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

From: Duff Johnson <duff@duff-johnson.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2015 17:39:28 -0500
Message-Id: <C012D715-D186-4E6C-8268-7524AFE5D8AF@duff-johnson.com>
To: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org Group" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
> 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.
> 
> one reason I just say "avoid pdf" to these groups.

Well, if they use MS Word or OpenOffice to create the PDFs, tagging them to at least basic standards is 99% proper structuring of the document (i.e., a skill they’d have to know, whether publishing in PDF or HTML) and 1% using the “Add tags” checkbox.

As for testing PDF files for free, VIP Reader, for both Windows and Mac, offers an HTML “preview” of the PDF as experienced by AT. It’s available from the Swiss National Association of and for the Blind (SNAB):

http://www.szb.ch/index.php?id=1269&L=3

> 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

Like everything else, it takes some effort, but if cost is really the issue then it’s nice to know that tools are available to make and test tagged PDF are available for free.

It will only get better from here. But it’s important to let the goliaths (Microsoft, Apple, Google, Adobe) know that you want to be able to make and consume tagged PDF, dammit! Just ask!

What’s funny to me about this is that is that in general, PDF accessibility is SO much simpler than HTML. Instead of a thousand crazy tweaks like infinite scrolling, PDF’s content and tag paradigm is very stable. Get it done, and it’ll stay done. PDF belongs to an ISO committee now, so the investment is safe.

Duff.
Received on Friday, 23 January 2015 22:39:57 UTC

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