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Re: Acrobat PDF & Accessibility

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@home.com>
Date: Sun, 23 Dec 2001 09:52:46 -0500
Message-ID: <002801c18bc1$7c5b6d00$c2f20141@mtgmry1.md.home.com>
To: "Charles McCathieNevile" <charles@w3.org>, "Jason Megginson" <jason@bartsite.com>
Cc: "'Ken Reader'" <kreader@attaininc.org>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Only one thing to add here and that is that pdfs marked up with the new
tags will not be accessible to people who cannot use the new pdf readers
and are behind a firewall that does not allow them to get their
documents converted or who do not have access to email of which there
are still many who will not be able to access outside email.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Charles McCathieNevile" <charles@w3.org>
To: "Jason Megginson" <jason@bartsite.com>
Cc: "'Ken Reader'" <kreader@attaininc.org>; <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Sunday, December 23, 2001 9:30 AM
Subject: RE: Acrobat PDF & Accessibility

Well, I don't have a scientifically tested answer yet, nor one that is
kind of W3C policy, but based on thinking about this for myself it seems
there is reasonable access to PDF for people who have brand new hardware
software of particular brands, and the rest of the world has to rely on
conversion to HTML producing something sufficiently accessible. This can
tested - the conversion service is available to the author as well as

In some cases that might be fine, in some cases it might be easiest to
produce any old PDF version and an HTML version that conforms to WCAG at
desired level instead of reworking the PDF. This depends on that
But as far as I can tell, if the converted version doesn't meet WCAG
requirements then the PDF version doesn't either, since it requires a
and it is a P1 WCAG requirement that content work without one.

This may not be the case for 508, which has slightly different rules,
but I
haven't examined it in sufficient detail to give a technical opinion on
issue, and I am not a lawyer so I don't recommend relyng on my opinions
legal issues without checking them with a real lawyer.

Just my two cents worth - entirely personal opinion and I reserve the
to retract it or not based on more detailed consideration of the issues.



On Fri, 21 Dec 2001, Jason Megginson wrote:

  Hello, All.

  I too agree that making an HTML page is easier and less likely to
  accessibility, but one can make an accessible PDF file easily with the
  Adobe plug-in with Microsoft Word and PageMaker 7.0.  The plug-in adds
  HTML-like tags and the .pdf file can be added to a webpage,
  the document's appearance for printing for sighted users.  Images and
  tables can be tagged and formatted for alternate text and the flow of
  information can be altered as well.

  Again, I feel that accessible PDFs should be used when it is
  necessary to maintain the layout of an original document for printing.
  In my opinion, there should be an option for a text only document as
  well as the PDF file.

  Jason Megginson
  Access Technology Specialist
  Bartimaeus Group

  -----Original Message-----
  From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On
  Behalf Of Ken Reader
  Sent: Friday, December 21, 2001 8:50 AM
  To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
  Subject: RE: Acrobat PDF & Accessibility

  I agree with joel.  With all the trouble it takes to make the pdf
  accessible it is just easier to go ahead and put it up in html.

  Ken Reader
  IT Coordinator
  ATTAIN, Inc.
  2346 S. Lynhurst Drive
  STE 507
  Indianapolis, IN 46241
  Telephone (317) 486-8808
  Fax (317) 486-8809

  -----Original Message-----
  From: Joel Ward [mailto:ward_joel@bah.com]
  Sent: Friday, December 21, 2001 8:40 AM
  To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
  Subject: Re: Acrobat PDF & Accessibility

  The rare PDF that includes internal navigation is tolerable, but I
  never found a PDF that is as easy to read in a browser as a standard
  document.  If I want to read the content in full, I will usually print
  PDF.  I've gone through many wasted reams of paper that way.  :-)

  Much like with HTML pages, PDFs can be done well and PDFs can be done
  poorly.  The fault often lies with the document's designer/coder.

  For viewing online, you can make a PDF document work much like a
  HTML page.  But why bother?  Just make a standard HTML page!

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: "Jon Hanna" <jon@spinsol.com>
  To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
  Sent: Friday, December 21, 2001 8:23 AM
  Subject: RE: Acrobat PDF & Accessibility

  > Hash: SHA1
  > Does anyone actually like reading PDFs in a browser?
  > Version: PGPfreeware 6.5.3 for non-commercial use
  > iQA/AwUBPCM33YFpv9f1Mr0YEQIK/wCg0TDuRQUDGofoC4vgUgfc79+t9uAAoPKH
  > 4TfA3Z3iJP8QPMzBCYh3ny8V
  > =CRpg
  > -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61
409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1
617 258 5999
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex,
Received on Sunday, 23 December 2001 09:52:39 UTC

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