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Re: Acrobat PDF & Accessibility

From: Access Systems <accessys@smart.net>
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2001 17:07:32 -0500 (EST)
To: Carol Foster <c.foster@umassp.edu>
cc: William R Williams/R5/USDAFS <wrwilliams@fs.fed.us>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.21.0112201706490.19590-100000@smarty.smart.net>
On Thu, 20 Dec 2001, Carol Foster wrote:

> I agree with Jakob Nielsen, though some people really like PDF's.  I tend to
> get annoyed when I click on a link and a PDF suddenly starts slowly appearing
> without warning.

know any sites where I can try it, I have yet to meet a pdf that I can


> I believe to meet WAI priority 1 checkpoints, an HTML version is required.  The
> new more accessible PDF's that can be created with Adobe 5.0 and the Make
> Accessible Plugin are definitely an improvement over the old ones for screen
> readers, and if I understand this correctly, I believe that they alone will
> satisfy Section 508 without an alternative, though an HTML version is still
> recommended.
> As a web developer, I'm afraid that those of us who want to make our sites as
> accessible as possible are now in the position of not only having to create an
> HTML version, which can be easy or very time consuming (depending on what we
> have to start with), but also to make sure the PDF is itself accessible, which
> can also be easy or very time consuming, depending on how the PDF was created,
> what hardware and software one has, and how well one knows the new PDF tagging
> language and update facilities.
> Carol
> William R Williams/R5/USDAFS wrote:
> > Hello,
> >
> > It's been debated often, I suspect; yet, if my experience means anything,
> > much disagreement exists about the "true" accessibility of pdfs on the web.
> > Certainly, Adobe has promoted the application and worked diligently to make
> > them accessible, but others - such as Jakob Nielsen - suggest avoiding pdfs
> > for on-screen delivery.
> >
> > I know there are definite usability issues, but how does this group stand
> > on the accessibility of PDFs?
> >
> > Thanks!
> > ======================
> > Bill Williams
> > Communication Technician
> > USDA Forest Service, Region 5
> > 707.562.9005
> > wrwilliams@fs.fed.us
> > ======================
> Carol Foster, Web Developer
> University of Massachusetts, President's Office
> http://www.umass-its.net/ipg

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Received on Thursday, 20 December 2001 16:47:46 UTC

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