Top 8 Accessibility Certifications to Pursue in 2023
Accessibility is an increasingly important topic in the tech industry, as companies strive to make their products and services accessible to all users. With this growing demand for accessibility comes a need for certified professionals who are knowledgeable about best practices and standards.
In this article:
- Why Get an Accessibility Certification?
- Top 8 Accessibility Certifications to Consider in 2023
- How to Select an Accessibility Certification
In 2023, there are a number of certifications you can obtain to become an expert in accessibility. From web development to product design, these certifications will give you the skills needed to work with any organization on making their products more accessible.
But first, let’s examine why getting an accessibility certification is so important in the first place.
Why Get an Accessibility Certification?
When it comes to accessibility, organizations need someone who not only understands the standards and regulations but also knows how to apply them in a practical manner. Certification ensures that you have the skills required to address any potential issues with a product or service.
By becoming certified, you can prove to employers that you understand the complexities of accessibility and that you are qualified to work on any project. This can give you an edge over other applicants who do not have a certification in this area.
Having a certification is also beneficial for career growth. You’ll be able to show potential employers that you not only understand the basics of accessibility but also have a solid grasp of best practices and standards. This can open the door for more job opportunities in the future.
Lastly, getting certified will give you an opportunity to stay up-to-date with new laws and regulations related to accessibility. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to ensure that any products or services you work on comply with all necessary standards. And you can always ask your current employer to approve this training, which stands to add to what you can bring to the company.
Top 8 Accessibility Certifications to Consider in 2023
In the past, we’ve covered UI/UX certifications as well as those pertaining to software development. So today, we’ll turn our attention to some of the top accessibility certifications available in 2023 that you should consider pursuing:
1. Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC)
With the Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) credential, you can prove that your proficiency and understanding of accessibility principles and practices is without question. The CPACC badge serves as a symbol of your dedication to applying broad accessibility knowledge in any situation. It’s offered by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP).
The cost of the CPACC certification is $450 USD, and it can be completed online or in-person. The exam consists of 60 multiple choice questions and takes approximately 90 minutes to complete.
Obtaining the CPACC certification provides an individual with a comprehensive understanding of accessibility best practices and standards, as well as a competitive advantage when applying for jobs or contracts related to digital accessibility. It also serves as proof that an individual has the knowledge necessary to create accessible websites, applications, documents, and other digital products.
2. Certified Professional in Accessible Built Environments (CPABE)
The Certified Professional in Accessible Built Environments (CPABE) is a credential offered by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP). It identifies individuals who have acquired the knowledge and skills to implement built environment accessibility, such as architects, engineers, and other professionals.
The cost for the CPABE certification is $495 USD for IAAP members and $595 USD for non-members. This format is a two-hour online test that you can take at your own pace.The exam covers topics such as building codes, standards, regulations, and best practices related to accessible built environments.
If you’re looking to demonstrate your expertise in the field of accessible built environments, this certification may be the right choice for you. It can also open up new career opportunities and provide recognition from peers in the industry. It can also help employers meet compliance requirements and ensure that their buildings are accessible to all users.
3. W3Cx’s Front-End Web Developer Professional Certificate
The cost of this certification is $499 USD. The course is offered online in an asynchronous format, meaning that you can access the material at any time and work at your own pace. It typically takes around 5 months to complete the program if you are studying full-time.
This certification is perfect for anyone looking to break into web development or enhance their existing skill set. With this certificate, you will gain a solid foundation in front-end web development and be able to create websites with modern features like responsive design and accessibility standards.
4. Web Accessibility Specialist (WAS)
The Web Accessibility Specialist (WAS) certification is an intermediate technical level credential offered by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP). It’s designed to assess a candidate’s knowledge and experience in web accessibility. The WAS exam covers topics such as WCAG 2.0 and 2.1, code remediation, and testing methods needed to create accessible websites.
The cost for the WAS certification is $250 for IAAP members or $350 for non-members. The exam format is online and takes approximately two hours to complete.
Should you decide to get a WAS certification, you’ll be able to demonstrate your expertise in web accessibility and advance their career in this field.
5. Accessible Document Specialist (ADS)
The Accessible Document Specialist (ADS) certification is yet another intermediate-level technical credential offered by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP). The ADS certification is designed for accessibility professionals who have regular hands-on experience with creating, designing, and evaluating accessible documents.
