[Athen] Does anyone know about this supposed announcement???

Prof Norm Coombs norm.coombs at gmail.com
Fri Jan 8 20:58:18 PST 2016

I am copying part of mail I recently received. It had been forwarded
several times so I have no clear of who is really involved.
Does anyone know about this and can you share any relevant thoughts????

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This blog post was written by Rob Sinclair, Microsoft’s Chief
Accessibility Officer. Rob is responsible for the company's worldwide
strategy to develop
software and services that make it easier for people of all ages and
abilities to see, hear, and use their computers.
Last month, I joined the founding members of the International
Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) in a meeting where we
discussed the next
steps to create an association and transform accessibility into a
globally recognized and respected profession.
In March, we will take one of our biggest steps by formally launching
the Association. So far, accessibility has developed at a grassroots
level, hindered
by an inconsistent approach to training as well as the absence of
certifications and an established career path for engineers to follow
from higher education
into the workplace.
This new association will begin solving these challenges by creating a
global community for people and organizations working in accessibility
to share
expertise and resources, support one another’s work, and follow
developments in this fast-changing field. As part of this effort, the
group will develop
training materials, webinars and other educational resources and point
people to the wealth of existing industry resources. All of this will
lead to IAAP
developing professional certifications to help individuals demonstrate
their level of expertise in one or more aspects of accessibility and
help them keep
that expertise current. Overall, the association’s goal is to help
elevate the level of expertise held by the growing number of people,
around the world,
who are designing or authoring content, media, software, devices, and more.
Perhaps most importantly, the association is an effort to create a
stronger sense of profession in a field of frequently self-taught
practitioners. It
will help those working full-time in accessibility as well as those that
only include it as part of their jobs. It will support companies and
by helping their leaders understand how to build a successful
accessibility program and develop the organizational capacity needed to
deliver accessibility
We have a lot to do in the next three months including the creation of
an accessible infrastructure, including a website, to serve the
association and
its members. It also includes beginning work to develop content, like
webinars, and a platform to share insights and experience from experts
in the field.
All of this is being achieved through the contributions of the 23
founding member organizations, representing five countries, that have
committed money,
personnel and materials to help prepare for the IAAP launch.
The window of opportunity to become a Founding Member organization is
quickly closing. If you are interested in contributing to the IAAP in
this leadership
capacity, or if you simply have a question or suggestion, please send us
mail at
info at accessibilityassociation.org.

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Norm Coombs

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