100 Days of A11y

CPACC Exam Preparation Begins

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It's happening, as I hoped it would. As I mentioned in my last post about passing the WAS exam, my intention following that certification was to move forward and take IAAP's Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) certification exam. I'm looking hard at their Certified Professional in Web Accessibility (CPWA) credential, which happens when both the CPACC and WAS exams have been passed. I'm halfway there, and want them all acquired by 2020.

Unlike the 100 days that I spent studying for WAS, I'm less stressed about this next exam, even though it's stepping outside of my role as a developer. This past year and a half, I've been overseeing an accessibility audit at my place of employment, and now carry the torch of educating and enforcing web and digital accessibility. I feel there is a lot of value in firming up my knowledge of the "core competencies" of accessibility. My last journey opened up many opportunities to advocate for accessibility, and I'm hoping this journey will be no exception.

Just as IAAP's WAS certification offered me a roadmap to learn the processes and technicalities of web accessibility, I'm trusting that their CPACC Body of Knowledge combined with Deque's CPACC Certification Preparation will afford me the same confidence. I want to keep moving forward in accessibility and teaching others about it. This is the best way I know how.

My roadmap

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So, here's my plan. I've applied to take the CPACC on December 18, and my application was accepted. That gives me 6.5 weeks to work through Deque's coursework, and fill in any gaps in knowledge I may have. It feels like a tight study window, but I also think that I over-studied a bit for WAS, so some sections look like review to me. In hindsight, I can see why CPACC is recommended as the first certification to earn. It focuses a lot on people and reasoning about accessibility. However, not knowing how far I'd get in my journey, taking WAS was my best bet for success at that point in time.

Anyway, back to the rest of my plan. I've perused the CPACC coursework I'll be doing, and I've managed to work out how I can fit it into those 6.5 weeks. (Disclaimer: Don't replicate my time frame, if you're taking the CPACC as your first certification and have little working background in accessibility; give yourself more time.) My plan is to divide up the 14 sections presented in Deque's coursework, as follows:

  1. Week 1: Basic disability concepts; Theoretical models of disability.
  2. Week 2: Types of disabilities.
  3. Week 3: Disability stats; Disability etiquette; Benefits of accessible design.
  4. Week 4: Web accessibility principles; Universal design for the web.
  5. Week 5: Universal design for the physical world; Universal design for learning; Usability & accessibility.
  6. Week 6: Myths and misconceptions about accessibility; Accessibility law.
  7. Week 6.5: Organizational governance & management.

Each section has its own set of subsections that vary in number and length. I've chosen to group sections together based on some of the knowledge I have already, and what I anticipate to take longer or shorter amounts of my study time. Like my 100-day WAS journey, I'll be dedicating an hour a day to study. I want to allot enough time to truly learn and not breeze over important ideas and principles. Additionally, I'd like to tap into other online resources as I go through these concepts each week, as well as comparing the Body of Knowledge with the coursework.

Going forward

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Honestly, I keep wavering back and forth between blogging on a daily or weekly basis. I don't want blogging to get in the way of achieving my goal in a such a short time frame, and yet I anticipate that some study days will present so much information that I can't help but write it down to share immediately. I'm talking about a difference between 7 and 45 posts here. Ultimately, I'll tweet every day as I learn something new or want to share important ideas. So, if you're interested in when I do post, I'd subscribe to this blog in order to have those updates pushed to you during whatever time frame I settle on as I progress. Or follow me on Twitter, if that's your preferred news feed.

Going forward, today is the official start of my study preparation for the CPACC exam. It's going to be a busy month and a half. Wish me luck.