[Athen] FW: [WebAIM] IAAP Certification Update

Ron Stewart ronrstewart at gmail.com
Wed Sep 9 19:54:16 PDT 2015

Thought you may all be interested in this information.

Ron Stewart

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto:webaim-forum-bounces at list.webaim.org] On Behalf Of Paul Bohman
Sent: Wednesday, September 09, 2015 9:12 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: [WebAIM] IAAP Certification Update

I'm the Chair of the Certification Committee at the IAAP (International Association of Accessibility Professionals). We've recently updated the page about certification on the IAAP website to explain where we are in the process (http://www.accessibilityassociation.org/content.asp?contentid=328)
I've also included the full text below. I welcome any comments or questions.
IAAP Certification The International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) will begin offering professional certification in 2016.
Where We Are Now in the Process? Currently, the Job Task Analysis validation survey has been distributed to the accessibility community. The validation survey is used to define the core competencies of those working at an entry level in the accessibility industry. The validation survey is the foundation for the exam content outline (or blueprint) that will serve as the basis for all exam content.

Once the survey results have been finalized, the exam content outline will be made publically available on the IAAP website.

All accessibility professionals are encouraged to complete the validation survey which can be accessed at https://accessibilityassociation.formstack.com/forms/iaap_2015_ja
The Process of Creating a Professional Certification Professional Testing (IAAP’s exam development partner) outlines the critical steps necessary to develop a valid and reliable examination.

Access the full certification process outline <http://iaap.membershipsoftware.org/files/Exam%20Development%20and%20Procedures%20Guidelines.pdf>
Goals of the Certification Program The IAAP certification program aspires to the following goals for accessibility certification:

- To define what accessibility professionals are expected to know.
- To increase the quality and consistency of the work performed by
accessibility professionals.
- To provide accessibility professionals with a credential as evidence
of their commitment to the accessibility field, and of their competence
within the field.
- To provide employers, the accessibility community and the public with
a metric to measure and assess the accessibility competence of current
and/or prospective employees.
- To provide colleges, universities, and vocational programs with clear
educational outcomes and a curriculum outline for teaching accessibility.
- To strengthen the community of practice among accessibility

The Structure and Scope of the IAAP Certification Program The IAAP will offer two levels of certification: an associate level credential, and subsequent professional level credentials. Associate Level

- *Foundation Level*: The Associate level credential is the entry level
credential. It is the foundation upon which the Professional level
certifications build.
- *Broad and Conceptual*: This level covers a broad range of topics
within accessibility, and the exam will be rigorous, but the exam questions
will be mostly conceptual in nature, rather than technical.

Professional Level

- *Technical Detail*: Certifying at the professional level requires
detailed technical knowledge of the domain. For example, accessibility
professionals are expected to evaluate the accessibility of existing
content or objects according to published technical standards and
guidelines, and provide detailed remediation recommendations. They are
expected to know and use the relevant technologies, not merely be aware of
- *Multiple Professional Level Credentials*: The IAAP was conceived as
an organization for all accessibility professionals across a wide range of
accessibility domains, such as accessibility of the web, software,
multimedia, documents, consumer products, industrial design,
transportation, architecture and the built environment, etc. The IAAP will
develop multiple professional level certification exams for multiple
accessibility domains, depending on market demand.
- *Focus First on Web Accessibility*: The first Professional level IAAP
credential will focus on web accessibility.

Certified Accessibility Associate (CAA) The Certified Accessibility Associate (CAA) credential is IAAP's foundational certification, representing the practical application of broad, cross-disciplinary conceptual knowledge about 1) disabilities, 2) accessibility and universal design, and 3) accessibility-related standards, laws, and management strategies.

Relevant domains for the CAA credential include the web and other digital technologies, architecture and the built environment, consumer and industrial design, transportation systems, and any domain in which thoughtful design, policy, and management can improve disability access.

The CAA is the ideal credential for those who manage and support accessibility, but who may not personally design, implement, or evaluate the technical details of accessible solutions. For those who do work at the technical level, IAAP will be working to create domain-specific professional credentials which build on the associate-level credential. The first professional level he IAAP is actively developing is the Certified Professional in Web Accessibility (CPWA). The IAAP will add other technical professional certification credentials in other domains in accordance with market and professional demand.
Nature of the Certification Examination The IAAP wants accessibility professionals – and the employers who hire them – to recognize the value of IAAP credentials as a valid benchmark of a person’s accessibility knowledge and skills. To meet this goal, the IAAP will work closely with accessibility professionals and assessment professionals to design the exams and test their reliability and validity. The IAAP will monitor the outcomes and continually assess the effectiveness of the exams to ensure the trustworthiness of all IAAP credentials.

