This blog post was written by Rob Sinclair, Microsoft’s Chief Accessibility Officer. Rob is responsible for the company's worldwide strategy to develop software and services that make it easier for people of all ages and abilities to see, hear, and use their computers.
The International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) is well on its way to becoming a globally recognized organization for accessibility professionals, as it hit or exceeded membership and organizational goals in its first three months.
With 1,200 members and counting, we are ahead of our membership goal. Our first set of webinars are popular, with interest growing every month. And we are on track to hire a permanent chief executive officer, who will build on the strong foundation current CEO David Dikter is creating.
The association also is preparing to launch a new online community, where accessibility professionals will be able to collaborate, share ideas, exchange best practices and generally find help for their work creating an inclusive digital world. Currently, we are considering three different approaches and expect to make a decision in the coming weeks.
All of this progress highlights the pent-up demand for and interest in an international organization dedicated to accessibility professionals. It also tells us the priorities we set, after a lot of study and deliberation, were correct. The IAAP priorities are:
• Individual professional development and training
• Organizational development
• Professional certification for individuals
• An interactive global online community to share best practices
One of the keys to reaching our goals is choosing the right leaders for the right periods. Today, the IAAP’s CEO recruiting committee is in the midst of finding a leader who will guide the organization’s transition from a startup to a globally recognized professional association dedicated to helping make accessibility a reality for everyone. David Dikter and his staff have done a fantastic job. Now, David will resume his full-time role as leader of the Assistive Technology Industry Association, and the IAAP will hire its next CEO.
As the IAAP moves forward, we are also committed to collaborating with organizations doing complementary work in accessibility, and one of our goals is to build models that will forge the most effective partnerships.
What’s next? Our success depends on you. Thank you for all of your support, ideas and work that have gotten IAAP off to a great start. With your help we will keep hitting and often exceeding our goals, establishing our organization as a leading authority in accessibility.
Together, we can build a world-class association and an accessible world.