Digital Accessibility Analyst

Background

The BIT Academy is offering a pilot 13 week, fully remote program designed to prepare students to sit for the IAAP Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) and IAAP Web Accessibility Specialist (WAS) certification exams. These two certifications are a strong foundation for a career in digital accessibility. Students will learn the fundamentals of accessibility and how to think, build, design, and publish accessible digital products. Each week will contain 2 hours of virtual class time, led by a certified instructor. Between class time, students will be provided with a library of resources to build on that weeks topic. Throughout the program, the instructor will be touching base with each participant, providing feedback, answering questions, providing guidance, and ensuring the participants are best equipped for success.

What is Digital Accessibility?

Digital Accessibility is a quickly growing field, as organizations worldwide work to increase their reach and become more inclusive of all populations, especially those with visual, hearing, dexterity, and cognitive disabilities. With 25% of the US population (16% worldwide) having some sort of disability, the ability to reach these customers and consumers has become a priority. Digital Accessibility is a field dedicated to making certain that websites, digital media, software products, and more are accessible according to standards established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), called WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). In 2021 alone, the number of job listings on LinkedIn mentioning accessibility grew by 78% over the previous year. Average annual salary of a digital accessibility professional in the US is $85,000 per year.

Who Should Take this Course?

Candidates who are best suited for this course will possess the following:

  • A basic understanding of how websites and documents work (past use of website builders or HTML, CSS, JAVA, and similar are helpful)
  • Familiarity with common tools such as Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Adobe Reader, and mainstream browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari)
  • Advanced problem solving skills
  • Ingenuity, creativity, and are driven to learn and explore new ideas
  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • Collaborative mindset and the ability to work well on a team
  • Beginner or above knowledge of Assistive Technology including:
    • At least one screen reader on Windows or Mac
    • At least one mobile screen reader (Android or IOS)
    • System or browser-level magnification

What Happens After the Course?

At the end of the course, students are expected to sit for the IAAP-CPACC certification exam, the cost of which may be covered by sponsorship from our corporate partners. Students who attend all sessions, study all resources, and complete all assignments, will be more than prepared to sit for not only the CPACC exam, but also the IAAP-WAS exam.

BIT is a registered apprenticeship provider through the US Department of Labor and we are actively working to create an apprenticeship for digital accessibility. Once this program is available, those who have completed the program and passed the CPACC will be considered for work on accessibility auditing projects for BIT clients as part of the apprenticeship.

Why This Course?

What makes the Digital Accessibility Analyst course from BIT different from others or from studying independently?

  • The course is 100% remote with class sessions held on the Google Meet platform
  • Like all of BIT’s candidate services, the course is offered at no cost to students. The BIT Academy is fully funded by corporate sponsors, foundations, and individual donors who all believe in the BIT mission, as well as Vocational Rehabilitation agency funding, if available
  • The course is taught by an instructor with real-world experience and multiple certifications in the digital accessibility field
  • The course is designed specifically by and for those with disabilities, including sensory, mobility, neurodevelopmental disabilities and chronic illness
  • We focus on inclusion. True accessibility isn’t just accommodations for a disability, it’s including students in a way that they feel comfortable in their learning environment. If an accommodation is needed, it is likely available or can be made so with enough advance notice to put something in place
  • Throughout the program, the instructor will work with each student, providing feedback, answering questions, providing guidance, and ensuring each are best equipped for success
  • We go beyond materials available through other training courses and students will experience the following during the course of the class:
    • Perform a complete audit of a real website
    • Be provided with example resources for creating accessible documents in multiple formats
    • Be provided with a library of resources gathered from across the internet
    • Gain a solid understanding of accessibility laws and regulations
    • Gain experience with automated accessibility tools
    • Gain experience using assistive technologies
    • Learn communication strategies for effectively communicating accessibility issues 
    • Learn methodologies and action plans to remove accessibility barriers

Course Prerequisites

The Digital Accessibility Analyst course is the first of its kind, and we are still working to ensure the student selection process is suitable, appropriate, and inclusive. The selection process for this program consists of an application and two assessments. The application is essay-based and helps us get to know those who are committed to and best prepared for a career as a digital accessibility analyst. Those who complete the course must be able to speak knowledgeably to developers and other stakeholders about the issues that come up during an accessibility audit, so good written and verbal communication skills are essential for successful candidates. Applicants may also be contacted for an additional screening interview as part of the process.

Informational Links

Upcoming Digital Accessibility Analyst Classes

The next class will begin on February 9, 2023. The interest form is now open and the deadline is January 20, 2023. You must fill out an interest form in order to receive registration information, so don’t delay!