RE: Guideline 11 Interpretation

The organization I am with will be complying with the 508 (Final).
Checkpoint 11.1 of the W3C Recommendation is not part of the 508.  Also,
that particular checkpoint is Priority 2.

My concern with pdf files is that they basically come in two flavors.  The
first is a document that can be searched and contains text along with some
images perhaps.  These types should be able to read by a screen reader.  The
other type are scanned documents that are actually just images.  These can't
be searched or read.  If your documents are of the first type, then you
should only need to add alt or longdesc to any images in the pdf.

Jim Fitzgerald

-----Original Message-----
From: Alice Anderson []
Sent: Monday, January 08, 2001 1:10 PM
Subject: Re: Guideline 11 Interpretation

I'm hoping there can be more discussion/clarification on the
interpretation of this guideline. The situation here is that
the biggest portion of a web site is the documentation.
We make documents available in printed
form, but also online as PDF files (and many of our users print them from
the web).  In addition, sponsoring departments and agencies have working
paper series (100's of them) posted on their web pages as PDF files.

According to accessibility checkpoint 11.1, we should be using HTML instead
PDF, but we are concerned not only about the amount of work required to
them all, but that this will interfere with their primary role as printed

How are others both interpreting this, and what specifically are you
doing to assure accessibility when using PDF's. Thanks to all for
your additional comments.

- alice anderson / uw-madison

>While I fully agree with your point, PDF documents can indeed be a
>problem and an HTML equivalent is highly desirable, I don't
>personally interpret Guideline 11 as requiring HTML equivalents of
>online PDF documents for two reasons.
>(1) The Guidelines address page accessibility.
>(2) Guideline 11 specifically addresses converting documents (from
>PDF, PostScript, RTF, etc.) to W3C markup languages (HTML, XML),
>i.e., to one or more pages.
>I think the wording in the Note is a bit misleading and that the
>first sentence of the Note might be reworded (one word actually) to
>agree with the rest of the paragraph. I'd prefer: "Converting
>documents (from PDF, PostScript, RTF, etc.) to W3C markup languages
>(HTML, XML) does not always create an accessible page."
>Perhaps I'm overlooking something here but I can't see requiring an
>online PDF document, that may in fact owned by someone else and
>located on his server, to be converted anymore than requiring all
>relevant external Web pages owned by others to be accessible before
>providing links to those pages.
>Sure I want those pages to be accessible but if those pages are not
>under my control....
>Copyright also needs to be considered. What if an online PDF document
>isn't my document or in the public domain? I don't think it is legal
>to convert someone else's  PDF document to W3C markup languages
>(HTML, XML) and make it publicly available.
>I'm not a lawyer and these are only my personal opinions. Perhaps I'm
>reading too much into this comment?
>Regardless, I'd like to see some additional discussion and clarification.
>Larry G. Hull
>Greenbelt, Maryland
>At 9:13 AM -0500 12/15/00, Bailey, Bruce wrote in RE: Slashdot:  How
>should Govt sites be designed?:
>>How does a site claiming Single-A compliance justify a high level link to
>>Adobe Acrobat Reader?  I did not come across any PDF documents, but lack
>>HTML equivalents would be a violation of Guideline 11.

Received on Monday, 8 January 2001 13:29:25 UTC