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Professional Certificate in Web Accessibility featured in 2017 Knowbility Awards

The Professional Certificate in Web Accessibility (PCWA) course, co-created by Professor Denise Wood and I, has been selected as one of three finalists for an Educational Achievement Award at the  Knowbility Community Heroes of Accessibility 2017 Awards.

The awards are described by Knowbility as follows:

“For the last three years, we have asked our community to nominate their heroes – those people whose dedication to the field of accessibility is having a significant impact on improving equal access for all.”

While being a finalist for the award  is very unexpected, it’s wonderful to have the course recognised for its commitment to upskilling ICT professionals in their efforts relating to the creation of accessible content.

In 2011, Denise and I created the course in response to the release of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and the need to support ICT professionals as to how they could include accessibility in their work practices. As a result, a partnership was formed between Media Access Australia and the University of South Australia to deliver the course. Six years on and 500 graduates later, the PCWA remains  an effective tertiary-backed qualification with information on the practical implementation of web accessibility. The short course is taught online and available internationally, with enrolments from around the world.

The course structure includes information on why accessibility is important, international policy requirements, implementation of the WCAG 2.0  standard to Level AA compliance, the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) 2.0, and how to evaluate websites based on the WCAG Evaluation Methodology (WCAG-EM) 1.0.  The assignments include the use of assistive technologies, captioning a video, assessing authoring tools based on ATAG compliance, auditing websites and building a WCAG-compliant template. The course is updated before each intake with recent additions including information on the emerging WCAG 2.1 draft and the next-generation Silver guideline developments.

As Senior Lecturer for the PCWA I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Knowbility and our mystery nominee  for their recognition of the course, Such recognition would not be possible without the hard work of Lecturer Dr Ruchi Permvattana and Course Co-ordinator Jenny Webber, and the ongoing support of the course from Media Access Australia and the University of South AUstralia.

If you’d like to sign up for the course, the next intake starts in September. Details can be found at www.mediaaccess.org.au/learn.

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