About IAAP Certification

IAAP Announces Launch of Accessibility Certification Program.  Accessibility Certification Program press release.

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.

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 professionals.

The Structure and Scope of the IAAP Certification Program

The IAAP will offer two levels of certification: a professional level credential, and subsequent technical level credentials.

Professional Level

  • Foundation Level: The Professional level credential is the entry level credential. It is the foundation upon which the Technical level certifications can build, however it is not a pre-requisite for the Technical level exams.
  • 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.

Technical Level

  • Technical Detail: Certifying at the Technical level requires detailed technical knowledge of the domain. For example, accessibility professionals are expected to participate in teams that review and evaluate the accessibility of existing content or objects according to published technical standards and guidelines, and provide detailed remediation recommendations. This is not exclusive to developers alone or only those who write code-based solutions. They are expected to know and use the relevant technologies, the context and implications of accessibility tools, and end-user challenges for accessibility, not to merely be aware of these elements.
  • Multiple Technical 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. IAAP will develop multiple Technical level certification exams for multiple accessibility domains, depending on market demand.

IAAP Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC)

The IAAP Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) credential is IAAP's foundational certification, representing 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 CPACC 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 CPACC 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 IAAP will add other technical professional certification credentials in other domains in accordance with market and professional demand.

IAAP Web Accessibility Specialist (WAS)

The IAAP Web Accessibility Specialist credential is intended for intermediate level accessibility professionals who 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 them.
The WAS is the ideal credential for those who personally design, develop, implement, evaluate, or manage the technical details of accessible web solutions. These specialists understand the tools and have the skills and abilities that are needed to incorporate accessibility into information and communications technologies. This exam is designed for intermediate level professionals with 3-5 years of experience. This exam is not exclusively for developers or those who write code. Exposure to, understanding of, and ability to identify essential accessibility code elements is expected for success. 

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 Qualifications of the Certification Team

The certification process at IAAP is in good hands with our headquarters and volunteer leadership team.

The 2018 IAAP Certification Committee:

Nicole Bergstrom, CPACC, Digital Accessibility Lead, Hilton Worldwide
Fairfax, Virginia, USA
Sheri Byrne-Haber, CPACC, Senior Manager, Global Accessibility  McDonald's
San Francisco, California, USA
Jay Cardinali, CPACC, Worldwide Accessibility Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Orlando, Florida, USA
Suman Damera, CPACC, WAS, CPWA, Senior Accessibility Consultant, Deque Software Private Ltd., Hyderabad, Telangana, India
Eric Hind, CPACC, Fresh Eyes Consulting Limited
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
JoAnne Juett, CPACC, Accessibility Consultant, Wells Fargo
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Susanna Laurin, CPACC, CEO, Funka
Stockholm, Sweden
Nigel Lewis, CEO, AbilityNet
London, United Kingdom
David MacDonald, CPACC, President, CanAdapt Solutions Inc.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Ken Nakata, CPACC, Director, Accessibility Consulting Practice, Cyxtera
Seattle, Washington, USA
Laura Renfro, CPACC, Renfro Consulting, Inc.
Randolph, Kansas, USA
Valorie Sundby, CPACC, Web Accessibility Specialist, AMAC Accessibility
Littleton, Colorado, USA
Christian Vinten-Johansen, CPACC, IT Manager, Pennsylvania State University
State College, Pennsylvania, USA

Our Exam Development Partners

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 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.

IAAP is a member of ICE (Institute for Credentialing Excellence) 

The Institute for Credentialing Excellence, or ICE, is a professional membership association that provides education, networking, and other resources for organizations and individuals who work in and serve the credentialing industry.  ICE is a leading developer of standards for both certification and certificate programs and it is both a provider of and a clearing house for information on trends in certification, test development and delivery, assessment-based certificate programs, and other information relevant to the credentialing community.

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