6. Hiring Accessibility Staff

Web/IT Accessibility Specialist

The web/IT accessibility specialist has a key role in the development of organizational accessibility culture. This person is often a manager with a technical background or a web developer, knowledgeable of accessibility and disability issues, whose role it is to oversee an organization’s web and IT accessibility efforts.

Much like web developers with accessibility expertise, accessibility specialists can also be difficult to find and they are often self-taught. They come from varied backgrounds and through experience working with people with disabilities and assistive technologies, they develop a unique awareness of accessibility and what that means from technical, social, economic, political, and educational perspectives.

Accessibility Specialist Knowledge and Skills

The range of skills and knowledge will vary from specialist to specialist, though there are some core characteristics to look for, and a range of additional skills that will be outlined here. Duties may also vary, depending on the organization’s requirements. The following is a generic list of duties and potential characteristics for a web/IT accessibility specialist. A variation of these characteristics may apply in different circumstances, whether you are working in the business or corporate world, in education, in government, or in the accessibility services field.


  • Manage and/or implement web accessibility efforts throughout the organization
  • Accessibility quality control of documents, websites, and IT systems
  • Train staff from varied backgrounds (e.g., customer service, sales, developers, and managers)
  • Develop documentation and training materials for diverse groups within the organization
  • Report accessibility/research efforts to senior management/stakeholders
  • Provide assistive technology guidance for clients or staff with disabilities
  • Present accessibility/research efforts at relevant conferences or meetings (this item is more specific to the educational sector)
  • Write and publish accessibility/research efforts (this item is more specific to the educational sector)
  • Participate in international standards working groups that promote accessibility

Minimum Core Knowledge

  • Strong background in web development
  • Expert knowledge of WCAG 2.0
  • Project management skills
  • Functional knowledge of WAI-ARIA (expertise would be an asset)
  • Knowledge of accessibility features across a full range of operating systems
  • Experience teaching or training adult learners
  • Familiarity with mobile and desktop screen readers
  • Familiarity with automated accessibility checkers
  • Graduate degree or better, in a related field or equivalent practical experience
  • Ability to interact effectively with junior and senior staff, government and the public
  • Strong oral communication skills
  • Technical writing skills

Additional Skills

  • Knowledge of a range of assistive technologies and devices
  • Knowledge of UI design, implementation and testing
  • Knowledge of disabilities, and disability sensitivity
  • Functional knowledge of ATAG 2.0 and UAAG 2.0 specifications
  • Familiarity with international accessibility and disability regulations
  • Well networked with the global accessibility community
  • Qualitative research background (user studies)

Readings & References: For examples of web/IT Accessibility Specialist job descriptions, review the following resources:


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Digital Accessibility as a Business Practice Copyright © 2018 by Digital Education Strategies, The Chang School is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.