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This apprenticeship standard is in development and is not yet ready to use

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Digital accessibility specialist

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in multiple industries, regardless of the specific industry sector accessibility will always be a consideration. The main sectors and industries this standard would be present in are:
- Commerce
- Education
- Financial services; professional services
- Health services
- Media; culture; graphical
- Public services
- Information Technology (IT) Services
- Energy
- Charities

The broad purpose of the occupation is to provide advice on accessibility best practice, helping organisations (externally and internally) to meet organisational, national and international accessibility standards and collaborate to ensure an inclusive user experience and compliance with relevant legislation. A Digital Accessibility Specialist provides training and assistance to professionals to design and develop accessible solutions. They test and audit digital content to ensure that it complies with accessibility standards and guidelines. They provide technical support for digital assistive technology (software and hardware) and facilitate end-user testing specifically with disabled user groups to ensure usability for people with disabilities and users of assistive technology. They procure and provide digital assistive technologies, content and services to meet accessibility requirements of individuals on behalf of both their own employer and clients.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with a range of professionals including, but not limited to, software engineers, managers and product owners (either internal or external) to ensure that end-user experiences meet the accessibility needs of individuals with disabilities and comply with national and international accessibility standards. They would form part of a wider multi-disciplinary team encompassing a variety of roles, depending on the organisation, which could include assistive technology trainers, accessibility testers, accessibility support specialists, developers etc. The occupation would include communication with assistive technology providers and external bodies to troubleshoot existing products and assist in the development of future products, solutions, and services. The occupation will also include interaction with assistive technology users both to provide support for their assistive technology, and as part of consultations with end-users as part of focus groups and disabled end-user testing. An employee in this occupation will be responsible for the analysis of solutions regarding accessibility. A Digital Accessibility Specialist could find themselves working in a variety of environments both internally within their organisation or on client facing duties and locations. Digital Accessibility Specialists additionally play a key role in advocating, supporting and presenting to the broader disability community. They are primarily desk-based, working on a mixture of client-facing and internal projects, however, the role may also involve travel to client sites, conferences, workshops, and seminars.

A Digital Accessibility Specialist isn’t required to supervise staff directly; however, they would be involved in overseeing complex project deliverables, such as directing developers, testers etc. in relation to accessibility considerations and the procurement of relevant technologies internally and externally. They would be responsible for the sign off of technical designs and project requirements relating to accessibility.

Typical job titles include:

Digital Accessibility Specialist, Accessibility Subject Matter Expert (SME), Accessibility Specialist, Accessibility Tester, Accessibility Consultant

Entry requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements but these may typically be: - at least five GCSEs grades A* – C (9 – 4), including English and Maths, ideally including Sciences or IT related subjects - a Level 3 qualification(s), A level(s), BTEC or equivalent. - a team player, committed to solving problems, keen to learn, not afraid to ask questions, hardworking and ready to raise to new challenges. No prior experience in IT is required, however, it would be advantageous if the candidate had completed relevant previous studies (in such subjects as IT, computer science etc.)

Occupation duties



Duty 1 Collaborate with organisations (internally and externally) at all levels to provide guidance on accessibility best practice helping them to meet organisational, national and international accessibility standards and guidelines to ensure an inclusive user experience and compliance with relevant legislation.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K20 K21

S1 S3 S6 S10 S11 S17 S18

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 2 Raise awareness of accessibility within organisations (internally and externally) via multiple media channels (for example presentations, workshops and focus groups).

K4 K6 K7 K20 K21

S1 S3 S5 S6 S11 S17 S18

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 3 Provide guidance to organisations (internally and externally) on how to meet organisational, national and international accessibility standards and guidelines to ensure an inclusive user experience and compliance with relevant legislation.

K1 K2 K5 K8 K9 K20 K21

S1 S3 S6 S10 S15 S17 S18

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 4 Provide advice and assistance to a range of professionals, including but not limited to project managers, web designers, developers and product owners (internally and externally), to ensure interoperability between assistive technologies and mainstream technologies through the use of programming languages, frameworks and techniques to meet accessibility requirements across a wide range of operating platforms (for example web and native applications) for mobile and desktop to make content accessible for all users.

K2 K8 K9 K10 K11 K20 K21

S1 S2 S3 S6 S9 S10 S11 S12 S15 S17 S18

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 5 Advise organisations (internally and externally) on how to create accessible documents (digital or non-digital), communications and materials.

