Re: Seeking feedback on IAAP certification roadmap

On Fri, 11 Apr 2014 20:13:31 +0200, <>  

> Phil,The certifying of voting machines is a very narrow specific case of  
> accessibility. Will IAAP have many different types of certification to  
> cover each >specific use case like voting machines? If yes, can you  
> provide more details around the types of certifications?

I didn't read the use case as being around certifying voting machines. But  
the people who need ot certify voting systems are  looking for some way of  
knowing who is a reliable professional in accessibility, beyond "ask lots  
of people for recommendations and work it out for yourself".

Which is indeed the point of a certification scheme (and why, if we get  
one that works, it needs to be really well done).


> Thanks.Tony
> Tony JasionowskiSenior Group Manager Accessibility
> Panasonic Consumer Electronics CompanyTwo Riverfront Plaza, 9th Floor 
> Newark, NJ 07102
> Email: 201-348-7777
> From:        Phill Jenkins <>To:        Sharron Rush  
> <>,Cc:        w3c-wai-ig@w3.orgDate:         
> 04/10/2014 01:06 PMSubject:        Re: Seeking feedback on IAAP  
> certification roadmap
> Sharron,two great questions that I'll weigh in on.
>> 1: "What is the problem we are addressing with certification and how is  
>> it solved?"
> Here is a use case that explains one problem:  NIST in the USA is tasked  
> with certifying voting machines and the whole system (management,  
> >preparation, voting day operations, etc.) for accessibility compliance  
> to guidelines and standards.  When a certifying company (agency or  
> consultant) >takes on the certifying tasks, some guidelines or criteria  
> were asked for on how to know who could be qualified and hired to do the  
> work.  There were >nor recognized or published criteria to be found.   
> So, the team started writing up some basic criteria they thought about,  
> such as a Master degree, a >few years of experience, etc.  But they soon  
> had additional questions to answer: which master's degree?  how many  
> years? and experience in what?   >The IAAP professional certification  
> program would help NIST examine and determine if an IAAP certified  
> processional would be sufficient and/or >necessary to meet their needs.   
> It would also help NIST better understand their own extended criteria &  
> needs (which is frankly part of the problem we >are solving for our  
> accessibility community too).
>> 2: "It is unlikely that employers or others will choose certification  
>> over years of proven experience" [OK, not a question, but >not a given  
>> either in my opinion]
> I believe another problem IAAP Certification is solving is how to  
> consistently and with some confidence be able to answer the questions:  
> "what does >years of proven experience" mean or equate to and give the  
> employer?  e.g. how many years of experience is appropriate to be used  
> to certify an >individual as professional?  What kinds of experience?  
> e.g. I ran a usability study with participants with disabilities vs I  
> participated in a usability >study; what kind of knowledge? e.g. I know  
> where to find and use WCAG techniques, vs I was on the working group  
> that wrote WCAG; I know which >assistive technologies would be  
> appropriate for a accessibility assessment, vs a knowledge of the  
> difference between AT's from both an end user's >perspective and a  
> testing perspective;  etc. I suppose I',m starting to write the  
> questions for the certification test, sorry.   In other words, a  
> certification >MUST explain what it represents and perhaps how it is  
> equivalent to years of accessibility experience, proving the ability to  
> do an accessibility >assessment of  web sites, etc. so that the employer  
> or decision maker (e.g. NIST) can decide if that persons has the  
> necessary qualifications and >skills. I believe if we can write up the  
> necessary list of skills a certification test can be written to benefit  
> the community and our stake holders.
>> I'm not representing IBM, the Access Board, nor IAAP on my response,  
>> but simply contributing to the groups' thinking and possibly helping  
>> Paul get >more information documented.
> ____________________________________________
> Regards,
> Phill Jenkins,Senior Accessibility Engineer & Business Development  
> Executive
> IBM Research - Human Ability & Accessibility Center
>> From:        Sharron Rush <>
> To:,Date:        04/09/2014 10:54 AM 
> Subject:        Re: Seeking feedback on IAAP certification roadmap
>> Hi Paul,
> These are important questions, I am glad that the IAAP is asking them.   
> I would add this one: What exactly is the problem >meant to be solved by  
> the certification process?  I have heard several but none seems aligned  
> with the Roadmap that you >present here.  So I guess the follow on  
> question would be: How does the certification process solve that  
> problem?  
> I looked on the "About IAAP" page for an answer to my question of "What  
> is the problem we are addressing with certification >and how is it  
> solved?" The closest I can find is under "Individual Professional  
> Development" which says:
> "Develop and implement activities, including a certification program, to  
> enable professionals working in accessibility and >those interested in  
> knowing more about accessibility to influence and implement  
> accessibility within any organization." Not >sure what that means - can  
> you explain? is it focused on web accessibility? physical accessibility?  
> both? and for whom >exactly?
> It is lovely to see people working together for a common goal of  
> improving awareness and skills around digital accessibility >(and I will  
> assume for the sake of discussion that is what is meant).  I strongly  
> agree with the fact that inclusive design >thinking is needed and is  
> needed throughout an organization, not simply among tech people.  But if  
> that is the problem, isn't >Lars' solution by far the better one? Should  
> our efforts not be put to integrating accessibility awareness and skills  
> training >into existing educational programs for project management,  
> programming, design, engineering, communications, etc?  It >seems that  
> the last thing we want is for accessibility to be once more shoehorned  
> into a "special" category, like "special" >education that seems to be  
> aimed at a particular (and somehow different) group of people.  Do we  
> not, rather want to see >broad thinking about human interaction  
> integrated seamlessly into the way people are trained for digital  
> communications >professions?
> I don't think, as others seem to, there is anything to fear from a  
> certification program.  It is unlikely that employers or others >will  
> choose certification over years of proven experience.  Most are quite  
> familiar with the empty promise of some skills >certification programs,  
> I am thinking now of usability certifications, a closely related field.  
> But I also see so little to gain and >find myself wishing that this much  
> energy and effort were being expended on an initiative that could really  
> make a >difference. I am simply not convinced that this is it.
> I don't mean to be a wet blanket and I thought a while about just  
> letting this go its course and remaining silent.  But as I said, >it is  
> exciting to see people begin to take action and I appreciate the way you  
> address the concerns that have been raised, >Paul.  So I share my  
> perspective in the hope of being helpful in focusing the efforts of IAAP  
> on a course of action that might >produce more useful outcomes than  
> building yet another certification.
> Sincerely,
> Sharron
> ------------------------------
> Sharron Rush | Executive Director |
> Equal access to technology for people with disabilitiesLearn web  
> accessibility from nose to tail at AccessU
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Received on Friday, 11 April 2014 22:32:13 UTC