What’s it like to study one of the world’s best online web accessibility courses? Jessica Budd is a digital accessibility analyst with Media Access Australia and recently studied the Professional Certificate in Web Accessibility (PCWA) to further hone her skills. She shares her experience in taking the course and graduating with new-found knowledge.
The Professional Certificate in Web Accessibility course (PCWA) is jointly run by the University of South Australia and Media Access Australia. It teaches students internationally acknowledged guidelines in best practice web and digital accessibility, along with imparting the skills to create, audit and implement online accessibility across websites, apps and digital communications, so that people with permanent and temporary disability are not excluded.
The PCWA course was recently honoured for outstanding accessibility education by US accessibility group, Knowbility, as part of their Heroes of Accessibility honours list for 2017. And recent graduate of the PCWA, Jessica Budd, was thrilled that she was able to take the course.
“The Professional Certificate in Web Accessibility comprehensively covered the Web Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) plus took us through the fundamentals of the upcoming 2018 ‘2.1’ update, as well as the Authoring Tools Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG),” said Jessica Budd.
“Not only did I learn a lot, but holding a university-accredited qualification showing that my web accessibility knowledge has been independently assessed by leaders in the field, will be very beneficial for my career,” she said.
Media Access Australia also asked Jessica five questions and her answers will help give readers additional insights into this six week part-time online Professional Certificate course.
MAA Q1: Can you tell us about the students who took the May-June 2017 intake with you?
Jessica: “There was a very diverse group of students within the course, in terms of location around the world, prior knowledge of accessibility, and their job roles, from developers and analysts to project managers and communications people.”
MAA Q2: What was the most surprising thing that you learned during the course?
Jessica: That the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) don’t have the same level of W3C endorsement as the WCAG guidelines.
MAA Q3: Did you find the self-paced nature of the course beneficial?
Jessica: Yes I did. Allowing students an additional two weeks to hand in assignments was beneficial because it would have been difficult to meet the requirements in the standard timeframe, so that made completing them very achievable no matter how busy I was at work.
MAA Q4: What was the most satisfying assignment that you worked on?
Jessica: Part of assignment two, where we were tasked with captioning a video was really satisfying, because I can see a practical future use for figuring out how to do that.
MAA Q5: What type of people do you think would benefit from taking the course?
Jessica: In my opinion, people with previous university qualifications and an analytical mind would really benefit from the PCWA course.
The next intake runs from 18 September to 27 October 2017 with enrolments closing at 5pm AEST on 12 September. To find out more about the PCWA course check out the PCWA web page and you can self-enrol in the PCWA via Conference Online – it only takes a few minutes. Or for a group booking or for your employer to be invoiced for you to take the course contact Media Access Australia directly. For more information you can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.