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Re: Accessible GIS coordinates/Lack of Tools


From: Chagnon | PubCom
Date: Nov 1, 2013 2:51PM

Mike Rollins wrote:
"I could go on, but the point is that software vendors have done little to
keep producing accessible PDFs from being drudge work for anything but the
simplest of documents."

Well said, Mike.
Mike didn't exaggerate when he said hundreds of hours on some documents.
That's just the accessibility part, not the writing, researching, editing,
design, and production.

Asking the software manufacturers and AT vendors "nicely" hasn't worked so
I wonder how many lawsuits it will take before we see any change in
corporate behavior.

-Bevi Chagnon
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-----Original Message-----
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Michael Rollins
Sent: Friday, November 01, 2013 3:31 PM
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Accessible GIS coordinates/Lack of Tools

Bevi Chagon wrote:
The best solution is 2-fold:
1) Screen Reader manufacturers pick up the glyph's name/description from the
font information and voice it.
2) Adobe and Microsoft develop tools to let Actual Text be applied to
individual glyphs. Sort of like the <ABBR> tag in HTML (which isn't
available in Word, InDesign or PDF).

For those of us involved in high volume production of accessible documents,
there is a sad lack of effective and efficient tools with which to both
produce consistent source files and quickly make the necessary clean ups
required in Acrobat. I work primarily with technical documents as
deliverables to the Federal government, frequently with many tables,
graphics, and formulas (containing glyphs). The source documents can come
from numerous authors with varying skills in producing Word or InDesign
files. They almost always have to be altered to be able to be used as source

I have the same issue as Bevi with glyphs in formulas frequently found in
these technical files. There simply aren't the tools in any of these
programs to allow the work in the source file necessary to produce PDFs that
can be finalized quickly.

Tables in particular suffer from a lack of editing tools. Table editors in
Word and Indesign, while making nice looking tables, do not assign all Type
and Scope attributes correctly. Scope attributes have to be assigned in
Acrobat. There is no means at all for assigning linked headers in complex
tables in Word or InDesign, let alone a way of automating it. In Acrobat,
the Table Editor will let you assign linked headers, but only in the most
maddeningly slow and inefficient way imaginable. Wide tables rotated to fit
on portrait pages are quite common. Acrobat's Table Editor will not work at
all with rotated tables from an InDesign source file. The only way in
Acrobat to assign scope to headers in rotated tables is through editing the
attribute property for each and every instance of a header file, another
maddeningly slow and frustrating job. In documents with hundreds of tables,
clients always want to know why work hours expand into the hundreds. They
need look no further tha n the weak tools provided by software vendors.

I could go on, but the point is that software vendors have done little to
keep producing accessible PDFs from being drudge work for anything but the
simplest of documents.