- Step 1
- Put the words “Accessibility Consultant” on your business card.
- Ok, I lied. There is only one step.
- No, really. There’s only one step.
- Look, get over it already. The simple fact is that there really is only one step.
It is important to remember that this is not unique to accessibility consulting – it occurs everywhere. I mean, really, you could just as easily call yourself any of the following:
- change management professional
- web designer/developer
- holistic living consultant
The list is endless (though I did close the <ul> to ensure well-formedness)
I for one am very interested in how you position yourself as an expert in accessibility. As far as I know, there isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t any governing body or accreditation you can receive in Ã¢â‚¬Å“accessibility”. Aside from simply proclaiming yourself as one, what can you do to prove this to a potential client?
Kevin is totally right: there is governing body or accreditation or even certification in accessibility (at least not at present). So what does that leave you? I won’t give away all my secrets here, but here’s a start – I’ll abstract Kevin’s quote to illustrate:
I for one am very interested in how you position yourself as
an expert in accessibility. As far as I know, there isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t any governing body or accreditation you can receive in Ã¢â‚¬Å“accessibility”. Aside from simply proclaiming yourself as one, what can you do to prove this to a potential client?
And there it is: my secret to positioning yourself as an accessibility expert. It is no different than positioning yourself as a successful web designer. You need to have:
- a credible portfolio of work
- samples that you can provide
- references from clients
- the ability to demonstrate your knowledge
- the ability to understand the client and their situation
The only difference between this and other web areas like pure development, design or information architecture is the deliverable: what artifacts can you show that represent your expertise, knowledge and experience?
This isn’t likely the answer Kevin was looking for, but I honestly believe there is no trick to it and it is no different than other aspects of web development. There are other things that I do to position myself, but the foundation of presenting myself to any prospective client for consideration is provided by portfolio, references, knowledge and understanding.
I mean, really – is that different that any other area of what we do? (other than the specific skill set, of course)