Irish research assignment on certification possibilities in universal design

Funka has been commissioned by The Irish National Disability Authority to conduct a research study on possibilities for a certification in universal design for professionals in the IT sector.

I am excited to work with this study – not least because we are striving towards a similar goal as being one of the founders of IAAP, the International Association of Accessibility Professionals, says Emil Gejrot, Junior researcher at Funka.

There is a strong need for universal design, or indeed accessibility, to be an integral part of IT work in Ireland as well as in other countries. As long as higher education does not cover these topics, retrofitting will always be needed, which is both expensive and ineffective Therefore, Funka has been commissioned to conduct a research study on possibilities for certification in universal design, to support IT professionals' different roles in designing, developing, managing and purchasing IT systems that work for everyone. The idea is to develop a program for professional accreditation in universal design at a later stage.

The Centre for Excellence in Universal Design is looking forward to getting useful research findings, to guide future developments on the provision of Continuous Professional Development on Universal Design for ICT professionals, says Shane Hogan, Senior ICT Advisor and Senior Policy Advisor, National Disability Authority in Ireland.

The assignment includes identifying existing core competencies and skills in universal design among IT professionals in Ireland, but also identifying where knowledge gaps exist to meet international standards and to enhance the quality of education within the accessibility field. Research and analysis into the current application of universal design in the IT industry, as well as into customers' current experiences and needs, will also be done. In addition, a survey will be made of existing education possibilities in Ireland and other countries.

The target audiences for the study are primarily IT professionals and the National Disability Authority, but also other governmental bodies in Ireland as well as business analysts.

The research assignment will be performed through desk research, telephone interviews and online surveys as well as continuous interaction with project stakeholders.

National Disability Authority is an independent state authority providing expert advice on disability issues to the Irish government and the Irish public sector. It works to promote universal design and accessibility in Ireland.

The National Disability Authority website, opens in a new window

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