There has been a rapid increase in the use of multimedia sources for information dissemination in business, education, healthcare, government, and other settings. Concurrently, there has been an increase in the prevalence and participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society, including as students, employees, and consumers of commercial goods and public services. In response to the escalating accessibility needs of this population, many states are passing legislation (e.g., Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act) to establish policy parameters for digital accessibility. There are also several national mandates that address information technology accessibility such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
A major barrier of achieving the goal of functional information accessibility is that many software developers, programmers, and information designers lack the necessary accessibility knowledge, skills, and tools they need to effectively perform their jobs. In addition, service providers and administrators often lack an understanding of how the various legislative acts and policies of information accessibility apply to their settings.
The College of Applied Health Sciences continues its pioneering efforts on behalf of the full inclusion of people with disabilities by developing one of the very first university-based professional certificates in information accessibility design and policy. At the completion of this certificate program, graduates will have relevant knowledge of policies governing information technology accessibility, along with the skills and tools to meet WCAG requirements and create and/or convert digital information into accessible formats.
Who Should Apply?
The online certificate program is being created for computer programmers/designers/engineers, management information specialists, educators, librarians, and administrators, managers, service providers, and/or contractors in private industry, government, health care, or education.
- Guided curriculum of graduate courses designed and/or taught by University of Illinois faculty and academic professionals.
- Approved by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) for CAEC Professional Development Credit.
- Submission of completed courses to your professional associations or licensing/certification bodies for consideration of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or Professional Development Units (PDUs).
- Official University of Illinois certificate of completion awarded by the College of Applied Health Sciences, along with a Digital Badge for your electronic vita.
- Courses count as University of Illinois credit and may likely apply (up to 6 units) toward an undergraduate or master’s degree if you are admitted to a university.
- Courses are delivered online, asynchronously, to accommodate your learning pace and work schedule.