Re: Guideline 11 Interpretation

You said "their primary role as printed documents"

So my first question is, is that really the primary role? Since they are
described as documents I would expect the primary role to be "communicating

While it may require some work to convert items stored and delivered as PDF
to HTML or ASCII text files that can be used other than visually, that is
indeed the intent of the requirement.
While you could simply provide a pointer to the ADOBE conversion utilities
instead of doing it yourself there is a real problem with quality control.
If a visually impaired user submits a document for conversion they have no
way of knowing for sure that the converted document actually resembles the
original.  You might try a sampling of your documents and compare the
results to see if you get what you are expecting.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Alice Anderson" <>
To: <>
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 of
> 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
> documents.
> 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
> >Bruce,
> >
> >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
> >>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 13:31:36 UTC