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Thread: PDF on websites

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Number of posts in this thread: 23 (In chronological order)

From: Krack, Joseph@DOR
Date: Thu, Jun 20 2013 2:55PM
Subject: PDF on websites
No previous message | Next message →

I work for a State agency that is mandated to follow Section 508 and ADA
regulations and standards regarding websites and documents. A question
arose about posting documents to our websites. Right now we have
accessible PDF's on the site, but someone is insisting that we also have
an HTML or Rich Text version of each of these documents by law. Does
anyone have any familiarity with this? If it is required is there a
section of either or these acts that spell this out?

Thanks,

Joe Krack

From: Chagnon | PubCom
Date: Thu, Jun 20 2013 4:00PM
Subject: Re: PDF on websites
← Previous message | Next message →

The current Section 508 regulations are pretty weak; they date back to 2000.
We're awaiting the "refresh" that will tighten up and expand coverage,
remove the gray areas of what's covered and what isn't.

What makes your question difficult is that every agency has come up with
their own policy. Some versions are good, others aren't. Some are
out-of-date. Depends upon the agency.

Here's the Access Board's current standards, effective December 21, 2000.
http://access-board.gov/sec508/standards.htm

Subpart A General, Section 1194.1 Purpose.
"Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure, maintain,
or use electronic and information technology, Federal employees with
disabilities have access to and use of information and data that is
comparable to the access and use by Federal employees who are not
individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on
the agency." [next sentence includes the general public]

I think the key words are "have access and use of information and data that
is comparable."
If the PDF is truly accessible, then it meets this requirement. Nothing more
needs to be done.
If the other hand, the PDF wasn't accessible (and therefore not providing
comparable access and use of the information), then alternate accessible
versions would be needed.

From a workflow/process viewpoint, it becomes a nightmare to maintain a
website, file server, or content management system with multiple versions of
a document: one gets updated but the others don't and you now have a data
mess on your hands.

The ideal is to have one version of your data that is kept up-to-date and is
fully accessible. There's nothing preventing a PDF from meeting that
requirement.

My two cents...
-Bevi Chagnon
- - -
www.PubCom.com - Trainers, Consultants, Designers, Developers.
Print, Web, Acrobat, XML, eBooks, and U.S. Federal Section 508
Accessibility.
New Sec. 508 Workshop & EPUBs Tour in 2013 - www.Workshop.Pubcom.com

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Krack, Joseph@DOR

I work for a State agency that is mandated to follow Section 508 and ADA
regulations and standards regarding websites and documents. A question arose
about posting documents to our websites. Right now we have accessible PDF's
on the site, but someone is insisting that we also have an HTML or Rich Text
version of each of these documents by law. Does anyone have any familiarity
with this? If it is required is there a section of either or these acts that
spell this out?

Thanks,
Joe Krack

From: Ryan E. Benson
Date: Thu, Jun 20 2013 5:25PM
Subject: Re: PDF on websites
← Previous message | Next message →

Like Bevi said, Section 508 doesn't mandate what is allowed. However, since
the PDF/doc is being placed on a website 1194.22.m is applicable. This
standard sayss "(m) When a web page requires that an applet, plug-in or
other application be present on the client system to interpret page
content, the page must provide a link to a plug-in or applet that complies
with §1194.21(a) through (l)." So you need to supply a link to download
whatever plug-in.

At my [federal] agency, our rule is HTML > PDF > source file > text file.
Now the next question is what filetype we're dealing with.

Word Doc: Preference is in the order above. We rarely serve up straight
Word docs unless they are worksheet-like.
PPT: Well the file needs to be made 508 compliant via our checklist <
http://www.hhs.gov/web/508/accessiblefiles/checklists.html>;, we provide the
free viewer per 1194.22.m. However since the free viewer is not compliant,
our preference order kicks in. Most choose PDF for this.
Excel: Is it a data dump, or does it do something? Data dump, a .csv file
must be included. If it is more complex, the file just needs to be made
compliant.

> someone is insisting that we also have an HTML or Rich Text version of
each of these documents by law.
Usually the decision on how to handle this is made at the agency/dept or
maybe even state level. I am guessing you guys have a coordinator/director
at some level who can make this call. But in regards to RTF, I would serve
up a Word version versus a RTF. There was a thread on this (
http://webaim.org/discussion/mail_thread?thread=5529).

