First steps for the IAAP Nordic chapter!
This autumn, the Nordic Chapter of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals, IAAP, covering Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, has started its activities with meeting potential local founders and members. The first meeting was held in Stockholm, Sweden, in September and we are right now planning for events in the rest of the countries.
The Stockholm meeting had a very good mix of stakeholders from public sector on national, regional and local level, ICT suppliers, accessibility experts, universities, DPOs, other NGOs and interested individuals.
The networking part was really successful and we were especially happy to see so many persons and organisations that we do not know from before, says Susanna Laurin, CEO of Funka and president of the Funka Foundation who runs the IAAP Nordic chapter. Reaching out further than the ”usual suspects” is just as important as it is difficult.
The participants at the event were very interested and pushed our timeline by asking when the certification will be possible in local languages etc. The translation work is, of course, a daunting task, so we will need funding before we can start going down that path.
The plans for the Nordic chapter is therefore to start looking for local and regional funding, which is happening right now. The external funding is crucial, so that we do not need to use membership dues for the start up-costs. At the same time, we are recruiting a person to manage the chapter, both when it comes to sales and membership content. We recognize that building a chapter will require a lot of work, so we are preparing well.
I am reluctant to promise anything, but I am also a very unpatient person, says Susanna Laurin. If we aim for a stepwise approach, I think we can be up and running by the first quarter of 2018.
On the agenda right now is to continue the reach out activities in Oslo (Norway), Copenhagen (Denmark) and Helsinki (Finland) and of course try to get as many members on board as possible!