CPACC Reflection

by Cam N. Coulter


Posted on July 21, 2021 accessibility


Universal access icon: a stick figure with a circle around them.

This past Saturday, I took the CPACC exam.

How did my test go?

I think I did well! It is a one-hundred question test, and there were only eight questions that I felt uncertain about. I had time to return to those questions and think them over more carefully, and when I eventually submitted my exam, I felt reasonably confident with my answers to those questions. I will have to wait until sometime in September to hear the official results.

How did my test prep go?

Deque’s CPACC preparation course was really helpful, as was Princeton University’s CPACC preparation course. I think Deque’s course had better written content and a cleaner user interface, but I appreciated the Princeton course more for it’s example questions, both the short knowledge checks integrated throughout the course as well as the practice exam at the end. I can’t imagine preparing for the exam without those two resources. The CPACC Body of Knowledge was also quite helpful, both the text of it as well as its linked resources.

I think study-blogging was the most helpful thing I did to prepare for the exam. As I wrote all these blog posts, I had to articulate the concepts in my own words, and that forced me to really understand it all — to find context, to disambiguate, to internalize, and to fill in my knowledge gaps. Many thanks to Amy Carney and her 100 Days of A11y blog for giving me the inspiration to do this study-blogging myself!

How do I feel about it?

I feel good about it! I’m glad that I went through this process. Studying for the certification exam helped to solidify my knowledge of accessibility and fill in some knowledge gaps. It helped me to learn my “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns,” so to speak. I feel much more confident in this subject matter now, and I’m looking forward to having the certification to back me up.

I’m also a bit relieved. I’ve put quite a bit of work and focus into preparing for this certification exam. I’m happy to be done with that, and I’m excited to move on to what’s next.

What’s next?

Web accessibility! I want IAAP’s Web Accessibility Specialist (WAS) certification. It will take a while before I’ll be ready to test for the certification, but I am eager to move on to learning more about — and practicing — web accessibility.

I’ve submitted the registration form for Knowbility’s Accessibility Internet Rally (AIR), which looks to be a great way to learn more about web accessibility and get more practice with it.

I’ve already completed the Responsive Web Design certification from FreeCodeCamp, which helped give me a solid foundation with HTML and CSS. Thus far, I’ve never really dived into JavaScript, so I figure it’s time I learn the fundamentals of the web’s programming language. To that end, I plan to start tackling FreeCodeCamp’s JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures course next month.

Beyond that, I have my eye on some books, Deque University’s web accessibility courses, and a number of web design projects. This blog is currently built on Jekyll and Bootstrap. While I’m quite happy with Jekyll, I want to redesign this site from the ground up without Bootstrap or other frameworks, instead using only “pure” CSS. (Flexbox and Grid, I’m looking at you.)

Image created by Cam Coulter. Icon by mikion on the Noun Project.


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