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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: The ISO standard for universal accessibility

Information plays a central role in society today, and it is becoming more and more common for that information to be offered in digital form alone. The reliable, user-friendly Portable Document Format (PDF) has become the world’s file type of choice for providing information as a digital document.

Tags can be added to a PDF in order to structure the content of a document. These tags are a critical requirement if any form of assistive technology (such as screen readers, specialist mice, and speech recognition and text-to-speech software) is to gain access to this content. To date, PDF documents have rarely been tagged, and not all software can make use of PDF tags. In practical terms, this particularly reduces information‘s accessibility for people with disabilities who rely on assistive technology.

Tagged PDF: Tags are standardised content markers in a digital document. First available in Adobe Acrobat 5, tags can be used to create a PDF file with a logical document structure . Tags are a critical requirement for accessing the content in PDFs with assistive technology.

In order to ensure future access to PDF documents for as many people as possible, the ISO 14289-1 standard (known as PDF/UA) was developed by specialists from around the world. It was published by the ISO in July 2012 with the official title “ISO 14289-1. Document management applications – Electronic document file format enhancement for accessibility – Part 1: Use of ISO 32000-1 (PDF/UA-1)”.

PDF/UA-1 is the first part of the PDF/UA standards family; the “UA” suffix stands for “Universal Accessibility” and refers to the standard’s central requirement. It is the first complete definition of a set of requirements for universally-accessible PDF documents.

PDF/UA is aimed primarily at developers of software for creating, reading, editing and validating PDF, and at suppliers of assistive technology. The standard itself is not intended as a field manual for day-to-day use, but for PDF creators looking to learn more. The PDF Association and its members offer specialist articles, webinars and training, providing detailed information about PDF/UA and explaining how to create accessible PDF content. Implementing the clearly-defined requirements of the PDF/UA standard in software products will allow users to easily create accessible PDF documents without any special training, opening up effortless access to high quality content to as many people as possible.

At the time of PDF/UA’s publication, of course, there were no programs available which were fully compliant with the standard. Since then, however, a number of software developers including Adobe Systems, axaio software, callas software, NetCentric Technologies, NV Access, PDFlib, xyMedia, the Swiss National Association of and for the Blind (SNAB), and the Swiss foundation “Zugang für alle” (Access For All) have already announced or even released products supporting the PDF/UA format.

More and more developers, government authorities and other organisations are expected to accept PDF/UA as an absolute requirement for universally accessible PDF documents from this point on.

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Tags: ISO, Universal Accessibility, tags
Categories: PDF/UA