K1 K2 K4 K20 K21

S2 S11 S17 S18

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 6 Provide technical support for digital assistive technology (for example text to speech, speech to text, magnifiers, interface customisation options), internally and externally.

K1 K13 K14 K20 K21 K22

S2 S7 S13 S17

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 7 Test mainstream digital applications against relevant accessibility standards producing any accompanying documentation (including test report and test plan).

K2 K10 K13 K15 K16

S2 S4 S7 S10 S11 S17

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 8 Organise and facilitate end user testing, specifically with disabled user groups, against mainstream digital applications for accessibility or assistive technologies (software and hardware).

K1 K6 K7 K14 K15 K20 K21

S5 S8 S9 S17

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 9 Produce personal and organisational documentation (for example presentations, reports, marketing material and templates) and communications that are accessible and useable, internally (for example stakeholders, project managers, developers).

K2 K4 K6 K20

S1 S10 S11 S17

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 10 Procure and provide digital assistive technologies, content and services to meet accessibility requirements of individuals on behalf of both own employer and clients.

K1 K3 K14 K17

S2 S8 S9 S10 S17

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 11 Advise organisations (internally and externally) on how to embed accessibility within selection and scoring processes when procuring products and services (for example hardware, software, communication materials and technical support services).

K1 K2 K3 K5 K13 K16 K20 K21

S8 S10 S17 S18

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 12 Store, manage and share data securely in a compliant manner.

K18 K19

S14 S17

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 13 Practice continuous self-learning to keep up to date with technological developments to enhance relevant skills and take responsibility for own professional development.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K19 K20 K21 K22

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13 S14 S15 S17

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 14 Test and audit mainstream digital applications against digital assistive technologies for interoperability (for example text to speech, speech to text, magnifiers), producing any accompanying documentation (including test report and test plan).

K15 K23 K24

S2 S4 S17


Duty 15 Provide advice and assistance to a range of professionals, including but not limited to project managers, web designers, developers, end users and line management (internally and externally), advice relating to digital input device assistive technology (for example braille displays, assistive keyboards, assistive mice, sip & puff, switch, eye tracking, voice input).

K23 K24

S2 S4 S17 S18


Duty 16 Organise and deliver training on both digital accessibility standards and assistive technologies (both software and hardware-based), including but not limited to project managers, web designers, developers, end-users and line management (internally and externally).

K4 K6 K20 K21 K23 K25

S16 S17

B1 B3



K1: The characteristics and categories of disabilities (including temporary, situational and permanent disabilities) and how these affect individuals. Back to Duty

K2: Commonly used accessibility guidelines (for example the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, EN301549 and Section508), methods to implement and achieve conformance and how these assist users with disabilities. Back to Duty

K3: How accessibility is managed and integrated within an enterprise environment including policies, and reasonable adjustments. Back to Duty

K4: How to utilise productivity suites ensuring output is accessible and advising on the implementation of accessibility features and content. Back to Duty

K5: The implications and effect on users with disabilities, and UK businesses of international disability legislation (including Equality Act 2010, Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) No. 2 Accessibility Regulations 2018 and Accessible Canada Act C81 2018). Back to Duty

K6: How to present using relevant technologies and aids in a manner that communicates the information (including a business case) to the chosen target audience, and understand the key facts and figures relating to accessibility. Back to Duty

K7: The process to set-up, moderate and conduct activities relating to hosting workshops including moderation usability testing, user research testing and end-user testing. Back to Duty

K8: The basics of Hyper Text Mark-up Language, Cascading Style Sheets, JavaScript and Accessibility Rich Internet Applications, and how these should be used to enhance the accessibility of services (for example alt text, dynamic content, colour contrast). Back to Duty

K9: How mobile applications are developed using appropriate development applications and the basics of the languages used. Back to Duty

K10: The fundamentals of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), including the purpose, application and utilisation of WCAG in a variety of situations (for example web, mobile, desktop applications). Back to Duty

K11: The basic principles of project management (including project life cycle methodologies), and how accessibility considerations are integrated. Back to Duty

K12: The accessibility considerations when designing and developing an application's user experience using related standards and guidelines including ISO9241 Ergonomics of human-system interaction, The Principles of Universal Design by the Centre for Universal Design and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines to create an inclusive design. Back to Duty

K13: How to use assistive technologies (both digital and physical), their use-cases and functionality, degrees of complexity (hi-tech, low-tech and no-tech). Back to Duty

K14: How assistive technologies interact with other digital technologies. Back to Duty