The exact nature and format of the test is to be determined. At this point, the IAAP anticipates that many questions will likely be in a format amenable to automated scoring, but some questions – especially at the professional level – may be more open-ended to allow for more nuanced, performance-based assessments of actual skills.
Who Should Take the Associate Level Examination? The associate-level credential is intended for accessibility professionals, for those who manage accessibility outcomes, and for anyone who plays a key role in ensuring that the digital and physical worlds are accessible to people with disabilities including:

- Accessibility professionals in any field (e.g. web design, software
engineering, hardware engineering, consumer and industrial product design,
transportation, architecture and the built environment, educational
accommodations, etc.), whose job requires in-depth accessibility expertise.
Accessibility professionals should also consider IAAP professional-level
certification, if available for their area of expertise.*
- Project, program, or portfolio managers and executive leaders
overseeing initiatives or organizations that focus on accessibility, or
which include accessibility as a key component.
- Anyone whose job requires accessibility awareness or competence (e.g.
technology professionals in diverse specializations, architects and urban
planners, international development professionals, disability rights
activists, lawmakers and legal counsel, media producers, recreation and
hospitality providers, teachers and professors, health care providers,
emergency response coordinators, salespeople and support staff at
accessibility consulting companies, etc.).

*Note: The associate-level certification is the terminal (final) IAAP credential for all careers except those for which a professional-level IAAP credential exists. Currently the only professional-level certification under development by the IAAP is for web accessibility. The IAAP will consider developing other specialized credentials in the future.
When Will IAAP Offer the First Certification Examination? Registration for the associate level certification will be offered in the first quarter of 2016. The timeline for other professional level certifications is still to be determined.
How Much Will the CAA Certification Examination Cost? The exam will be $325 for members; $425 for non-members. We will also offer an emerging country rate at $150.
What Content Will the CAA Certification Examination Include? While the exam blueprint is still in development, the chart below outlines the anticipated exam content.

Anticipated Exam Content Topic Sub-Topic Disabilities Theoretical Models of Disability Types of Disabilities, Challenges, and Assistive Technologies Disability Demographics Disability Etiquette Accessibility and Universal Design Individual Accommodations versus Inclusive Design Benefits of Accessibility Accessibility Principles (WCAG 2.0) The Principles of Universal Design 2.0 Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Usability and User Experience (UX) Standards, Laws, and Management Strategies International Conventions and Treaties Accessibility Standards and Regulations National and Regional Laws Systematic Organizational Governance and Management Preparing for the CAA Certification Examination Certification Preparation Training The certification will be competency-based, which means that the IAAP will not require the completion of any kind of training. Successful certification will depend on one's score on the certification exam.
Certificants will be able to study on their own, based on the content in the Body of Knowledge document, or they can take certification preparation courses if they choose.

The IAAP does not currently offer an "official" IAAP certification preparation training curriculum. The plan is to leverage the existing third-party resources and services already in the market. Nearly all accessibility companies and consultants provide accessibility training as part of their business model, and information is available online in both free and paid formats. The IAAP will publish a list of vetted certification training providers for the benefit of those seeking exam preparation training.
Maintaining Certification IAAP certification is valid for 3 years. Every three years, certificants will be required to

- Complete a certain number of continuing education credits (to be
determined) a portion of which must be offered or approved by IAAP
- Submit an application for certification renewal.

Individuals do not need to retake any of the exams to maintain their certification unless they allow their certification to lapse.

As technologies and professional expectations evolve, these renewal requirements are subject to change.
Continuing Education Units (CEUs) The IAAP will offer continuing education units (CEUs) for classes, workshops, webcasts, conference attendance, and other similar IAAP-sponsored activities. The IAAP will implement a process to allow other organizations or individuals to offer IAAP-approved continuing education credits for similar career-enhancing educational opportunities.

Types of Activities that May Qualify for Continuing Education Credits:

- Attending classes, workshops, webinars, and other educational events
about accessibility
- Preparing or presenting educational materials about accessibility
- Publishing articles, books, blogs, or other publications about
- Mentoring others in accessibility
- Speaking engagements at IAAP or other approved educational event
- Volunteer service with IAAP

The IAAP is at the early stages of considering CEU options, so further research and public discussion of the options is necessary before deciding on an official CEU policy.