--
Ryan E. Benson


On Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 6:00 PM, Chagnon | PubCom < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >wrote:

> The current Section 508 regulations are pretty weak; they date back to
> 2000.
> We're awaiting the "refresh" that will tighten up and expand coverage,
> remove the gray areas of what's covered and what isn't.
>
> What makes your question difficult is that every agency has come up with
> their own policy. Some versions are good, others aren't. Some are
> out-of-date. Depends upon the agency.
>
> Here's the Access Board's current standards, effective December 21, 2000.
> http://access-board.gov/sec508/standards.htm
>
> Subpart A General, Section 1194.1 Purpose.
> "Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure,
> maintain,
> or use electronic and information technology, Federal employees with
> disabilities have access to and use of information and data that is
> comparable to the access and use by Federal employees who are not
> individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on
> the agency." [next sentence includes the general public]
>
> I think the key words are "have access and use of information and data that
> is comparable."
> If the PDF is truly accessible, then it meets this requirement. Nothing
> more
> needs to be done.
> If the other hand, the PDF wasn't accessible (and therefore not providing
> comparable access and use of the information), then alternate accessible
> versions would be needed.
>
> From a workflow/process viewpoint, it becomes a nightmare to maintain a
> website, file server, or content management system with multiple versions
> of
> a document: one gets updated but the others don't and you now have a data
> mess on your hands.
>
> The ideal is to have one version of your data that is kept up-to-date and
> is
> fully accessible. There's nothing preventing a PDF from meeting that
> requirement.
>
> My two cents...
> -Bevi Chagnon
> - - -
> www.PubCom.com - Trainers, Consultants, Designers, Developers.
> Print, Web, Acrobat, XML, eBooks, and U.S. Federal Section 508
> Accessibility.
> New Sec. 508 Workshop & EPUBs Tour in 2013 - www.Workshop.Pubcom.com
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Krack,
> Joseph@DOR
>
> I work for a State agency that is mandated to follow Section 508 and ADA
> regulations and standards regarding websites and documents. A question
> arose
> about posting documents to our websites. Right now we have accessible PDF's
> on the site, but someone is insisting that we also have an HTML or Rich
> Text
> version of each of these documents by law. Does anyone have any familiarity
> with this? If it is required is there a section of either or these acts
> that
> spell this out?
>
> Thanks,
> Joe Krack
>
> > > >

From: Krack, Joseph@DOR
Date: Thu, Jun 20 2013 5:33PM
Subject: Re: PDF on websites
← Previous message | Next message →

Thanks Bevi,

Joe

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Chagnon |
PubCom
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 3:01 PM
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF on websites

The current Section 508 regulations are pretty weak; they date back to
2000.
We're awaiting the "refresh" that will tighten up and expand coverage,
remove the gray areas of what's covered and what isn't.

What makes your question difficult is that every agency has come up with
their own policy. Some versions are good, others aren't. Some are
out-of-date. Depends upon the agency.

Here's the Access Board's current standards, effective December 21,
2000.
http://access-board.gov/sec508/standards.htm

Subpart A General, Section 1194.1 Purpose.
"Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure,
maintain, or use electronic and information technology, Federal
employees with disabilities have access to and use of information and
data that is comparable to the access and use by Federal employees who
are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be
imposed on the agency." [next sentence includes the general public]

I think the key words are "have access and use of information and data
that is comparable."
If the PDF is truly accessible, then it meets this requirement. Nothing
more needs to be done.
If the other hand, the PDF wasn't accessible (and therefore not
providing comparable access and use of the information), then alternate
accessible versions would be needed.

From a workflow/process viewpoint, it becomes a nightmare to maintain a
website, file server, or content management system with multiple
versions of a document: one gets updated but the others don't and you
now have a data mess on your hands.

The ideal is to have one version of your data that is kept up-to-date
and is fully accessible. There's nothing preventing a PDF from meeting
that requirement.

