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Re: usage of abbreviation tag


From: Jonathan Metz
Date: Sep 18, 2013 9:13AM

Hi Olaf,

If you focus on the disabilities that can easily be satiated by technical
means, current PDF/UA (and even WCAG if you ignore AAA provisions) does a
smashing job. But there are a number of IWD (Individuals with
Disabilities) who experience some random nebulous disability that lumps
them in with a pool of other ambiguous impairments. The level of
accessibility these IWD require aren¹t typically Œsolved¹ via programatic

I have come across a few people who argue that WCAG only serves people who
have a visual impairment, and doesn¹t do enough for people who experience
some other form of disability. There is some truth in this complaint. One
could argue that if it can¹t be figured out programmatically, then extra
work would mean rewriting the junk that¹s in a document. Many of the AAA
provisions of WCAG 2.0 would be very beneficial to Individuals with
Cognitive Impairments. However, these will probably be most ignored since
they¹re never required.

I would argue that IWD who experience ³Cognitive Impairments (CI)² (quoted
because this could mean a broad range of disabilities) are oft forgotten
when it comes to making something accessible, because it is probably
extremely difficult (if not downright impossible) to make it accessible
via programmatic means. People who have hypersensitive touch, for example,
might not require a screen reader to assess a document.

I was late to the game of PDF/UA, which is unfortunate; because I would
have liked to take part in the debate of ³How far we should go to make it
accessible.² Making sure that we only focus on the things that can make it
accessible via computer software does not really make it ³Universal[ly]
Accessible,² but rather ³As Accessible.² Most of the provisions of ISO
14289 are usable only for software developers, not people who make things
accessible for whatever demographic for whom they are trying to make it

Expanding an uncommon acronym isn¹t rewriting a poorly written document,
but instead going an extra step to benefit those with CI. This is
particularly true with government documents, which are riddled with
acronyms. I would argue that people with CI would not benefiting from a
³slight exception² since they make up 20% of the US population.

On 9/18/13 4:49 AM, "Olaf Drümmer" < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:

>Hi Jukka,
>let me make clear that I believe that you and I agree at least 99.9% -
>this exchange of emails is just to go through some interesting exercisesŠ!
>Am 18 Sep 2013 um 10:20 schrieb Jukka K. Korpela < <EMAIL REMOVED> >:
>> So there is a challenge: how to present things so that they are
>> accessible to all
>When working on PDF/UA (the ISO standard for accessible PDF documents,
>ISO 14289-1:2012, where UA stands for 'universal accessibility') we had a
>discussion in the PDF/UA working grouping in ISO TC 171 (ISO stands for
>International Organisation for Standardisation - see www.iso.org for more
>info - and TC is a shorthand for Technical Committee), how far we should
>go in requiring certain accessibility aspects. We essentially arrived at
>the conclusion that it is not the task of a technical standard like
>PDF/UA, or actually most of WCAG, to fix just about anything.
>If a PDF document consists of difficult to understand garbage, it is not
>he task of PDF/UA to require that the garbage is "un-garbaged", and that
>it is made easy to understand, but only, to make this garbage as
>accessible to people with disabilities, as it is to people without
>disabilities. So it is important to require that reading order is
>defined, that for non-text content text equivalents are provided etc. But
>there is no requirement that states "Garbage quality documents must be
>rewritten such that they become quality content that is easy to
>Now, there might be situations, where such garbage documents or garbage
>content are unacceptable - like important websites from government
>agencies (and ideally also any website that is essential to daily life) -
>but it would be impossible (and even not completely desirable) to enforce
>that people stop producing garbage quality content. It would make a lot
>of sense though, that - as much as possible - any content (garbage
>quality or not) is provided in a fashion that it can be accessed
>similarly well by people with and without disabilities.
>PS: I intentionally did not make it clear above that PDF in this email
>does not stand for Parkinson Disease Foundation, but rather for Portable
>Document Format, an electronic document format invented by Adobe Systems
>and first published in 1993, and meanwhile, in 2008, ratified as an
>international standard by ISO (ISO 32000).