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Re: PDF documents and accessibility support

From: Olaf Drümmer <olaflist@callassoftware.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2012 11:26:36 +0100
Cc: Olaf Drümmer <olaflist@callassoftware.com>, Ramón Corominas <listas@ramoncorominas.com>
Message-Id: <B7D646D7-CB2E-4B4F-9655-DD75F00CFB2D@callassoftware.com>
To: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Hi Ramón,

so let's assume this is fixed by end of Q1 2013 (possibly in the way that a tool like callas pdfGoHTML becomes available free of charge for Mac and possibly Linux such that every user can - possibly from within Adobe Reader or by means of a standalone utility - present the content of the PDF file in an accessible manner)... - what's next to bring PDF and accessibility closer together?


PS: One of the reasons to not prohibit PDF on public websites is that there are excessive amounts of content that is readily available but only in PDF. While it might be feasible to turn a substantial chunk of that into accessible PDF (according to the new PDF/UA standard), it is not realistic to assume even some smaller part of such content is turned into some other form / format that is considered more accessible (like for example HTML), not to mention that some documents simply work better (for disabled and non-disabled people) in PDF than as web content or in other formats.

PS 2: I am not making any announcements here nor am I stating any direct or indirect commitments about future availability of software - I am just "thinking aloud" ;-)

On 19 Dec 2012, at 10:13, Ramón Corominas wrote:

> Therefore, all user agents that provide accessibility support for PDF (until anyone can prove the contrary) run on Windows platforms, and I think that's not enough to qualify as an accessibility-supported technology.
> Of course, I am not saying that "PDF is bad and it must die". I'm saying that "PDF cannot qualify as an accessibility-supported technology except for very limited, text-only uses, or in a closed Windows environment". I am saying that PDF needs better support on multiple platforms, not that it must be prohibited.
> Nevertheless, I think that public websites must not rely on PDF (for now), because they will for sure leave apart many people with disabilities (and not people without disabilities, because for them there are options that they can use on all platforms).
Received on Wednesday, 19 December 2012 10:27:20 UTC

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