My two cents...
-Bevi Chagnon
- - -
www.PubCom.com - Trainers, Consultants, Designers, Developers.
Print, Web, Acrobat, XML, eBooks, and U.S. Federal Section 508
Accessibility.
New Sec. 508 Workshop & EPUBs Tour in 2013 - www.Workshop.Pubcom.com

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Krack,
Joseph@DOR

I work for a State agency that is mandated to follow Section 508 and ADA
regulations and standards regarding websites and documents. A question
arose about posting documents to our websites. Right now we have
accessible PDF's on the site, but someone is insisting that we also have
an HTML or Rich Text version of each of these documents by law. Does
anyone have any familiarity with this? If it is required is there a
section of either or these acts that spell this out?

Thanks,
Joe Krack

messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =

From: McMorland, Gabriel
Date: Mon, Jun 24 2013 1:14PM
Subject: Re: PDF on websites
← Previous message | Next message →

I'm curious about the accessibility of the existing PDFs on your site. Have you reviewed a sample of them to ensure that they are actually accessible? Also, what challenges or barriers were found by the person that wants HTML versions of the PDF content?

This is just a hunch, but have you reviewed a sample of your agency's PDFs to verify that all data tables are properly tagged and formatted for screen reader navigation?


-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Krack, Joseph@DOR
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 7:34 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF on websites

Thanks Bevi,

Joe

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Chagnon | PubCom
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 3:01 PM
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF on websites

The current Section 508 regulations are pretty weak; they date back to 2000.
We're awaiting the "refresh" that will tighten up and expand coverage, remove the gray areas of what's covered and what isn't.

What makes your question difficult is that every agency has come up with their own policy. Some versions are good, others aren't. Some are out-of-date. Depends upon the agency.

Here's the Access Board's current standards, effective December 21, 2000.
http://access-board.gov/sec508/standards.htm

Subpart A General, Section 1194.1 Purpose.
"Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology, Federal employees with disabilities have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access and use by Federal employees who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency." [next sentence includes the general public]

I think the key words are "have access and use of information and data that is comparable."
If the PDF is truly accessible, then it meets this requirement. Nothing more needs to be done.
If the other hand, the PDF wasn't accessible (and therefore not providing comparable access and use of the information), then alternate accessible versions would be needed.

From a workflow/process viewpoint, it becomes a nightmare to maintain a website, file server, or content management system with multiple versions of a document: one gets updated but the others don't and you now have a data mess on your hands.

The ideal is to have one version of your data that is kept up-to-date and is fully accessible. There's nothing preventing a PDF from meeting that requirement.

My two cents...
-Bevi Chagnon
- - -
www.PubCom.com - Trainers, Consultants, Designers, Developers.
Print, Web, Acrobat, XML, eBooks, and U.S. Federal Section 508 Accessibility.
New Sec. 508 Workshop & EPUBs Tour in 2013 - www.Workshop.Pubcom.com

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Krack, Joseph@DOR

I work for a State agency that is mandated to follow Section 508 and ADA regulations and standards regarding websites and documents. A question arose about posting documents to our websites. Right now we have accessible PDF's on the site, but someone is insisting that we also have an HTML or Rich Text version of each of these documents by law. Does anyone have any familiarity with this? If it is required is there a section of either or these acts that spell this out?

Thanks,
Joe Krack

From: Krack, Joseph@DOR
Date: Mon, Jun 24 2013 2:04PM
Subject: Re: PDF on websites
← Previous message | Next message →

Gabriel,

Thank you for the response.

The PDF's in question are indeed accessible (tested by both machine and
AT using individuals - not to mention being created by me :) ). The
person is basically just trying to pick a fight and while I was pretty
sure of the answer, I really wanted to get more opinions from the
experts in this blog. Prior to responding to the latest email from this
person.

Thanks again!

Joe



-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of McMorland,
Gabriel
Sent: Monday, June 24, 2013 12:14 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF on websites

I'm curious about the accessibility of the existing PDFs on your site.
Have you reviewed a sample of them to ensure that they are actually
accessible? Also, what challenges or barriers were found by the person
that wants HTML versions of the PDF content?

This is just a hunch, but have you reviewed a sample of your agency's
PDFs to verify that all data tables are properly tagged and formatted
for screen reader navigation?


