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RE: PDF and Accessibility

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2001 09:29:37 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: "Robert Neff" <rneff@bbnow.net>, "Charles McCathieNevile" <charles@w3.org>, "Gian Sampson-Wild" <Gian.Sampson-Wild@sausage.com>
Cc: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
I've always found it necessary to clean up the PDF.

Even when the PDF "easily converts" i.e. with all the text in the right 
order, it isn't nececessarily double or triple A compliant.  For example, 
the last time I tried it, section headings were not tagged with H1 H2 
etc.  Adobe has been working on this to allow applications to specify 
structure that gets passed through.  This requires authoring applications 
to make use of this feature, e.g. when the material is exported. Other 
folks on this list will know more about the current status than I.


At 09:59 PM 1/11/01 -0600, Robert Neff wrote:
>If you are confident the PDF will easily convert, then you may want to place
>a link to adobe.  But by the time you do that, you can easily convert it
>yourself, clean it up, and then post it along side the PDF version.
>  -----Original Message-----
>From:   w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org]  On
>Behalf Of Charles McCathieNevile
>Sent:   Thursday, January 11, 2001 8:48 PM
>To:     Gian Sampson-Wild
>Cc:     w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
>Subject:        Re: PDF and Accessibility
>Hi Gian,
>According to WCAG 1.0 checkpoint 11.4 if you don't have an accessible web
>version available of any content you are not in conformance at any level, as
>I read it.
>As Rob noted in his response, PDF is not necessarily inaccessible - it
>depends on how it was generated. Best thing to do is run it through the
>converter and see what happens, since that is essentially what many people
>out there on the web will be doing. If it is a single document, it may be
>simplest to take that version and clean it up. (You could get a start by
>opening the HTML version in Sausage HotDog, which will do some accessiblity
>testing for you, but I guess you know that <grin/>).
>The Guidelines document (checklist and all) is in the process of being
>revised - there are existing working drafts, but there is quite an extensive
>process to producing a new version of a W3C Recommendation.
>Charles McCN
>On Wed, 10 Jan 2001, Gian Sampson-Wild wrote:
>   Hi,
>   I work for Sausage Interactive, an Internet firm in Australia. We have a
>   client who wishes to put an Annual Report on their AAA website. The report
>   is quite long and in PDF format.
>   I am aware that PDFs are not accessible, however is it possible to have
>   Report downloadable as a PDF if there are also contact details available
>   (such as an email address and/or phone number)? Thus people who cannot
>   download the PDF can access it some other way- ie. by mail etc. I believe
>   this would be A and possibly AA level accessible, but am unsure whether it
>   fulfills the AAA standard.
>   Secondly, I was wondering if you intend on upgrading the May 1999 W3C
>   checklist as you have done the guidelines?
>   Thanks for your help,
>   Gian
>   Gian Sampson-Wild
>   Accessibility Specialist
>   Sausage Interactive
>   gian.sampson-wild@sausage.com
>   +61 3 8662 2547
>Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 (0) 409 134
>W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                      http://www.w3.org/WAI
>Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
>until 6 January 2001 at:
>W3C INRIA, 2004 Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex,

Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Institute on Disabilities/UAP and Dept. of Electrical Engineering at Temple 
(215) 204-2247 (voice)                 (800) 750-7428 (TTY)
http://astro.temple.edu/~kasday         mailto:kasday@acm.org

Chair, W3C Web Accessibility Initiative Evaluation and Repair Tools Group

The WAVE web page accessibility evaluation assistant: 
Received on Friday, 12 January 2001 09:29:47 UTC

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