Web Accessibility Specialist

About WAS
How To Chart Your Path To Certification
Who Should Take The WAS Exam?
Prepare for WAS Exam
Maintaining WAS Certification

IAAP WAS Certified badge; dark blue inner circle with lighter blue outer circle

About the Web Accessibility Specialist (WAS) Credential

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. 

How To Chart Your Path To Certification

Learn about each certification program, exam locations, exam sessions and applications, payment options and more starting with our Guide To Certification.

Who Should Take The WAS Exam?

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.
  • JavaScript. This does not mean writing JavaScript 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
  • ARIA
  • ATAG
  • 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.

Prepare for WAS Exam

IAAP has compiled a list of resources and materials to help you prepare for the WAS exam.  Visit our Prepare for WAS page to access all exam preparation resources. 

Maintaining WAS Certification

The WAS Certification is valid for three years and can be renewed by earning 35 Continuing Accessibility Education Credits (CAECs).

WAS Frequently Asked Questions

IAAP has pulled a list of the most commonly asked questions regarding the WAS exam, application process, fees, and other inquiries.  If you can not find the answer to your question on our Certification Guide page, or our Prepare for WAS page, or WAS FAQ page, please email certification@accessibilityassociation.org or call +1-678-426-7645 with any questions on the certification process.



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