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Questions about the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP)

From: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Date: Fri, 9 May 2014 11:24:59 -0700
To: <info@accessibilityassociation.org>
Cc: <ddikter@atia.org>, <Rob.Sinclair@microsoft.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, <webaim-forum@list.webaim.org>
Message-ID: <021301cf6bb3$fdc61950$f9524bf0$@ca>
An Open Letter to the Board of Directors of the International Association of
Accessibility Professionals (IAAP)


Upon recently reviewing of the IAAP website, and your Bylaws & Policies
http://www.accessibilityassociation.org/content.asp?contentid=239#A3%20S3 I
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

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


** Use of IAAP logo and "implications" based upon Membership

What rules, requirements and/or restrictions apply to the use of the IAAP


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

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 IAAP,
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.


John Foliot
Web Accessibility Specialist
W3C Invited Expert - Accessibility
Co-Founder, Open Web Camp
Received on Friday, 9 May 2014 18:25:33 UTC

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