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PDF Association

Mission Statement: To promote Open Standards-based electronic document implementations using PDF technology through education, expertise and shared experience for stakeholders worldwide.
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Modernizing PDF Techniques for Accessibility

The PDF Techniques Accessibility Summit will identify best-practices in tagging various cases in PDF documents. Questions to be addressed will likely include: the legal ways to tag a nested list, the correct way to caption multiple images, the appropriate way to organize content within headings.

Refried PDF

My hospital emailed me a medical records release form as a PDF. They told me to print it, fill it, sign it, scan it and return it to the medical records department, in that order. In 2018? To get the form via email (i.e., electronically), yet be asked to print it? Did the last 20 years just… not mean anything! So I thought I’d be clever. I’d fill it first, THEN print it. Or better yet, never print it, but sign it anyhow, and return it along with a note making the case for improving their workflow. The story continues…

Slides and video recordings of PDF Days Europe 2018

You missed the PDF Days Europe 2018? Never mind! Here you can find the slides and video recordings of all 32 stunning sessions!

Using PDF/UA in accessibility checklists

PDF/UA, like PDF itself, is internally complex, but used correctly, actually makes things easier.

PDF Association expands its board of directors

Catherine Andersz of PDFTron Systems, Alaine Behler of iText Software and Peter Wyatt, ISO Project Leader for ISO 32000 enrich the newly elected board of the PDF Association.

PDF/UA becomes an American national standard

Cover of the ANSI version of PDF/UA.The ISO standard for accessible PDF files is just 24 pages. Until now, this short document was available from the ISO and its member bodies at a cost of 88 Swiss Francs (about USD $90), or from individual ISO member organizations at some similar price.

As of March 28, 2016, PDF/UA is available from AIIM for USD $15.

PDF/UA conforming files make PDF content accessible to users with disabilities in compliance with federal and state regulations. When documents conforming to PDF/UA are supported by the user’s viewer software, the standard enables enhanced use of PDF in smart phones, desktop applications, search engines, taxonomy systems and more.

Although Portable Document Format technology is now 23 years old, and an ISO standard, vendors still differ substantially in terms of their attention to the format’s various features, including the “Tagged PDF” feature necessary for accessibility. PDF/UA solves this problem.

PDF/UA was created to provide a common, technically-specific understanding of what constitutes accessible PDF documents Since the specification’s original publication almost four years ago we’ve seen a remarkable degree of investment in tagged PDF by software developers, accessibility professionals and organizations worldwide. Mandates to produce accessible documents are proliferating in government and government-contractor organizations in North America, Europe, Australia and beyond. In the larger economy, accessibility best-practices for websites and electronic documents increasingly specify WCAG 2.0 for HTML/CSS/JavaScript content and video, and PDF/UA for electronic documents.

Based on the Access Board’s 2015 draft, it’s reasonable to expect that new Section 508 and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations in the United States will leverage PDF/UA to drive development of accessibility solutions for line-of-business content across the economy.

PDF/UA is consistent with WCAG 2.0, but far more technically specific, and provides a clear-cut means of affirming that a given PDF document meets high standards for accessibility.

Now available from AIIM as a PDF/UA-conforming document for just $15, the new ANSI edition of PDF/UA is just 17% the cost of the ISO original. It is anticipated that reducing the cost in this manner will serve to promote awareness of PDF/UA, and the development of technically consistent, standards-based approaches to the accessibility challenge in the years to come.

Going forwards, both document creation and consumption vendors are likely to hear more requests about their support of PDF/UA.

Purchase ANSI / AIIM / ISO 14289-1:2016 from AIIM.org.

Categories: PDF/UA, Standards development