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RE: PDF accessibility guidelines. WAS: Re: PDF's and Signatures

From: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2015 19:54:05 -0800
To: <accessys@smart.net>
Cc: "'Duff Johnson'" <duff@duff-johnson.com>, "'Thompson, Rachel'" <rsthompson2@ua.edu>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <039001d03789$6621e910$3265bb30$@ca>
accessys@smart.net wrote:
> one of the problems I face is not the big players universities and
> companies but the small volunteer groups that just upload pdf documents
> and that's as far as they go,  churches and affinity groups want to be
> on line but the volunteers running the websites rarely have any
> training or even know what the W3C is much less what they say.

Lack of training is indeed a problem, but that very same lack of training
can also result in HTML that is inaccessible to some or many, so demonizing
PDF is slightly unfair.

I think that for many of these smaller organizations (especially those
motivated by altruistic goals, like church groups) will respond favorably
with some gentle, positive feedback, including pointing them to many of the
online resources that exist already. There are two groups here: those that
don't know, and those that don't want to know. We can help the first group,
but the second group is a harder nut to crack.

> one reason I just say "avoid pdf" to these groups.

...and if they can, that is not wrong advice. However there are times when
that advice is not feasible, for any number of reasons. There, spending the
time (if that effort is taken and appreciated) is the answer. Bottom line is
that there is no single answer to this conundrum, and we must remain open to
that line of thought.

> as you say is a real shame the tools are behind a paywall (which is
> technically illegal in the USA) small groups churches volunteers etc
> $88 may be a significant part of their budgets

To be clear, it is not a tool that is behind the firewall, it is a copy of
the standard (and in a clear wrinkle of possible irony, I would hope that
those 'paid-for' standards documents - likely in PDF - are accessible as
well. Duff?)

Received on Saturday, 24 January 2015 03:54:39 UTC

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