Web Accessibility Specialist
With the adoption of WCAG 2.1 in many countries, there is an increased demand for web developers, designers and other professionals with knowledge of web accessibility standards and guidelines. With this growth comes the need for an objectively verified level of expertise. The Web Accessibility Specialist exam will provide individuals and employers with the ability to assess web accessibility competence.
The Technical-level credential is intended for 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 Exam is a computer-based exam with 75 multiple choice questions and a two-hour exam administration (additonal time may be requested as an accommodation)
The WAS Certification Exam has been updated to include WCAG 2.1 as of the 2019 November/December Exam Window. The refresh of the WAS exam includes WCAG 2.0 and the new elements in WCAG 2.1.
Learn about each certification program, exam locations, exam sessions and applications, payment options and more starting with our Guide To Certification.
The WAS is the ideal credential for intermediate (3-5 years' experience) professionals who function in one of many team roles related to accessible web solutions. The WAS is ideal for people who design, develop, implement, evaluate, or manage accessible web-based content, projects, and services. The WAS is not focused on writing code, but rather the ability to recognize and identify issues in programmatic content, ability to explain what is missing or incorrect, understand usability and testing practices, along with contextual understanding of the impact on the end-user. This exam is not intended for beginners or those without regular hands-on experience or exposure to these elements of web accessibility.
Knowledge of HTML programming alone will not provide the background necessary to successfully achieve the WAS credential. Hands-on experience and knowledge of programmatic code elements, WCAG 2.1 standards, and contextual implications for end users of assistive technology are all required. Please review the WAS Content Outline and WAS Body of Knowledge 2020 (opens a pdf) to ensure that you have experience in most (10 of 13) of the following areas before registering for this exam.
WAS Exam candidates should have experience or exposure in most of the following areas:
- HTML code. This does not mean writing HTML code.
- Usability testing in iOS environments
- Usability testing in Android environments
- Usability testing in Windows environments
- Usability testing with multiple forms of assistive technology
- Broswer specific assistive technologies
- Understanding of WCAG 2.1 Standards
- Understanding of accessibility best practices
- Web accessibility auditing and remediation
- Understanding the end-user impacts of web accessibility
WAS Exam candidates may be in or aspire to reach these roles their career:
- Accessibility professionals in the areas of web design, development, and programming, whose job requires in-depth knowledge of ICT accessibility standards and regulations.
- Web project managers, designers, developers, and programmers
- User experience designers and testers
- Technical quality assurance (QA) professionals, QA teams and evaluators
- Accessibility and compliance teams and managers
- Web content managers and administrators
- Project, program, and senior ICT managers overseeing initiatives or organizations that focus on web accessibility as a key component of their work.
- You can read more about maintaining and renewing WAS Certification on our Maintaining Certification webpage.
- You can read more about earning CAECs on our Continuing Accessibility Education FAQ webpage.
- You can submit CAECs via our online WAS CAEC submission form.
What will make our profession strong is having you as a member. Regardless of your knowledge level in accessibility, we all play a role in growing this profession. Help guide us to being a great professional association serving our diverse needs.
Through use of IAAP Connections, you can join an existing discussion or even start your own. You can also blog, upload resources to libraries and join some of our committees.
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