A just-published report from the Australian government finds that PDF as a file-format is accessible but that PDF as supported on mobile devices is not.
Noting that mobile devices are a modern reality, including for users with disabilities, the agency states that present-day limitations on mobile devices mean that PDF does not yet qualify as "accessibility supported" per the terms of WCAG 2.0, as is required under Australian law.
To quote the report's summary:
However, the Review also determined that the technical support in the mobile environment was insufficient to claim WCAG 2.0 conformance. Testing of Voiceover (iOS) and Talkback (Android) did not reveal the semantic information from a tagged PDF and bookmark navigation of the document was not available on mobile platforms.
As a result, PDF does not yet have the required accessibility support to fully claim WCAG 2.0 conformance, so it cannot be solely relied upon for the provision of government information except in limited circumstances.
Australian federal government, November 18, 2014
Duff serves the PDF industry as ISO Project co-Leader and US TAG chair for both ISO 32000 (the PDF specification) and ISO 14289 (PDF/UA). As Executive Director of the PDF Association, Duff coordinates several working groups, speaks at a wide variety of industry events and promotes the advancement and adoption of PDF technology worldwide. An independent consultant, Duff Johnson is a veteran …