How do we gain insight into how users’ views of documents are shifting? Google Trends is an increasingly interesting source of high-level marketplace data. By aggregating Google’s search data over time, reporting a term’s popularity as compared with all other searches.Participating in the PDF Techniques Accessibility Summit
The PDF Techniques Accessibility Summit’s objective is to establish a broad-based understanding of how PDF files should be tagged for accessibilty. It’s an opportunity to focus on establishing a common set of examples of accessible PDF content, and identify best-practice when tagging difficult cases.Members supporting PDF features!
The typical adoption curve for PDF technologies until approximately 2007 tended to track with that of the original PDF developer. Since then the marketplace has shifted; it’s no longer clear that Adobe drivesPDF feature support worldwide. Accordingly, we are happy to report that adoption of PDF 2.0 continues apace, with new vendors announcing their support every month.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…
The PDF/UA standard defines technical requirements for universally-accessible PDF documents by identifying a set of relevant PDF functions (including text content, images, form fields, comments, bookmarks and metadata) based on ISO 32000-1 (PDF 1.7) and specifies how they should be used in PDF/UA-compliant documents. It does not address elements which have no direct impact on accessibility, such as the compression algorithms used for image data.
Successful access to content within PDFs depends not just on compliant documents, but also on compliant PDF programs and assistive technology. PDF/UA therefore also specifies requirements for these. A brief selection of the main requirements is shown below:
Adhering to these technical and semantic requirements will create a universally accessible PDF/UA document which a person with disabilities can make use of just as effectively and in just as high quality as any user without disabilities.
PDF programs are often the link for people with disabilities between the PDF document to be read and any assistive technology that may be used. In practice, this means that PDF/UA-compliant PDF programs must hand over all content and other information from the PDF document to the assistive software or device, and that the assistive technology itself must make use of all the information it receives, including for navigation, filling out form fields, or reading metadata.
The term assistive technology describes anything which helps or allows people with disabilities or other difficulties to use any kind of hardware and software. People with serious visual impairments may use screen magnifiers. People with restricted mobility can use joysticks or special keyboards for input and navigation. Highlighting the current portion of a document while also reading it aloud using a text-to-speech function can make it easier for users with dyslexia to read a document. Blind users often use a standard keyboard for input and navigation alongside a screen reader or Braille display for output. For all of these assistive technologies to work properly with PDF/UA, they must meet the following requirements: