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RE: PDF documents in eEurope

From: Jamie Fox <jfox@fenix2.dol-esa.gov>
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 1999 12:43:17 -0500
Message-ID: <01BF47C3.21060260.jfox@fenix2.dol-esa.gov>
To: "'Steven McCaffrey'" <smccaffr@mail.nysed.gov>, "eeurope@cec.eu.int" <eeurope@cec.eu.int>, "Rafael.Romero@uv.es" <Rafael.Romero@uv.es>
Cc: "accesoweb@onelist.com" <accesoweb@onelist.com>, "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Regarding your statement about the adobe conversion services it may also be 
a result of the method of conversion into pdf.  There are three methods 
available.  One may convert as all text, all images or a combination of the 

-Jamie Fox

-----Original Message-----
From:	Steven McCaffrey [SMTP:smccaffr@mail.nysed.gov]
Sent:	Thursday, December 16, 1999 11:32 AM
To:	eeurope@cec.eu.int; Rafael.Romero@uv.es
Cc:	accesoweb@onelist.com; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject:	Re: PDF documents in eEurope

I applaud your eforts in raising the issue of accessibility to PDF and 
actually writing a letter to the appropriate people.
However, one of your statements is an incorrect generalization.
"...can not use standards graphical browsers, like blind people.

 this is true ins some cases but not all.
I am totally blind and use a graphical browser, as do many blind people.
Even though I can and do use a graphical browser(IE 4.01), PDF is not 
generally accessible.
The browser per se may  not be the issue, the fact that PDF is a graphical 
format is the issue.  Perhaps this is what you meant?
Without the appropriate software to "view" the PDF file, even a sighted 
person cannot access it,, so the barriers PDF present fall under the 
broader category of denying access to those without the appropriate 
software, assistive or not.

Even though there are freely available conversion services from Adobe, it 
is my experience that the ywork well only when the PDF document is very 
simple.   That is, documents without embedded pictures, charts, graphs, or 
even footnotes, ( anything that might interrupt the linear flow of text).
Steve McCaffrey
Information Technology Services
New York State Department of Education

>>> Rafael Romero <Rafael.Romero@uv.es> 12/16/99 06:44AM >>>
To the attention of eEurope site webmaster.

Dear sir or madam,

I would encourage you to facilitate all texts relating to this new exciting 
initiative also in HTML format.

Presently they can only be downloaded as PDF and this takes more than ten 
times longer than the equivalent HTML files. Not only so. PDF files do not 
allow to copy the text easily for citing in another documents and the users 
need an especific plugin to render them in their computers.

More importantly, this format is not accessible for people with 
disabilities that can not use standards graphical browsers, like blind 
people. This would be hence a good way to start implementing what is 
intended as priority area 7, which is eParticipation of the disabled in the 
information society.

For more information about accessible web design you could visit the site 
of the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative at http://www.w3.org/WAI

Yours sincerely,

		Rafael Romero.
         |        mailto:Rafael.Romero@uv.es         |
         |      Unidad de Investigacion ACCESO       |
         |      Universitat de Valencia (Spain)      |
         |   C/ Artes Graficas 13, 46010 Valencia    |
         | Tel: +34-963 864 135 Fax: +34-963 864 758 |
         |            http://acceso.uv.es/           |
Received on Thursday, 16 December 1999 12:41:51 UTC

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