PDF/UA is a very technical document because PDF contains many distinct and complex data-structures, many of which are outside the typical knowledge-base of web-technology centered accessibility professionals.
PDF/UA, the ISO standard for accessible PDF technology, is written for software developers, not for authors, or even for those tasked with checking documents for accessibility.
By focussing on the rules of accessibility from the software-development point of view, PDF/UA's objective is to help developers bake many of the rules directly into the software, allowing authors to create accessible documents using familiar tools such as styling.
To help make PDF/UA accessible to its intended audience, as well as to the larger population interested in the specifics of accessible PDF, the PDF Association's PDF/UA Competence Center produced the first edition of the Matterhorn Protocol in 2013. This document packages PDF/UA into a table of requirements, which is useful, but does not provide much in the way of advice for those creating user-interfaces for authoring systems, or for authors themselves.
To meet this need the PDF/UA Competence Center began to develop, in February 2014, a PDF Structure Elements Best Practice Guide. The objective of this document is to promote a detailed understanding of the correct use of PDF technology and to make that technology more comprehensible to accessibility experts rooted in web technologies.
The document is by no means complete; there are subsections to be added and more to be reviewed and revised. We have reached a stage, however, where the document is ready for independent input.
Accordingly, we are now posting the current draft (updated 2016-01-19) of the PDF Structure Elements Best Practice Guide v0.1 for immediate download. NOTE: This early draft, although tagged, does not conform to PDF/UA.
We hope readers will provide us with any and all comments on this document to help us improve it. Please feel free to email your comments or questions to the chair of the PDF/UA Competence Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The staff of the PDF Association are dedicated to delivering the information, services and value members have come to expect. Staff members of the PDF Association include: Alexandra Oettler (Editor), Betsy Fanning (Standards Director), Duff Johnson (Chief Executive Officer), Matthias Wagner (CFO & Operations Director), Peter Wyatt (Chief Technology Officer), Thomas Zellmann (PDF Evangelist).