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Re: Accessible PDFs?

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Mon, 02 Dec 2002 09:04:49 -0500
To: "Nissen, Dan E" <Dan.Nissen@UNISYS.com>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-id: <001501c29a0b$ccb66b20$19e03244@DAVIDPOEHLMAN>

actually, we are possibly escewing the issue at this point and I agree
that paper is achin to accessibility for some and would not think of
banning it yet for the same reason I would not think of calling pdfs
accessible yet even in their best form.  As you point out, paper must be
used till the laws change and so it is with pdfs.  Pdfs cannot be called
"accessible" till there are sugnificant changes in technology including
cost of ownership as well as price to get to the most accessible
rendering possible today.  It is my understanding that the need for
paper will go away before the latter occurs.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Nissen, Dan E" <Dan.Nissen@UNISYS.com>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Monday, December 02, 2002 8:45 AM
Subject: RE: Accessible PDFs?

We are back in a discussion of why anyone would want to use paper.  I
that, for visually impaired people, paper is not a good medium.
for the larger populace, paper is a very good medium for learning and
working with information.  It has many advantages over screens.  Like
need for ramps or corner cuts, we don't ask that they not put in stairs
escalators, etc., just that we have ramps.  HTML is a bad format for
things on paper, because it has no page break concept that seems to work
well.  And, getting things in exactly the right typeface to meet the
requirements of having certain text in at least xx points and bolded to
sure it is visible and noticeable is more difficult in HTML, but easy in
PDF.  Many laws require that certain government and contractual
documents be
displayed with these typeface considerations.  And, to do forms and get
OCR readers reliable, getting the form in exactly the right place is
important.  And, certain documents are required by law to be printed,
in, and signed.  Those laws should be changed, at least when digital
signatures are well accepted, but for now they must be obeyed.

How do we meet all the requirements, not just accessibility?


-----Original Message-----
From: David Poehlman [mailto:poehlman1@comcast.net]
Sent: Monday, December 02, 2002 5:52 AM
To: Scarlett Julian (ED); w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: Accessible PDFs?

It will be several years if at all before we can say that pdf is
accessible.  Yes, It is correct to say that There are some circumstances
where in it is possible to provide access to and accessible pdf
documents but those are few in the world and we already have a ton of
formats that are better suited for accessibility.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Scarlett Julian (ED)" <Julian.Scarlett@sheffield.gov.uk>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Monday, December 02, 2002 3:33 AM
Subject: RE: Accessible PDFs?


that's a less than useful answer in that it doesn't really give a true
picture of the situation. Yes, it's true that AT cannot read pdf
created using Acrobat 4 but (correct me if I'm wrong) it *is* possible
version 5 to produce documents that are accessible if the creator knows
they're doing. We are now in a situation where pdf holds similar ground
html in that unless the developer knows what they're doing the resulting
documents will be inaccessible to some extent. Given that people will
continue to use pdf shouldn't we be giving a more upbeat message about
to create accessible versions otherwise we're going to be stuck with
documents that theoretically can be made accessible but aren't because
creators don't know that it can be done. This is an *interest* group and
my mind that means exploring possibilities and trying to produce
Or am I yet another who has seriously misjudged the remit of the list?


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Access Systems [mailto:accessys@smart.net]
> Sent: Monday, December 02, 2002 1:11 AM
> To: Matthew Smith
> Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: Re: Accessible PDFs?
> On Mon, 2 Dec 2002, Matthew Smith wrote:
> nope, rarely, hardly ever
> Bob
> > Can anyone tell me if Assitive Technologies are able to read PDF
> > documents?  More and more "offline" content is being held
> on web sites
> > in this format, so it would be nice to think that it is actually
> > accessible...
> >
> > Cheers
> >
> > M
> >
> >
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Received on Monday, 2 December 2002 09:05:26 UTC

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