-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Krack,
Joseph@DOR
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 7:34 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF on websites

Thanks Bevi,

Joe

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Chagnon |
PubCom
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 3:01 PM
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF on websites

The current Section 508 regulations are pretty weak; they date back to
2000.
We're awaiting the "refresh" that will tighten up and expand coverage,
remove the gray areas of what's covered and what isn't.

What makes your question difficult is that every agency has come up with
their own policy. Some versions are good, others aren't. Some are
out-of-date. Depends upon the agency.

Here's the Access Board's current standards, effective December 21,
2000.
http://access-board.gov/sec508/standards.htm

Subpart A General, Section 1194.1 Purpose.
"Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure,
maintain, or use electronic and information technology, Federal
employees with disabilities have access to and use of information and
data that is comparable to the access and use by Federal employees who
are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be
imposed on the agency." [next sentence includes the general public]

I think the key words are "have access and use of information and data
that is comparable."
If the PDF is truly accessible, then it meets this requirement. Nothing
more needs to be done.
If the other hand, the PDF wasn't accessible (and therefore not
providing comparable access and use of the information), then alternate
accessible versions would be needed.

From a workflow/process viewpoint, it becomes a nightmare to maintain a
website, file server, or content management system with multiple
versions of a document: one gets updated but the others don't and you
now have a data mess on your hands.

The ideal is to have one version of your data that is kept up-to-date
and is fully accessible. There's nothing preventing a PDF from meeting
that requirement.

My two cents...
-Bevi Chagnon
- - -
www.PubCom.com - Trainers, Consultants, Designers, Developers.
Print, Web, Acrobat, XML, eBooks, and U.S. Federal Section 508
Accessibility.
New Sec. 508 Workshop & EPUBs Tour in 2013 - www.Workshop.Pubcom.com

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Krack,
Joseph@DOR

I work for a State agency that is mandated to follow Section 508 and ADA
regulations and standards regarding websites and documents. A question
arose about posting documents to our websites. Right now we have
accessible PDF's on the site, but someone is insisting that we also have
an HTML or Rich Text version of each of these documents by law. Does
anyone have any familiarity with this? If it is required is there a
section of either or these acts that spell this out?

Thanks,
Joe Krack

messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =


messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =

From: Len Burns
Date: Mon, Jun 24 2013 2:33PM
Subject: Re: PDF on websites
← Previous message | Next message →

One thing needs to be said here. While I agree on the 508 analysis,
usability can be quite a different matter where a PDF form may be involved.
This is not due to the standards, it is because of the variability in how
screen readers on different platforms respond to them. If a user relies
upon a Linux based OS, or VoiceOver on the Mac, the document may be quite
readable, but completing a form would be quite a different matter. If one
is using a current version of Jaws, the experience can be smooth.

-Len

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Krack, Joseph@DOR
Sent: Monday, June 24, 2013 1:05 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF on websites

Gabriel,

Thank you for the response.

The PDF's in question are indeed accessible (tested by both machine and
AT using individuals - not to mention being created by me :) ). The
person is basically just trying to pick a fight and while I was pretty
sure of the answer, I really wanted to get more opinions from the
experts in this blog. Prior to responding to the latest email from this
person.

Thanks again!

Joe



-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of McMorland,
Gabriel
Sent: Monday, June 24, 2013 12:14 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF on websites

I'm curious about the accessibility of the existing PDFs on your site.
Have you reviewed a sample of them to ensure that they are actually
accessible? Also, what challenges or barriers were found by the person
that wants HTML versions of the PDF content?

This is just a hunch, but have you reviewed a sample of your agency's
PDFs to verify that all data tables are properly tagged and formatted
for screen reader navigation?


-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Krack,
Joseph@DOR
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 7:34 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF on websites

Thanks Bevi,

Joe

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Chagnon |
PubCom
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 3:01 PM
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF on websites

The current Section 508 regulations are pretty weak; they date back to
2000.
We're awaiting the "refresh" that will tighten up and expand coverage,
remove the gray areas of what's covered and what isn't.

What makes your question difficult is that every agency has come up with
their own policy. Some versions are good, others aren't. Some are
out-of-date. Depends upon the agency.

