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PDF vs. HTML

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From: christopher.phillips
Date: May 21, 2004 11:19AM


I've been going back and forth this past week with a Director of
Teaching and Learning Technologies at a small community college about
the benefits of HTML vs. those of PDF. Pertaining to accessibility we
both agree that a document needs to be properly marked up regardless of
what format it is going to be displayed in, we disagree however on what
format is best to publish accessible content- HTML or PDF. While I
believe that there are definitely situations where PDF format may be
appropriate, my opinion is that semantic HTML is a better choice for
displaying converted Word, PowerPoint and General content online.
During our discussion, this colleague has summarily dismissed many of
the accessibility concerns with PDF that are raised in the WebAIM
article:
http://www.webaim.org/techniques/acrobat/
I'm asking for your help for a couple of reasons-
1- I feel unqualified to answer some of his concerns and
2- I'm feeling perhaps a little too personally invested in the dialog
we've been having to trust myself to be objective at this point-


I've posted some of his concerns at:
http://www.communityinclusion.org/curbcut/archives/odds_n_ends/ 000027.html


I know that many of you know much more about PDF than I do and if
anyone has any words of wisdom or advice it would be greatly
appreciated-
Feel free to address any comments back to this list, to me individually
or in the comments section of the blog post above- whatever you feel
most comfortable with.


Thanks much,
Christopher Phillips
Institute for Community Inclusion
UMass Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125
435.753.3227
Curb Cut Learning
http://www.communityinclusion.org/curbcut/