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Sitting for the CPACC Exam - #2

The International Association of Accessibility Professionals logo. A dark blue background with IAAP Certified CPACC in white letters all inside of a thin red lined circle.

Ashley Thompson is a member of DubBot’s Support team, serving as our newest Support Engineer. The following post is the second part of a blog series documenting her experiences as she prepares for the CPACC exam. The first blog entry about her experience is available here. The third installment can be found here.

Just getting over the halfway point of the Deque study materials for the Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) certification feels like a huge accomplishment. Still, I have the notion that the subject is continually expanding, and every new piece of information learned reveals another question or some aspect of accessibility that I had never considered before. This made me realize something that I think applies to many situations where privilege is present - I can’t know what it’s like to live with a disability I don’t have.

This thought is equally daunting and motivating. The perfectionist in me feels nothing but despair at the realization that accessibility can never be all-encompassing all the time. But, the realist in me understands that that shouldn’t stop the progress we are making daily toward making the web an inclusive place. How can we continue that progress? Knowledge. 

When researching something, being mindful of your source is always important. The heavily cited and researched courses in Deque University’s curricula have been an invaluable resource, no doubt - but what I was missing was anecdotal experiences from both people in my position who are learning about digital accessibility and people who have a disability who live the experience in the environments we are trying to improve. I have found that combining the scholarly approach with the more informal perspectives of individuals has really helped me gain a more complete understanding of the topic of accessibility. 

One of the most repeated subjects in every blog, podcast, and vlog I encountered was the fallacy of the "inspirational disabled person." This is so widespread because it initially comes across as positive but is actually just thinly veiled ableism. If a disability does not make one inferior (and it doesn’t), it should not be used as a defining characteristic when discussing one’s achievements. I think every one of us has said or thought this at some point. Making mistakes is unavoidable, but the harm can be reduced by simply listening and learning because when we know better - we do better. 

The finish line for the CPACC certification is in sight - but I am nowhere near the end of the odyssey of mastering the field of disabilities and the world of digital accessibility. As a lifelong learner, I look forward to every new concept and revelation this process offers!

Some of my favorite resources that have helped me along my way so far:

The first blog entry about her experience is available here. The third installment can be found here.

Ashley Thompson, CPACC
Support Engineer