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Re: ADA print requirements for PDF and other documents


From: Andrews, David B (DEED)
Date: Feb 24, 2022 12:48PM

The subject keeps bothering me! The ADA has no requirements, for documents print or digital. Court cases, and inferences, have extended it to include web sites, and documents, but there technically are no standards. The ADA talks about making services accessible, reasonable accommodations, etc.


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Sent: Monday, February 21, 2022 3:33 PM
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Subject: Re: [WebAIM] ADA print requirements for PDF and other documents

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Thanks Phil. Your well-considered email and shared links will help to guide on building our policy/standards.

Fond Regards,
== Joel Isaac

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of Philip Kiff
Sent: Saturday, February 19, 2022 7:30 AM
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] ADA print requirements for PDF and other documents

Hi Joel,

I'm not sure of the best resources in relation to the ADA, or of the status of this in the United States.

Generally, I don't think there are the same internationally recognized guidelines or standards for print documents as there are for digital documents. It is hard to create clear rules that apply perfectly to all printed documents - and it is technically not feasible to generate automated tests for such rules with current technology.

But here are two references that may nevertheless help you.

In the UK, there is the UK Association for Accessible Formats (UKAAF), who produce some guidance on "Clear and Large Print" documents:

Where I live in Canada, folks often reference the "Clear Print Guidelines" from the CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind):
This is shorter and less detailed than the UKAAF documents. A link to a PDF version is available at the end of that CNIB page, but I don't think the PDF version contains more info than what already appears on that page.

Neither of these should be treated as hard-and-fast rules that absolutely define accessible documents. In a few areas, I personally feel that the advice above may not necessarily be appropriate to all target audiences of printed materials that I am sometimes directly involved in producing. But that is part of the challenge of print materials. Print materials are the ultimate in restrictive format: once you print it, that's exactly what you've got - there's no re-flowing or reformatting of the pages on-the-fly. So it's hard to imagine a single print version of anything that would be suitable for all possible users.

When considering document design in the source software, it can be helpful to design in such a way that you will be able to generate a large print or other specific format on-demand without needing to do a full re-design of the document. The best way to do this will depend on the authoring/publishing software and on the nature of the document itself. I have designed technical documents in Word that could be reformatted into Large Print simply by removing column settings and changing the default font size of a couple styles.


Philip Kiff
D4K Communications

On 2022-02-19 06:40, <EMAIL REMOVED> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I'm looking for ADA or business print guidelines for accessible
> documents like PDF.
> In researching, I've seen a lot of documentation on how to make these
> documents digitally accessible, but none on physical accessibility for
> a paper document.
> Please share your thoughts and resources.
> Thank you,
> Joel Isaac