The Qualifications of the Certification Team The certification process at IAAP is in good hands with our headquarters and volunteer leadership team.
Here are abbreviated biographical sketches of some of the key players:
*Paul Bohman, PhD, Chair of the IAAP Certification Committee* Dr. Paul Bohman has been the Chair of the IAAP Certification Committee since its inception and has steered the process through the formative stages, from the initial concepts to the more concrete proposals currently under consideration. He is also Director of Training at Deque Systems, a web accessibility software and consulting company based in the Washington DC area. At Deque he has created the Deque University platform, which is a custom learning management system for teaching web accessibility, and has personally created or overseen the creation of a complete web accessibility curriculum of online self-paced courses. He also travels frequently to provide instructor-led training on web accessibility to clients.

His doctoral dissertation
investigated web accessibility in the higher education curriculum in three different countries, and his doctoral studies included extensive training in research design, assessment design and evaluation, statistics, learning and instructional theory, psychology, sociology, and social justice.
Previously Dr. Bohman taught web accessibility at George Mason University, participated in the creation of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, and was a founding member of WebAIM with Cyndi Rowland. At WebAIM, Dr.
Bohman created a full web accessibility curriculum (at that time based on WCAG 1.0), some of which is still available on the WebAIM site. He also created the WebAIM listserv, which continues to be one of the most active groups on the internet for discussing web accessibility.
*Christine Murphy Peck, IAAP CEO*
Christine Murphy Peck is the CEO of the IAAP. She holds 29 years of experience in nonprofit management, certification management, education strategy development, corporate education and facilitation and strategic planning. Peck currently leads the SmithBucklin Washington, D.C. team responsible for implementing educational strategy, program design and delivery, eLearning, certification and accreditation, with a focus on outcomes and client growth.

Previously, Peck founded Peck Performance Group, a consulting practice serving clients in the areas of education, training and organizational development, and served as president and chief learning officer. She served for seven years as the director of education and learning of the U.S.
Tennis Association, where she established a full-service educational center providing professional development and educational resources to staff and volunteers in more than 1,000 community-based organizations. She has worked extensively with nonprofit organizations, including start-ups and turnarounds, helping these organizations develop to their full potential while managing multiple projects with combined budgets of more than $20 million.
*Dr. Reed Castle* IAAP’s partners with Professional Testing Inc. an independent testing company that provides assistance with exam development, administration, and scoring. Professional Testing develops, administers, and maintains licensure and certification examination programs.
Professional Testing staff guide the exam development activities and have extensive psychometric and test development experience.

Dr. Reed Castle is the leads the exam development activities from Professional Testing. Dr. Castle has over 25 years of experience in psychometrics and exam development and has assisted with development in with a multitude of examinations over his career. In his current capacity, he oversees and provides consultation to a variety of clients by directing psychometric services with respect to credentialing examinations and providing NCCA and ANSI/ISO 17024 accreditation assistance. He successfully evaluates client needs to implement best management practices Dr. Castle has his PhD in Quantitative and Qualitative Methods with an emphasis in Measurement, Statistics, and Research Design from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a Masters in Educational and Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Measurement and Statistics from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Bachelors in Psychology from University of Missouri-Columbia.
*The Certification Committee* The Certification Committee is the governing body of the professional certification program. Their mission is to assure a comprehensive level of knowledge through certification in the accessibility profession. The Certification Committee is responsible for establishing the policies and procedures that guide the professional certification program.

The Certification Committee is comprised of experts from across the accessibility industry. The Committee represents multiple areas of accessibility to ensure that all interests are represented.

The Certification Committee consists of the following individuals:

Paul Bohman, PhD, Director of Training, Deque Systems, Inc. (Chair) Arlington, Virginia, USA

Katie Haritos Shea, Senior Accessibility Subject Matter Expert (WCAG/Section 508/ADA/AODA) Oakton, Virginia, USA

Allen Hoffman, Office of Accessible Systems & Technology, Department of Homeland Security Washington, DC, USA

Jay Cardinali, Worldwide Accessibility Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Orlando, Florida, USA

Ken Nakata, Director, Accessibility Consulting Practice, Cryptzone Seattle, Washington, USA

Robert Pearson, Accessiblity Officer, Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Valorie Sundby, Web Accessibility Specialist, Self, Modis - 5280 Solutions Littleton, Colorado, USA

Nigel Lewis, CEO, AbilityNet
London, United Kingdom

David MacDonald, President, CanAdapt Solutions Inc.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Cristopher Broyles, Director of Digital Accessibility/Chief Accessibility Officer, Perkins School for the Blind Boston, Massachussetts, USA

Christian Vinten-Johansen, IT Manager, Pennsylvania State University State College, Pennsylvania, USA

Kevin Prince, IT Accessibility Consultant, Access1in5 Christchurch, New Zealand

JoAnne Juett, Integration Specialist, HighPoint Global Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Paul Bohman, PhD
Director of Training, Deque Systems, Inc 703-225-0380, ext.121 https://DequeUniversity.com _______________________________________________
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