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

From: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Date: Mon, 26 Jan 2015 09:28:27 -0800
To: <accessys@smart.net>, "'David Woolley'" <forums@david-woolley.me.uk>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <010f01d0398d$7f1307f0$7d3917d0$@ca>
accessys@smart.net wrote:
>
> but to the average person they put a document on a scanner (or scan it
> from a computer document) export it as a pdf and add it as an
> "attachment"
> in or after a document.  fast, simple, easy, but not very accessible.

...and your evidence and proof of this is where?...
(and what is an "average" person?)


> in a couple minutes I can take pretty much anything, scan it on a $100
> flatbed scanner, then send the result as an exported pdf document
> anywhere on the web.  or even worse send a scanned text document as a
> jpg. but we are not talking about that.

Yes Bob, yes you are. I'm sorry, but it is very simple for anyone who
doesn't know any better to do any number of things that will make a document
or content inaccessible to some or many users. It is simple and easy to make
PDF a scapegoat (I'm waiting for you to bemoan the inter-op issues on Linux
any minute now), but it goes nowhere in making things better. Being "mad"
and "fed-up" won't change things, and while it may make some feel better to
lambast PDF on this list, I've not read any constructive suggestions on how
to better educate content creators to improve their efforts towards meeting
PDF/UA.

Let's be very clear here: there is no such thing as "100% accessible to
everyone", and yes, there is and remains a legacy issue with older PDFs on
the web. Yes, everyone agrees that it can be more accessible to provide
content in other formats that will be *more* accessible than others, but
perpetuating the myth that somehow PDFs (or Flash, or Adobe, or pick your
favorite boogey man) are the root of all evil on the web is wrong, and
should stop.

Duff said it best: "...the accessibility community is a major part of the
problem here. Instead of asking for "accessible PDF" far too many in the
a11y world spend their PDF-related energy simply hating on the format itself
rather than demanding improvements from software vendors."

I second that, however also suggest to Duff that "the community" is not
represented by the few voices on this thread that have taken the
opportunity, once again, to dump all over PDF. Thanks Duff for the previous
links and comments, they have been valuable.

Cheers!

JF
------------------------------
John Foliot
Web Accessibility Specialist
W3C Invited Expert - Accessibility
Co-Founder, Open Web Camp
Received on Monday, 26 January 2015 17:29:08 UTC

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