Here's the Access Board's current standards, effective December 21,
2000.
http://access-board.gov/sec508/standards.htm

Subpart A General, Section 1194.1 Purpose.
"Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure,
maintain, or use electronic and information technology, Federal
employees with disabilities have access to and use of information and
data that is comparable to the access and use by Federal employees who
are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be
imposed on the agency." [next sentence includes the general public]

I think the key words are "have access and use of information and data
that is comparable."
If the PDF is truly accessible, then it meets this requirement. Nothing
more needs to be done.
If the other hand, the PDF wasn't accessible (and therefore not
providing comparable access and use of the information), then alternate
accessible versions would be needed.

From a workflow/process viewpoint, it becomes a nightmare to maintain a
website, file server, or content management system with multiple
versions of a document: one gets updated but the others don't and you
now have a data mess on your hands.

The ideal is to have one version of your data that is kept up-to-date
and is fully accessible. There's nothing preventing a PDF from meeting
that requirement.

My two cents...
-Bevi Chagnon
- - -
www.PubCom.com - Trainers, Consultants, Designers, Developers.
Print, Web, Acrobat, XML, eBooks, and U.S. Federal Section 508
Accessibility.
New Sec. 508 Workshop & EPUBs Tour in 2013 - www.Workshop.Pubcom.com

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Krack,
Joseph@DOR

I work for a State agency that is mandated to follow Section 508 and ADA
regulations and standards regarding websites and documents. A question
arose about posting documents to our websites. Right now we have
accessible PDF's on the site, but someone is insisting that we also have
an HTML or Rich Text version of each of these documents by law. Does
anyone have any familiarity with this? If it is required is there a
section of either or these acts that spell this out?

Thanks,
Joe Krack

messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =


messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =

From: David Ashleydale
Date: Mon, Jun 24 2013 4:30PM
Subject: Re: PDF on websites
← Previous message | Next message →

I would also like to add that even accessible PDFs can create usability
challenges on web sites. I usually encourage people to use HTML for content
that is meant to be read on a computer, mostly because the interfaces are
just different. Back buttons work differently, the magnification often
needs to be fussed with, sometimes they open within the browser, sometime
outside the browser, etc. They are just different. And for non computer
savvy individuals, the differences can be daunting.

Of course, you may not have the opportunity to convert your PDFs into HTML
pages, but I always advise people to consider it at least.

Thanks,
David


On Mon, Jun 24, 2013 at 1:33 PM, Len Burns < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:

