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Re: Screen-reader updates

for

From: Joshue O Connor
Date: Feb 23, 2006 3:20AM


> Does it have to be either party's responsibility?

IMO as Adobe are the creators of the PDF format they do have some responsibility to
ensure that the needs of all of their users are met. And the same goes for screen reader
vendors.

> Again - I suggest that
>> the highest responsibility lies with the author in choosing the most
>> accessible format available. And if PDF isn't it, then the author should
>> not choose to publish in that format.

Yes. You are absolutely right, it's best to use the right tool for the right job, and that surely is the responsibility of the author. However, PDF files are used for such a wide range of purposes they are often seen (wrongly) as a "catch all" format suitable for every purpose. It wasn't that long ago that in Ireland they were seen as an "accessible format" and then used widely in government and other public services. This was pre-PDF "accessibility".

Now with the promise of more accessible PDF's via tagging etc, content creators may feel they have*more" of a license to use them, even though PDF may still fall short in certain areas, such as mathematical notation etc. Content creators also may not be aware of this, or how to make their PDF's accessible. This is not the fault of Adobe, and again the responsibility for correctly authoring content is with the author.

Re:Maths notation, I would suggest that for this new PDF accessibility "quantum leap" to be truly successful then Adobe will have to accommodate all possible uses of their PDF format and address these issues, and make PDF as accessible as possible. I am sure this is what they wish to achieve anyway. but it is important to get it right because of the ubiquity of the PDF format.

>> But honestly - would this not be best left as an authoring issue?

Let's meet halfway on this one :)

Josh


Derek Featherstone wrote:
> On 2/22/06, Joshue O Connor wrote:
>
>
>>What are Adobe doing about making mathematical equations and notations
>>in PDF files, accessible to screen reader users?
>>
>>Or is this the responsibility of Freedom Scientific et al?
>
>
> Does it have to be either party's responsibility? Again - I suggest that
> the highest responsibility lies with the author in choosing the most
> accessible format available. And if PDF isn't it, then the author should
> not choose to publish in that format.
>
> Sure, its possible that Adobe could add some form of MathML support into
> PDF. Sure, its possible that Freedom Scientific et al, could add even
> *more* capabilities into their products that are already overloaded with
> features to compensate for crappy web authoring.
>
> But honestly - would this not be best left as an authoring issue?
>
> Cheers,
> Derek.