In fall 2022 I finally felt comfortable to take the examination for becoming a “Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies” (CPACC) by the “International Association of Accessibility Professionals” (IAAP). And in November I got an email that I passed it! Hooray! If you are thinking about taking the exam yourself or need some material for learning, here is a short write-up about how to prepare for CPACC 🙂
Deque University is a well known provider of learning material and courses regarding accessibility. Luckily, they have an up to date course that was made specifically for the CPACC and also one for WAS (Web Accessibility Specialist).
For me this was probably the most valuable resource for reading about everything. They have really nice learning material in a chapter or book-like style including great summaries, videos and quizzes. Actually, I only looked shortly in the official body of knowledge that is provided by IAAP (see in Resources section)
Quizlet is a platform where you can save flash cards and learn them. I found two sets of cards that cover parts of the topics you should be familiar with. You are definitely required to know some definitions or terminology. So maybe register to that platform and create your own ones! Personally, I can learn definitions and terminology best with flashcards. However, it is definitely not recommended to start learning with those. You should really read a lot of material, watch videos etc (e.g. see Deque University above).
Most difficult part of the exam
While learning, I thought all the legal stuff would be my weakness as the course at Deque University included a lot of facts about regulations, acts, laws, etc. I was kind of afraid that I had to remember a lot of random dates and countries for all the accessibility acts. Luckily, this is not really the case. You have to know some important ones but not everything.
Based on the official IAAP website, this part (i.e. “Standards, Laws, and Management Strategies”) is only 20% of the whole exam.
However, what I did not feel really comfortable until some days before the exam was “Universal Design” and especially “Universal Learning”. Regarding Universal Design, I sometimes mixed up terminology with WCAG requirements and vice versa.
The part about Universal Learning I kind of over-read or underestimated inside of the Deque University course. I heard about the importance of this part in some blog post on https://100daysofa11y.com/cpacc/ or inside of this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a01vcZMTJqU (don’t remember where). Anyway, I just made sure to revisit all of this. I did not really follow the “100 day of A11y” blog posts while preparing but still there is some great content inside.
A quick and well structured read regarding Universal Design can be found here: https://universaldesign.ie/what-is-universal-design/
If you just want to learn with a single resource that covers all, just stick with the courses at Deque University. You can get them for 99$ (as far as I remember), even if you never take the exam you learn a lot because they are so nicely structured.
Do not skip or underestimate the part about Universal Design or Universal Learning 🙂
Hopefully, you know now how to prepare successfully for the CPACC exam! Have fun learning and good luck!
- IAAP certification preparation courses by Deque University: https://dequeuniversity.com/curriculum/packages/iaap-certification-prep
- CPACC Official body of knowledge: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjDiZ_GsLH8AhU5i_0HHeigB4QQFnoECCIQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.accessibilityassociation.org%2Fresource%2FIAAP_CPACC_BOK_March2020&usg=AOvVaw3URyOLehYbfdosy3Vqafh4
- Blog about how to prepare for the different IAAP certifications within 100 days https://100daysofa11y.com/cpacc/
- Video about the full exam. Although, for my taste it’s a little long and in parts too broad. Still, it gives you a good feeling about where you currently stand: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a01vcZMTJqU