Three questions to Samantha Evans

Three questions to Samantha Evans, Certification Manager at the International Association of Accessibility Professional, IAAP

How is profesional certification supporting the accessibility industry?

Certifications offer benefits to compaines/organizations and to accessibility professionals. Companies can differentiate themselves by demonstrating their commitment to accessibility and investment in ongoing accessbility professional development when their employees have earned IAAP Certifications. Companies also have greater opportunity to illustrate the established set of knowledge and skills when their employees are certified.

Individuals can separate themselves from people working in roles that may have an interest or responsibility for accessibility by illustrating they have met an internationally established set of benchmarked skills and knowledge. When added to a resume with experience, an IAAP Certification and the ability to explain its unique qualifications can help someone stand out from other applicants and illustrate their personal commitment and professional interest in inclusion and equality.

How many people are certified?

Our certification programs are growing quickly, even through the disruptions of COVID-19. There are now 1,567 CPACCs around the world in 58 countries. We’ve added almost 500 CPACCs in the last year, marking the fastest growth since the program began four years ago. CPACCs work in every area of business and community helping shape policy, strategy, and engagement from marketing, to governance, to built environment, to information and computer technology. There are 512 WASs in 32 countries around the world, this is the fastest growing program we have as the need for qualified web accessibility professionals continues to grow everyday. We are pleased to see CPACC and WAS as preferred qualifications on job postings in dozens of countries and in hundreds of new job posts every week.

What is the next step in the series of certifications IAAP provide?

Our next IAAP Certification programs will feature accessible built environments and accessible documents. We anticipate interest to be very high in relation to the EU Web Accessibility Directive, especially on PDF-document accessibility. The COVID-19 has increased interest and awareness of digital accessibility by highlighting the digital divide. We are proud to see our certificants names as the leads in accessibility teams, development groups, speaking as community educators, and writing articles to advance awareness and education of accessibility and inclusion around the world.