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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 10:15:47 -0800
To: "'Duff Johnson'" <duff@duff-johnson.com>, "'Thompson, Rachel'" <rsthompson2@ua.edu>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <036801d03738$9ce69dc0$d6b3d940$@ca>
Duff Johnson wrote:
>
>
> Others have voted - as you've read - against PDF altogether. I
> understand the frustration.

I think the real answer is to use the correct tool for the job. PDFs have a
place, and as Duff notes, can be made pretty darned accessible
(accessibility being a long-tail proposition - you will never, ever, reach
100%)


> Software developers have been slow to
> support the accessibility features in PDF. Following publication of
> PDF/UA in 2012, however, the pace of such development has accelerated
> dramatically, and new products are coming on the market. Big banks are
> already delivering their statements as tagged PDF files.
>
> More importantly, PDF/UA means that you can tell them exactly what you
> want. Simply say to software developers: "Hey, we want your software to
> support PDF/UA!"

It is unfortunate then that the PDF/UA Standard is hidden behind a pay-wall:
http://www.iso.org/iso/home/store/catalogue_ics/catalogue_detail_ics.htm?csn
umber=64599

Yes, it could be argued that $88.00 won't break the bank (it might impact
some however), but more importantly, that pay-to-play barrier is and remains
one of the impediments for greater PDF accessibility.

Duff, I have never worked with the ISO before, but perhaps they could be
encouraged to do as SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television
Engineers) did regarding SMPTE-TT (captioning format), as noted here:
https://www.smpte.org/news-events/news-releases/smpte-makes-closed-captionin
g-standard-freely-available-widening-access
(Almost every other SMPTE standards document is a pay-to-access document as
well)

The financial loss to ISO would be minimal, but the impact (both in improved
accessibility, but also "good will") would be tangible to the ISO.

JF
Received on Friday, 23 January 2015 18:16:30 UTC

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