> One thing needs to be said here. While I agree on the 508 analysis,
> usability can be quite a different matter where a PDF form may be involved.
> This is not due to the standards, it is because of the variability in how
> screen readers on different platforms respond to them. If a user relies
> upon a Linux based OS, or VoiceOver on the Mac, the document may be quite
> readable, but completing a form would be quite a different matter. If one
> is using a current version of Jaws, the experience can be smooth.
>
> -Len
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Krack,
> Joseph@DOR
> Sent: Monday, June 24, 2013 1:05 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF on websites
>
> Gabriel,
>
> Thank you for the response.
>
> The PDF's in question are indeed accessible (tested by both machine and
> AT using individuals - not to mention being created by me :) ). The
> person is basically just trying to pick a fight and while I was pretty
> sure of the answer, I really wanted to get more opinions from the
> experts in this blog. Prior to responding to the latest email from this
> person.
>
> Thanks again!
>
> Joe
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of McMorland,
> Gabriel
> Sent: Monday, June 24, 2013 12:14 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF on websites
>
> I'm curious about the accessibility of the existing PDFs on your site.
> Have you reviewed a sample of them to ensure that they are actually
> accessible? Also, what challenges or barriers were found by the person
> that wants HTML versions of the PDF content?
>
> This is just a hunch, but have you reviewed a sample of your agency's
> PDFs to verify that all data tables are properly tagged and formatted
> for screen reader navigation?
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Krack,
> Joseph@DOR
> Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 7:34 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF on websites
>
> Thanks Bevi,
>
> Joe
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Chagnon |
> PubCom
> Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 3:01 PM
> To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF on websites
>
> The current Section 508 regulations are pretty weak; they date back to
> 2000.
> We're awaiting the "refresh" that will tighten up and expand coverage,
> remove the gray areas of what's covered and what isn't.
>
> What makes your question difficult is that every agency has come up with
> their own policy. Some versions are good, others aren't. Some are
> out-of-date. Depends upon the agency.
>
> Here's the Access Board's current standards, effective December 21,
> 2000.
> http://access-board.gov/sec508/standards.htm
>
> Subpart A General, Section 1194.1 Purpose.
> "Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure,
> maintain, or use electronic and information technology, Federal
> employees with disabilities have access to and use of information and
> data that is comparable to the access and use by Federal employees who
> are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be
> imposed on the agency." [next sentence includes the general public]
>
> I think the key words are "have access and use of information and data
> that is comparable."
> If the PDF is truly accessible, then it meets this requirement. Nothing
> more needs to be done.
> If the other hand, the PDF wasn't accessible (and therefore not
> providing comparable access and use of the information), then alternate
> accessible versions would be needed.
>
> From a workflow/process viewpoint, it becomes a nightmare to maintain a
> website, file server, or content management system with multiple
> versions of a document: one gets updated but the others don't and you
> now have a data mess on your hands.
>
> The ideal is to have one version of your data that is kept up-to-date
> and is fully accessible. There's nothing preventing a PDF from meeting
> that requirement.
>
> My two cents...
> -Bevi Chagnon
> - - -
> www.PubCom.com - Trainers, Consultants, Designers, Developers.
> Print, Web, Acrobat, XML, eBooks, and U.S. Federal Section 508
> Accessibility.
> New Sec. 508 Workshop & EPUBs Tour in 2013 - www.Workshop.Pubcom.com
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Krack,
> Joseph@DOR
>
> I work for a State agency that is mandated to follow Section 508 and ADA
> regulations and standards regarding websites and documents. A question
> arose about posting documents to our websites. Right now we have
> accessible PDF's on the site, but someone is insisting that we also have
> an HTML or Rich Text version of each of these documents by law. Does
> anyone have any familiarity with this? If it is required is there a
> section of either or these acts that spell this out?
>
> Thanks,
> Joe Krack
>
> > > messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
>
>
> > > messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> > > messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
>
>
> > > >
> > > >

From: Andrew Kirkpatrick
Date: Tue, Jun 25 2013 8:33AM
Subject: Re: PDF on websites
← Previous message | Next message →

I agree with most of what you say here David, but I can't help but chime in. When you say "even accessible PDFs can create usability challenges on web sites" some people may incorrectly interpret that as suggesting that the converse is true, that "accessible HTML files do not create usability challenges on web sites". This is of course not what you meant (I hope) as any document or file type can create usability challenges.

For some types of content, offering a PDF version may address some usability challenges that are found in an HTML version even. I've lost my place in a very long HTML document and found it frustrating that they only way to return to a specific location is to re-navigate through the document to that point. With a PDF document this is much easier.

In short, I don't think that a policy like "convert all of your PDFs to HTML" is always the best approach.

Thanks,
AWK

Andrew Kirkpatrick
Group Product Manager, Accessibility
Adobe Systems

= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
http://twitter.com/awkawk
http://blogs.adobe.com/accessibility


-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of David Ashleydale
Sent: Monday, June 24, 2013 6:31 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF on websites

I would also like to add that even accessible PDFs can create usability challenges on web sites. I usually encourage people to use HTML for content that is meant to be read on a computer, mostly because the interfaces are just different. Back buttons work differently, the magnification often needs to be fussed with, sometimes they open within the browser, sometime outside the browser, etc. They are just different. And for non computer savvy individuals, the differences can be daunting.

Of course, you may not have the opportunity to convert your PDFs into HTML pages, but I always advise people to consider it at least.