Pricing for the ADS certification is $395 USD. The exam format is a combination of multiple choice and short answer questions and it typically takes two hours to complete.
Acquiring this certification demonstrates a commitment to accessibility best practices, as well as a mastery of document remediation tools and accessibility checkers. It also serves as a valuable asset for those looking to advance their career in the field of digital accessibility.
6. Certified Professional in Accessibility Auditing (CPAA)
Next up is the Certified Professional in Accessibility Auditing (CPAA) certification. This is a professional certification offered by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) and indicates a person’s knowledge of accessibility auditing. This certification covers topics like web accessibility, mobile accessibility, software accessibility, and assistive technology.
Costs are $495 for IAAP members and $595 for non-members. The format of the exam is online and it typically takes between 4-6 hours to complete.
The CPAA certification is ideal for those who’d like to learn more about accessibility auditing or who want to stay up-to-date on best practices and trends in the field. It can also help individuals stand out from other job applicants when applying for positions related to accessibility auditing.
7. Certified Professional in Digital Health Transformation Strategy (CPDHTS)
The Certified Professional in Digital Health Transformation Strategy (CPDHTS) is a professional certification offered by HIMSS, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. This certification demonstrates an individual’s expertise in digital health strategy and provides them with the knowledge, tools and strategies to design and implement technology-enabled initiatives to deliver better healthcare outcomes.
Costs associated with obtaining this certification is $450 for HIMSS members or $550 for non-members. The format of the certification includes an online exam that takes approximately two hours to complete.
Once you have this certification in hand, you can better demonstrate your commitment to staying abreast of the latest trends in digital health transformation.It’s also helpful for demonstrating expertise and gaining a competitive edge in the job market.
8. Certified Professional in Web Accessibility (CPWA)
The Certified Professional in Web Accessibility (CPWA) is a certification offered by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) and is designed to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of web accessibility principles and practices, as well as the ability to apply them. The CPWA certification exam covers many subjects including web accessibility standards, best practices, and legal requirements.
You can expect to pay $430 as an IAAP member for the CPWA certification exam and $530 as a non-member. The exam is administered online and takes approximately two hours to complete.
Once you get this certification, you have proof in hand that you know what you’re talking about when it comes to web accessibility. But it can also help employers ensure their websites are accessible to all users, which is increasingly important given the growing number of legal requirements related to website accessibility.
How to Select an Accessibility Certification
When selecting an accessibility certification to complete, it’s important to consider a variety of factors, including:
- Your level of expertise in accessibility: Are you a beginner or an expert?
- The cost: How much are you willing to spend on certification?
- The format of the exam: Is it online or in-person?
- The topics covered: Does the certification include relevant topics for your job or field?
- Your career goals: What do you want to achieve through the certification?
As for subject matter, it is important to understand the different types of certifications available and their respective requirements. The International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) offers a variety of certifications, including the Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC), Web Accessibility Specialist (WAS), and Web Accessibility Practitioner (WAP). Additionally, organizations such as Deque University and W3C offer free online courses that can help you gain knowledge in accessibility topics.
The CPACC is the foundational professional credential that represents the ability to apply broad, cross-disciplinary knowledge of accessibility principles and practices. The WAS and WAP certifications, which focus on web accessibility and mobile applications respectively, are both valid for three years. In order to renew them, individuals must gain Continuing Education Accessibility Credits (CAECs) through Professional Development activities.
Finally, Princeton University offers a Certified Digital Accessibility Training program which provides specialized digital accessibility training with an accessible e-learning platform to improve knowledge, skills, and competencies of professionals in this field.
When selecting an accessibility certification to complete, it is important to consider your current level of knowledge in this area as well as your career goals. Free online courses are a great way to get started if you are new to digital accessibility or need a refresher before taking more advanced certifications.
Once you’ve identified which type of certification best suits your needs and interests, you can begin preparing for the exam with resources such as study guides or practice tests.
Move Forward with Accessibility Certifications
Accessibility certifications can provide a valuable addition to any professional’s credentials. By taking the time to research the various types of certifications available and finding the right one for you, you can be well on your way to gaining new skills and advancing your career. Good luck!