[Athen] Press Release: G3ict to Acquire IAAP

Bourne, Sarah (ITD) sarah.bourne at state.ma.us
Wed Jul 20 08:20:33 PDT 2016

G3ICT runs the annual M-Enabling Summit<http://g3ict.org/resource_center#summit> and created the e-Accessibility Policy Toolkit for Persons with Disabilities<http://www.e-accessibilitytoolkit.org/>. They have been working on creating a reliable repository of accessibility information, which is something the IAAP was thinking of doing. It makes sense to me that they would merge: there is currently little overlap of efforts, and a lot they can do to support each other.

Sarah E. Bourne
Director of IT Accessibility, MassIT
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
1 Ashburton Pl. rm 811 Boston MA 02108
sarah.bourne at state.ma.us<mailto:sarah.bourne at state.ma.us>

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Thompson, Rachel
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2016 10:42 AM
To: athen-list at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Athen] FW: Press Release: G3ict to Acquire IAAP

FYI. I don't know anything about G3ICT except what is included in this message. If you have experiences with either org that you'd be willing to share, I'd like to hear them.


Dr. Rachel S. Thompson
Director, Emerging Technology and Accessibility
Center for Instructional Technology
The University of Alabama
123 Russell Hall
Box 870248
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
Phone 205-348-0216
rsthompson2 at ua.edu | http://accessibility.ua.edu

From: G3ict - The Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs <G3ict_The_Global_Initiative_for_ at mail.vresp.com<mailto:G3ict_The_Global_Initiative_for_ at mail.vresp.com>>
Reply-To: G3ict - The Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs <reply-c43c3411e6-6eca2018c2-69d0 at u.cts.vresp.com<mailto:reply-c43c3411e6-6eca2018c2-69d0 at u.cts.vresp.com>>
Date: Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 9:39 AM
To: Rachel Thompson <rsthompson2 at ua.edu<mailto:rsthompson2 at ua.edu>>
Subject: Press Release: G3ict to Acquire IAAP

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ATLANTA, GA (July 20, 2016) -- IAAP, the International Association of Accessibility Professionals and G3ict, the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies, announced today that G3ict will be acquiring IAAP in a merger aimed at promoting the accessibility profession on a more global scale. Under this agreement, IAAP will become part of G3ict, effective immediately, but will continue its mission to define, promote and improve the accessibility profession globally through networking, education and certification in order to enable the creation of accessible products, content and services. This joint decision by the Boards of IAAP and G3ict reflects the strategic alignment of these organizations and a shared need to respond to rapidly growing, unmet worldwide demand for IT professionals, developers, educators, business leaders, and content creators knowledgeable in accessibility.
Under the agreement, IAAP programs (including online communities, professional education, certification, membership and events) will be operated as a new division of G3ict. All existing IAAP membership benefits and services will remain unchanged, and IAAP certification programs will be further enhanced with new tracks and content to address the needs of international markets and more specialized areas of expertise, such as web accessibility.

This critical global need for accessibility professionals is driven by four key factors: (1) Increasing compliance requirements in countries with existing accessibility legislation; (2) Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) by 166 countries, which obligates those governments to ensure information and communication technologies are accessible to persons with disabilities; (3) Aging demographics in major markets, which greatly increases the population needing accessible solutions; and (4) Intense competition in the IT industry to provide superior digital experiences to consumers of digital content, products and services.

"The G3ict and IAAP missions have always been very well aligned. So, this opportunity to directly align our investments and programs is a major step forward that will enable IAAP and its members to continue doing the same great work - but with greater efficiency and broader impact. By aligning our day-to-day operations with G3ict, we will expand IAAP's global footprint, help more professionals around the world develop important accessibility skills, make it easier to achieve the goals of the CRPD, and ultimately improve the lives of millions of people with disabilities around the world," said Rob Sinclair, President of the IAAP Board of Directors.

The merger leverages the strengths of both organizations: IAAP's large, multi-national membership, training resources, and industry-leading certification program; and the G3ict's global reach and trusted consultation with governments, corporations, academic institutions, and advocacy organizations around the world. It represents a natural step for both organizations that are well-known among constituents dedicated to promoting the accessibility of information and communication technologies.

Sharon Spencer, whose role was instrumental in developing IAAP from its inception, will serve as Director of IAAP for G3ict and lead the immediate transition of IAAP operations to G3ict. Members of the current IAAP Board have been appointed to the IAAP Global Leadership Team and will be responsible for overseeing all current and future developments of IAAP programs. The technical, academic and logistics aspects of the IAAP training and certification programs will be managed in partnership with the Alternate Media Access Center (AMAC) at the Georgia Institute of Technology. AMAC will also help ensure all IAAP programs and web sites are fully accessible.

Ambassador Luis Gallegos, Chair of the Board of G3ict, and former Chair of the United Nations General Assembly Ad hoc Preparatory Committee for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, highlighted: "We are extremely pleased to see this merger formed at a time when the lack of skilled accessibility professionals constitutes a major roadblock to fully realize the promises of the Convention. We look forward to making a real difference in promoting the IAAP programs around the world."

"It is a very timely opportunity for G3ict to work closely with the IAAP leadership to promote the association's training and certification programs worldwide. Those activities and the global footprint of IAAP testing centers will directly complement our work since ten years in promoting CRPD compliant accessibility policies and programs around the world. IAAP's networking tools will enable professionals working in accessibility to help learn from each other and spread ICT accessibility even more broadly. It will allow us to offer practical resources for governments, corporations and academia to rapidly build their capacity to develop and maintain accessible digital content and services. The IAAP programs will considerably enhance G3ict's ability to fulfill its mission of promoting the rights of persons with disabilities in the digital age," said Axel Leblois, Founder and President of G3ict.

# # #

About IAAP
The International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) is a membership-based organization for individuals and organizations that are focused on accessibility or are in the process of building their accessibility skills and strategies. The objective of this association is to help accessibility professionals develop and advance their careers and to help organizations integrate accessibility into their products and infrastructure. The IAAP will provide a place for accessibility professionals around the world to gather, share experiences and enrich their knowledge of accessibility. Visit: www.accessibilityassociation<http://cts.vresp.com/c/?G3ictTheGlobalInitia/c43c3411e6/6eca2018c2/5a763bc281>.org<http://cts.vresp.com/c/?G3ictTheGlobalInitia/c43c3411e6/6eca2018c2/ec4c808fa8>.

About G3ict
G3ict - the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs is an advocacy initiative launched in December 2006 by the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development, in cooperation with the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at UN DESA. Its mission is to facilitate and support the implementation of the dispositions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the accessibility of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and assistive technologies. G3ict relies on an international network of ICT accessibility experts to develop and promote good practices, technical resources and benchmarks for ICT accessibility advocates around the world. It is incorporated as a non-profit organization in the State of Georgia, USA, and headquartered in Atlanta. Visit www.g3ict.org<http://cts.vresp.com/c/?G3ictTheGlobalInitia/c43c3411e6/6eca2018c2/4dc704495a>.

For more information, please contact:

Sharon Spencer
Email: sspencer at accessibilityassociation.org<mailto:sspencer at accessibilityassociation.org>

Francesca Cesa Bianchi
Email: fcesabianchi at g3ict.org<mailto:fcesabianchi at g3ict.org>

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