K15: The principles and application of testing methodologies to accessibility criteria and assistive technologies, and the impact of accessibility findings (including test documentation). Back to Duty

K16: How to construct a business report (for example document layout and contents). Back to Duty

K17: The purpose and importance of reasonable adjustments, and how these are managed. Back to Duty

K18: Best practices regarding digital security including General Data Protection Regulations 2018, how these are applied to an organisation and the factors which can result in these being effective and how these can be mitigated. Back to Duty

K19: The security considerations relating to the installation and utilisation of assistive technologies, how these tools may be misidentified by common security practices and the methods to mitigate such security constraints. Back to Duty

K20: How to communicate through different mediums, including tailoring communications to different user groups. Back to Duty

K21: How to use incident management tools, triage incidents and appropriately communicate with assistive technology users. Back to Duty

K22: How to audit digital applications (including web and mobile applications) against digital assistive technologies including screen readers, screen magnifiers, speech to text and literacy aids. Back to Duty

K23: The preparation and processes required to conduct training with a variety of user groups for example project managers, web designers, developers, end users and line management. Back to Duty

K24: How accessibility fits into the wider digital landscape, including current/future applicable regulatory requirements, and case law in the area of discriminating against employees with a disability. Back to Duty

K25: How to use data ethically and the implications for wider society, with respect to the use of data, automation and artificial intelligence. Back to Duty


S1: Present information, (for example business cases, testing findings, general information etc.) to a variety of audiences to ensure understanding. Back to Duty

S2: Use hardware and software based assistive technologies for a variety of applications (for example testing, training etc.) Back to Duty

S3: Use Interpersonal skills to develop and maintain effective and credible professional relationships both within and outside the team. Back to Duty

S4: Conduct testing against a variety of platforms using appropriate standards and/or guidelines and assistive technologies. Back to Duty

S5: Conduct workshops, surveys or focus groups, including the set-up, running and conclusion activities. Back to Duty

S6: Both written and verbal communication skills when working as a team or individually. Back to Duty

S7: Solve problems using a logical and analytical approach. Back to Duty

S8: Identify appropriate assistive technologies and adaptive strategies for an individual's disability. Back to Duty

S9: Practice disability etiquette, when communicating with individuals with disabilities. Back to Duty

S10: Apply accessibility standards and regulations to practice. Back to Duty

S11: Uses productivities suites and implementing accessibility best practices (for example reading level, colour contrast etc.) into produced documentation. Back to Duty

S12: Create business reports, business cases and documentation appropriate for the target audience (for example developers, management etc.) Back to Duty

S13: Identifies and rectify issues being experienced using appropriate troubleshooting methods relating to a user's assistive technology. Back to Duty

S14: Apply security best practices. Back to Duty

S15: Apply accessibility guidelines (for example WCAG, ISO9241 Ergonomics of human-system interaction) when designing and developing solutions on a variety of platforms (for example web, mobile etc.) Back to Duty

S16: Collate and research information, or statistics (for example disability statistics, appropriate assistive technology for specific disabilities and correct terminology) required to present, in a manner which is appropriate to the target audience of any training (for example project managers, web designers, developers, end users and line management). Back to Duty

S17: Keep up-to-date with developments in technologies, trends and innovation using a range of sources. Back to Duty

S18: Lead a group of individuals using basic leadership skills as to achieve a common goal. Back to Duty


B1: Motivated, empathetic and driven in the field of accessibility and the wider digital sphere. Back to Duty

B2: Proactively Inclusive. Back to Duty

B3: Manages time effectively and adheres to timescales when producing work product. Back to Duty

B4: Inquisitive, innovative and forward-thinking regarding digital technologies which could have beneficial implications for disabled individuals. Back to Duty


English & Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Professional Recognition

This standard has professional recognition.

Body Level
International Association of Accessibility Professionals Individual

Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Status: In development
Proposal approved Standard approved Assessment plan approved
Level: 4
Reference: ST0863
Version: 1
Date updated: 15/05/2020
Route: Digital
Typical duration to gateway: 24 months months (this does not include EPA period)
Trailblazer contact(s): Mark.wilcock@atos.net
Employers involved in creating the standard: Lloydsbanking , Northamptonshire Council, BBC, MicrosoftScottish Widows, AbilityNet, MicroLink PC, International Association of Accessibility Professionals, National Autistic Society, RNIB, Atos

Version log

Version Date updated Change Previous version
1 15/05/2020 Standard first published

Not available

1 19/02/2020 Initial creation

Not available