WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Re: Printable Brochures


From: David Farough
Date: Sep 29, 2010 8:27AM

Hi Michael:

I Rarely see tagged PDF documents. I am always pleasantly surprised
when I do. My vote would go to linking to the equivalent program
descriptions on the website. If possible it would be preferable to
point everyone to this information and remove the inaccessible

>>> < <EMAIL REMOVED> > 09:47 AM Wednesday, September 29,
2010 >>>
Karen and Duff,

You are both correct we can make the PDFs directly accessible (mostly).
The issue that we have with the PDFs is the way that they are created
in inDesign. These brochures are, as Karen describes in her book,
fragile PDFs. The remediation is very time consuming and often only
limited in success and we are talking about a large number of brochures.
We also do not have access to the original inDesign files or the assets
used to create them.

I believe, but may be swayed otherwise by the bright minds in this
group, that even after remediation that the brochures will not be
accessible to everyone. By default the visual reading order is incorrect
until you print and fold the brochure. I am aware of reflow, but I do
not believe that the average person on the street has ever seen that
feature. I am not even sure if all PDF readers have the feature, Adobe
is not the only game in town. I have seen problems with overlapping
text in reflow view, particularly when magnification is applied. This
may be another manifestation of the fragile nature of the PDFs that we
are working with and the techniques used by the media artists working in
inDesign. I have not even mentioned the real world issue that many (most
who I have spoken with personally) screen reader users (my personal
experience is primarily with JAWS users) regard the PDF format with deep
suspicion and approach all PDFs as if they were inaccessible.

So my original question remains. Which is the better alternative, a
link to a text transcript that duplicates the content of the PDF or to
existing web content that provides more detailed and well organized
presentations of the programs described in the brochures? If time and
money were not an issue I would probably advocate for all three but even
though I work for the government I still live in the real world and I
really am here to help. <grin/>

By the way I highly recommend Karen's Book "Accessible and Usable PDF
Documents: Techniques for Document Authors" to anyone who is responsible
for creating or remediating PDFs.

Mike Moore

-----Original Message-----
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Karlen
Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 5:23 AM
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Printable Brochures

I agree and work on tagged PDF tri-fold brochures all the time. If
encountering difficulties could it be with the source InDesign
and how they are created before exporting to tagged PDF?

Cheers, Karen

-----Original Message-----
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Duff
Sent: September-29-10 4:04 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Printable Brochures

> My question is this. Would it be better to link from the brochure
libraries to the appropriate program content in the website rather
duplicate the text of the brochure as a separate document? In my
opinion the
website content is more thorough and much easier to navigate than the
transcript of the brochure or the PDF would be if it were made

I'n not sure why you think the PDF wouldn't be easy to navigate.
Ensure the
tags meet best-practice standards (include appropriate headings, etc),
it would be precisely as navigable as HTNL.

Duff Johnson
Appligent Document Solutions
Blog: http://www.appligent.com/talkingpdf
Tweets: http://www.twitter.com/duffjohnson