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Re: [WebAIM] PDF vs. HTML


From: jongund
Date: May 21, 2004 11:41AM


One option to consider is both. I think one of the
underutilized features of the web is to make the same
information available in more than one format. Then you can
let the USER choose what format works best for them in any
given circumstance. This can be regarless of disability. For
example, if I want to print something, I may want thet PDF,
but if I just want to skim before I print I may want a HTML

I think one of the advantages of the web over print is that
you can have information in more than one form and allow users
to choose what they want.

We have been developing a tool at the University of Illinois
to create highly accessible HTML versions of Power Point
Presentations. This maybe helpful to you in converting PPT to



---- Original message ----
>Date: Fri, 21 May 2004 11:19:54 -0600
>From: "christopher.phillips" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
>Subject: [WebAIM] PDF vs. HTML
>To: "WebAIM Discussion List" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
>I've been going back and forth this past week with a Director
>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
>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:
>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
>Feel free to address any comments back to this list, to me
>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
>Curb Cut Learning
>To subscribe or unsubscribe, visit
Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
College of Applied Life Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
1207 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820

Voice: (217) 244-5870
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WWW: http://cita.rehab.uiuc.edu/
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