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RE: PDF in WCAG 2

From: Claire Spencer <spencerc@unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2004 17:06:35 +1000
To: 'Lisa Seeman' <lisa@ubaccess.com>, "'John Foliot - WATS.ca'" <foliot@wats.ca>, lguarino@adobe.com, 'W3c-Wai-Ig' <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-id: <003901c48e5f$e30f6210$ce23fa80@unimelb.edu.au>

Hi there,

As far as I am aware you cannot make a PDF truly accessible for on
reason alone, whilst you may have created a structurally accessible
document, it then falls to the assistive technology to read the
structure. 

In many cases, users at home do not have the most recent versions of
assistive technology or the most recent version of adobe due to $$$ and
resources, so there is an accessibility gap until the two meet up. 

Yes, a universally accessible platform would be fantastic, but to say
"FLASH animations help people understand what to do better then
instructions in html." I'd say is a stretch. 

Nothing can beat clear concise instructional copy in compliant XHTML.
The ability to understand instruction rather than interpret it is always
the key.

Just my two cents....

Cheers :-)

Claire Spencer | spencerc@unimelb.edu.au

Web Producer

Web Centre

The University of Melbourne

Phone: +61 3 8344 0476

www.unimelb.edu.au


-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Lisa Seeman
Sent: Monday, August 30, 2004 4:43 PM
To: 'John Foliot - WATS.ca'; lguarino@adobe.com; 'W3c-Wai-Ig'
Subject: RE: PDF in WCAG 2


SO far as I can tell, if you make the content accessible in PDF, the
conversion to html (via adobe) will make sense and be more or less
accessible.

If the PDF is inaccessible -so for example the reading order is
incorrect, then an HTML version will also have the reading order
incorrectly.

Also Adobe believe in their format and the advantage that it gives.
Different platforms come with advantages to the end user. For example
FLASH animations help people understand what to do better then
instructions in  html. Making different platforms universally accessible
may be a better long term win for accessibility then abandoning them. 


Keep well
lisa Seeman


> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Foliot - WATS.ca [mailto:foliot@wats.ca] 
> Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2004 3:09 PM
> To: lguarino@adobe.com; W3c-Wai-Ig
> Subject: RE: PDF in WCAG 2
> 
> 
> lguarino@adobe.com wrote:
> > This is what I get for not just directing you to the specifications
> > page:
> > 
> 
> Interestingly Loretta, this entire exercise only serves to illustrate
> why I (and others) continue to argue that *just* posting PDF files to
> web sites is essentially bad practice from an accessibility 
> perspective.
> 
> 
> 	a) The document (which you initially referenced) requires the
> *latest* reader, something that I do not have.  With an 
> installation of
> Acrobat 5 on my system, and an upgrade cost of approximately 
> $150.00 USD
> to Acrobat 6 (not to mention the peer reports:
> http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00008ZGSC/104-9251542-
8727150) I
couldn't see the point.  So initially even I couldn't "access" the
content.

	b) Some users (Bob at Access Systems for example) will still not
be able to access this information, as his current personal set-up does
not accommodate...

	c) I had also wonder out loud (again) why, after going through
all of the steps required to make PDFs accessible (essentially -
structured, semantic authoring), that the authors not *also* make the
content available as HTML... Same content, different delivery
mechanisms.

Thanks for pointing out the resource though...

JF
--
John Foliot  foliot@wats.ca
Web Accessibility Specialist / Co-founder of WATS.ca
Web Accessibility Testing and Services
http://www.wats.ca   1.866.932.4878 (North America) 
Received on Monday, 30 August 2004 07:06:44 UTC

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