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RE: adobe 6.0 accessibility


From: Hencmann, Maureen
Date: Oct 10, 2003 3:31PM

I don't know Wayne, from my personal experience, PowerPoint ranks right up
there for worst accessibility problems.
Maureen Hencmann
SPS Distance Learning
Regis University

-----Original Message-----
From: Wayne Dick [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: Friday, October 10, 2003 9:55 AM
Subject: Re: adobe 6.0 accessibility

Jeb and all.

As a low vision user, I have found PDF the worst product for accessibility
out there. The problem is simple. The main purpose for PDF is to create
exact images of printed pages. Well, print never worked for any visually
impaired people. So here we have an example of brilliant mathematics and
engineering spent on giving us an electronic version of something that never

Most low vision users, expecially those between 20/80 and 20/200 prefer,
large print, well spaced output that has been reformatted to fit the
available screen space. Most word processors do this extremely well. The
problem with PDF is that it does not enlarge intelligently. You cannot
control the spacing between lines. It doesn't port well into any accessible
visual interface.

Any product that enlarges without word wrapping is not accessible to low
vision users.

There is a large faculty that is assumed by many if not most in the
accessiblity business. That is that one size fits all. Audio output is not
the best or even the reasonable accommodation for people who can see, but
not a lot. The fact that PDF, or any format can be ported to screen readers
does not make it accessible. Any interface that cannot be enlarge by a
factor of 4 intelligently, is not really accessible. Also, without user
control of color, most products are marginal.

Poorly formated PDF is useless. Well formatted PDF is difficult to use, but
marginally possible. I usually spend about 10 minutes per page to obtain a
good readible document.

This year befor my term as Academic Senate Chair ends I hope to enact a
complete ban of PDF use on my campus. Next, I will try to extend it to the
entire CSU System.

Wish me luck,

Wayne Dick
Chair Academic Senate
Professor Computer Engineering and Computer Science
CSU Long Beach

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