As organizations become more aware of the importance of digital accessibility, there is a growing need for professionals who possess the knowledge and skills to ensure that technology is accessible to all. One such professional certification is the Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC), offered by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP). In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what a CPACC certification entails, including the core competencies required, the benefits of obtaining the certification, and how to prepare for the exam.
What is CPACC?
CPACC stands for Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies. It is an internationally recognized certification that validates a professional’s knowledge and skills related to digital accessibility. The certification is offered by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP), the leading global organization founded in the year 2014.
To obtain a CPACC certification, candidates must demonstrate their proficiency in various aspects of digital accessibility. These include web accessibility guidelines, assistive technologies, accessibility testing, and accessible design.
Having a CPACC certification is an important credential for anyone who is involved in the landscape of digital accessibility. This includes but is not limited to web designers, developers, content creators, and accessibility consultants.
Accessibility Core Competencies
The Accessibility Core Competencies are the foundational knowledge and skills required to effectively implement accessibility in digital products and services. Here are the 9 core competencies:
1. Disability and Ability Awareness
Understanding the nature of disabilities and the diverse needs of people with those disabilities is essential to creating accessible digital content. It’s important to understand the various types of disabilities, including physical, sensory, cognitive, and neurological disabilities.
2. Laws, Regulations, and Standards
Accessibility guidelines, laws, and regulations can vary from country to country. Knowing these guidelines and standards is important for ensuring digital content is accessible to everyone, regardless of their abilities.
3. Accessible Document Creation
The creation of accessible documents, such as PDFs, Word, and other digital documents, is crucial to ensuring that individuals with disabilities can access them with ease. This includes the knowledge of adding alternative text to images and using proper headings, tables, and lists effectively.
4. Web and Digital Content Accessibility
This includes having knowledge of accessible design principles and techniques for creating accessible websites, mobile apps, and multimedia content. Specific skills, such as creating accessible forms, providing captions for videos, and implementing accessible keyboard navigation, are also crucial.
5. Usability and User Experience
Accessibility is not just about meeting technical requirements but also about providing a good user experience. Usability and user experience testing can help identify and address accessibility barriers that may be present in digital content.
6. Assistive Technology
Assistive technology refers to the tools and devices that allow people with disabilities to interact with digital content the same way anyone else does. These include screen readers, Braille displays, voice recognition software, magnification software, adaptive keyboards, switch devices, and more. Understanding how assistive technology works and how it can be used to access digital content is equally crucial.
7. Accessibility Testing
Accessibility testing is performed utilizing a combination of automated tools, manual tests, and user feedback. This multifaceted approach allows for the identification and resolution of accessibility issues that would otherwise go unnoticed. Through accessibility testing, issues such as poor color contrast, limited text descriptions, and inaccessible navigation features can be addressed.
8. Accessible Design and Development
Designing and developing digital content with accessibility in mind from the beginning is essential to ensuring that it is accessible to everyone. This includes knowledge of accessible design principles, coding techniques, and best practices.
9. Business Case for Accessibility
Understanding the business case for accessibility can help organizations recognize the value and benefits of creating accessible digital content. This includes knowledge of the legal and financial implications of accessibility and the benefits of creating a more inclusive and diverse customer base. The disability market is worth a whopping $1.9 trillion; understanding and catering to it make complete business sense.
Each core competency is important in its own right and contributes to the overall goal of creating digital content that is accessible to everyone.
What are the eligibility criteria for CPACC certification?
To be eligible for the CPACC certification, you need to have at least one year of experience in accessibility or have recently taken on a new role with some responsibility for accessibility. If you have less than a year of experience, you may still apply for the certification, but you’ll be required to provide information about your background and goals related to accessibility. The CPACC is considered a foundational certification, meaning it provides a solid understanding of accessibility core competencies but is not meant to be a comprehensive or expert-level certification.
Benefits of CPACC Certification
Having a CPACC certification can offer several benefits to professionals involved in digital accessibility, including:
- Recognition: CPACC certification is recognized globally and demonstrates that a professional has the necessary knowledge and skills to ensure digital content is accessible to people with disabilities.
- Professional growth: Earning a CPACC certification can open doors for career advancement and professional growth opportunities.
- Improved marketability: A CPACC certification can make a professional more attractive to employers and clients looking for individuals with expertise in digital accessibility.
- Increased confidence: With a CPACC certification, professionals can feel more confident in their ability to create accessible digital content and provide guidance on accessibility issues.
- Access to resources: CPACC-certified professionals gain access to a network of professionals and resources related to digital accessibility, which can help them stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices.
Overall, a CPACC certification can help professionals make a positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities and contribute to creating a more inclusive digital world.
Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies: Conclusion
In conclusion, the Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) certification is a valuable credential for anyone involved in digital accessibility. It demonstrates a commitment to creating inclusive and accessible digital content, and it can lead to improved career opportunities and greater impact in the field. By mastering the core competencies and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies, CPACC-certified professionals can make a real difference in the lives of people with disabilities.
What is a Web accessibility specialist?
Web accessibility specialists use a variety of tools and techniques to identify and address accessibility barriers and work to create a more inclusive and accessible digital environment. The CPACC certification is one way for web accessibility specialists to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in the field.
Why get CPACC certification?
CPACC certification is an important credential for those involved in creating and maintaining digital content and demonstrates a commitment to accessibility and inclusion.
How do I become a Web accessibility consultant?
What is the highest level of web accessibility?
The highest level of web accessibility is Level AAA, which is the most rigorous level of conformance in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. Achieving this level of accessibility requires meeting all Level A and Level AA success criteria, as well as additional criteria at Level AAA.
What are the 4 major categories of web accessibility standards?
The four major categories of web accessibility standards are perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. These categories define the specific guidelines and criteria for creating accessible digital content that can be used by people with disabilities.
Research & Curation
Dean Emerick is a curator on sustainability issues with ESG The Report, an online resource for SMEs and Investment professionals focusing on ESG principles. Their primary goal is to help middle-market companies automate Impact Reporting with ESG Software. Leveraging the power of AI, machine learning, and AWS to transition to a sustainable business model. Serving clients in the United States, Canada, UK, Europe, and the global community. If you want to get started, don’t forget to Get the Checklist! ✅