My assessment of the CPACC Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies from the IAAP
In this article I would like to show why I do not think the CPACC (Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies) certificate from the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) makes sense. My assessment of the WAS certificate from the IAAP.
- Limited practical experience: The CPACC certificate is mainly based on theoretical knowledge about accessibility. However, it does not offer sufficient opportunities to gain practical experience and apply the knowledge learned in real projects. For some employers and clients, practical experience is often more important than a certificate.
- Rapidly Evolving Technology: The digital world is evolving rapidly, and new technologies and platforms are emerging all the time. A certificate based on a specific level of knowledge cannot keep up with the latest developments and accessibility requirements. Continuous training and up-to-date specialist knowledge are more important than a one-time certificate.
- Diversity of accessibility requirements: The requirements and needs of people with disabilities in the digital space are diverse and can vary depending on the context, culture and individual factors. A single certificate cannot cover all specific requirements that arise in different industries and target groups. Therefore, it is more effective to aim for a wide range of experience and expertise rather than solely focusing on a certificate.
- Alternatives to certification: There are alternative routes to gain digital accessibility expertise and skills that may be considered equivalent or even more beneficial. This includes practice-oriented training courses, internships, project participation and working with experienced professionals. A certificate alone cannot reflect practical competence.
In the end, the IAAP primarily rewards memorizing the material, which I don't think is sustainable. Also the price of over 400 US dollars is not reasonable. I don't think the certificate is particularly sustainable. Do you have to know all disability models or know how many people have a specific visual impairment in order to work in accessibility? In my opinion not. In practice, most of what the IAAP requires is irrelevant. When do you ever need Universal Design for Learning in practical work outside of the educational context? The high price of certification suggests that it is primarily about making money, which would be legitimate for a corporation but not for a trade association that prides itself on advocating accessibility.
As an alternative, I recommend implement my book accessibility.