accessible design expertise in the form of formal

Best wishes,

David Sloan
Project Lead
Digital Media Access Group
University of Dundee

web: http://www.dmag.org.uk

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Received on Thursday, 14 March 2002 11:33:50 UTC

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