W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > July to September 2000

RE: PDF Alternatives?

Date: Tue, 01 Aug 2000 17:35:31 -0500
Message-Id: <s9870a6c.066@EEOC.GOV>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Cc: webaim@mailservice.cpd.usu.edu
Unfortunately, that excerpt addresses the problems with PDF, but does not suggest a viable solution to the specific issue, which is reproducing paper forms in a format that can be used regardless of disability. I'm also trying to address the same issue, since we at EEOC would like to make our forms available via our web site. HTML or ASCII forms are not an acceptable option (can't reproduce the printed form precisely). Using Word, WordPerfect or other word processing software is not an acceptable option either (requires specific, non-free commercial software). Is there a functional alternative?

In the absence of a functional alternative to PDF, we are left with two options:

1. Not making forms available. This is not acceptable.

2. Providing PDF forms. An argument could be made that since we currently provide those forms only in paper, a visually-impaired person would already require assistance in completing a form, and PDF would be no worse. Unfortunately, it's also no better.

The third option, strictly electronic form submission and processing, avoiding paper altogether, is not currently possible, for technological and financial reasons. This is the best ultimate solution, but doesn't help us now.

Presenting data is easy - we use accessible formats for all documents, occasionally providing PDF only after an HTML version is already available. But the requirements of forms processing makes the distribution of forms a much greater challenge.

So, the question is: Is there a viable solution? And if there is not, is it then acceptable to turn to PDF because of the lack of alternatives?

>>> "Waddell, Cynthia" <cynthia.waddell@ci.sj.ca.us> 08/01/00 04:09PM >>>
The following exerpt on PDF is from the USDOJ April 2000 IT self-evaluation
report on the State of Federal Accessibility
<http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/508/report/content.htm> :
[text removed] 

-----Original Message-----
From: Joyce Kennedy [mailto:joycek@usm.maine.edu] 
Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2000 12:45 PM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org 
Cc: WebAIM accessibility forum
Subject: PDF Alternatives?

[text removed]

Question: Is there an alternative format which could be used for creating
electronic forms that would be more easily accessible to all potential users
of those forms? 

[text removed]
Received on Tuesday, 1 August 2000 17:35:35 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 20:35:57 UTC