[Athen] What's Your Take? AT Certifications in Higher Ed

Leyna Bencomo lbencomo at uccs.edu
Thu Jun 8 13:41:01 PDT 2017

I couldn't decide which way to go with all those certifications. I ended up pursuing a Master's Degree in Informational and Learning Technology, only because I have created and facilitated a lot of training for staff/faculty as well as students. I also hold a degree in Management of Human Resources which has helped with the legal aspects of the job when sitting on committees deciding policy. My IT experience helps with the technical. I still believe that either ATHEN or Educause should come up with some kind of standard testing and badging for the various aspects of our profession. We should also discuss a career path.

Leyna Bencomo
Assistive Technology Specialist
Information Technology
University of Colorado Colorado Springs
1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, EPC 215
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
(719) 255-4202 / lbencomo at uccs.edu<mailto:lbencomo at uccs.edu>

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Joshua Hori
Sent: Tuesday, June 6, 2017 5:52 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] What's Your Take? AT Certifications in Higher Ed

I feel that they're similar to A+ certifications for computer hardware support. There are no jobs requiring these certifications and hardware/software are updating to new technologies on a yearly basis. As a beginner to the field, these could be invaluable, but as someone who works with diversity and inclusion, and see that they only have 2 testing centers for AT users (both on the East Coast) and 1000 testing centers for non-AT users (across the nation), which doesn't make me want to run out and get their certification (I also use TTS and screen overlays, which isn't listed on their site as an accommodation). So how would they get me up to speed when they themselves can't be inclusive?

Now if they were to focus on the future of accessibility, I'd be all over it. I would love to see more of what's going on at Case Western Reserve: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4M6BTYRlKQ

Joshua Hori
Accessible Technology Analyst
University of California, Davis
Student Disability Center
54 Cowell Building
Davis, CA 95616

Note: Take my advice with a grain of salt as I have no certifications, although I do focus on AT research with the MIND institute and an authored book on AT usage in medical fields<https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Assisting-Students-Disabilities-Professional-ebook/dp/B014XVYISQ/ref=dp_kinw_strp_1> (ugh, time to update).

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Nast, Joseph
Sent: Monday, June 5, 2017 9:36 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>>
Subject: [Athen] What's Your Take? AT Certifications in Higher Ed

Darren Gabbert's definitive 2009 ATHEN E-Journal #44 white paper entitled "Certification and Training Opportunities for Access Technologists in Higher Education: A Survey of Resources" (https://athenpro.org/node/90) concludes:

"From a certification standpoint, we are a people without a country."

Mr. Gabbert's research finds most assistive technology degree programs and certifications emphasize PT\OT, medical, or rehabilitation-centric training. Eight years on, and the casual observer would still be hard pressed to find otherwise.

However, I've noticed that IAAP is now offering CPACC and WAS certifications (http://www.accessibilityassociation.org/certificationapplication). The IAAP is a relatively young organization, but they seem to have put a lot of work into creating industry certifications specifically for web accessibility. Considering the trajectory that many types of compensatory assistive technologies have taken towards mobile and web-based solutions, having this type of certification seems valuable to assistive technologists in higher education.

So what's your take on IAAP's certification offerings and\or the dearth of higher education-focused AT professional training? Considering the not-insignificant costs of testing and\or study materials, is it "worth it" to pursue certs like RESNA's ATP or CSUN's ATACP? Are web accessibility certifications more applicable to post-secondary AT para\professionals?

Thanks for your input!

Joseph M. Nast
Assistive Technology Specialist
Lone Star College Cy Fair Disability Services

Office: CASA 109
Phone: (281) 290-3207

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman12.u.washington.edu/pipermail/athen-list/attachments/20170608/86682021/attachment.html>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: image001.gif
Type: image/gif
Size: 3598 bytes
Desc: image001.gif
URL: <http://mailman12.u.washington.edu/pipermail/athen-list/attachments/20170608/86682021/attachment.gif>

More information about the athen-list mailing list