Thanks,
David


On Mon, Jun 24, 2013 at 1:33 PM, Len Burns < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:

> One thing needs to be said here. While I agree on the 508 analysis,
> usability can be quite a different matter where a PDF form may be involved.
> This is not due to the standards, it is because of the variability in
> how screen readers on different platforms respond to them. If a user
> relies upon a Linux based OS, or VoiceOver on the Mac, the document
> may be quite readable, but completing a form would be quite a
> different matter. If one is using a current version of Jaws, the experience can be smooth.
>
> -Len
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Krack,
> Joseph@DOR
> Sent: Monday, June 24, 2013 1:05 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF on websites
>
> Gabriel,
>
> Thank you for the response.
>
> The PDF's in question are indeed accessible (tested by both machine
> and AT using individuals - not to mention being created by me :) ).
> The person is basically just trying to pick a fight and while I was
> pretty sure of the answer, I really wanted to get more opinions from
> the experts in this blog. Prior to responding to the latest email from
> this person.
>
> Thanks again!
>
> Joe
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of McMorland,
> Gabriel
> Sent: Monday, June 24, 2013 12:14 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF on websites
>
> I'm curious about the accessibility of the existing PDFs on your site.
> Have you reviewed a sample of them to ensure that they are actually
> accessible? Also, what challenges or barriers were found by the person
> that wants HTML versions of the PDF content?
>
> This is just a hunch, but have you reviewed a sample of your agency's
> PDFs to verify that all data tables are properly tagged and formatted
> for screen reader navigation?
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Krack,
> Joseph@DOR
> Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 7:34 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF on websites
>
> Thanks Bevi,
>
> Joe
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Chagnon |
> PubCom
> Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 3:01 PM
> To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF on websites
>
> The current Section 508 regulations are pretty weak; they date back to
> 2000.
> We're awaiting the "refresh" that will tighten up and expand coverage,
> remove the gray areas of what's covered and what isn't.
>
> What makes your question difficult is that every agency has come up
> with their own policy. Some versions are good, others aren't. Some are
> out-of-date. Depends upon the agency.
>
> Here's the Access Board's current standards, effective December 21,
> 2000.
> http://access-board.gov/sec508/standards.htm
>
> Subpart A General, Section 1194.1 Purpose.
> "Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure,
> maintain, or use electronic and information technology, Federal
> employees with disabilities have access to and use of information and
> data that is comparable to the access and use by Federal employees who
> are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be
> imposed on the agency." [next sentence includes the general public]
>
> I think the key words are "have access and use of information and data
> that is comparable."
> If the PDF is truly accessible, then it meets this requirement.
> Nothing more needs to be done.
> If the other hand, the PDF wasn't accessible (and therefore not
> providing comparable access and use of the information), then
> alternate accessible versions would be needed.
>
> From a workflow/process viewpoint, it becomes a nightmare to maintain
> a website, file server, or content management system with multiple
> versions of a document: one gets updated but the others don't and you
> now have a data mess on your hands.
>
> The ideal is to have one version of your data that is kept up-to-date
> and is fully accessible. There's nothing preventing a PDF from meeting
> that requirement.
>
> My two cents...
> -Bevi Chagnon
> - - -
> www.PubCom.com - Trainers, Consultants, Designers, Developers.
> Print, Web, Acrobat, XML, eBooks, and U.S. Federal Section 508
> Accessibility.
> New Sec. 508 Workshop & EPUBs Tour in 2013 - www.Workshop.Pubcom.com
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Krack,
> Joseph@DOR
>
> I work for a State agency that is mandated to follow Section 508 and
> ADA regulations and standards regarding websites and documents. A
> question arose about posting documents to our websites. Right now we
> have accessible PDF's on the site, but someone is insisting that we
> also have an HTML or Rich Text version of each of these documents by
> law. Does anyone have any familiarity with this? If it is required is
> there a section of either or these acts that spell this out?
>
> Thanks,
> Joe Krack
>
> > > list messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
>
>
> > > list messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> > > list messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
>
>
> > > list messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
>
> > > list messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
>

From: Chagnon | PubCom
Date: Tue, Jun 25 2013 10:08AM
Subject: Re: PDF on websites
← Previous message | Next message →

My job is to communicate one person's ideas to another person.

Sometimes I'm hired by a nonprofit to persuade people about a political or
social issue.
Sometimes I'm hired by a corporation to persuade people to buy their product
or service.
Sometimes by an educational institution to educate its students.
Sometimes by a government entity to inform its constituents.

But my job is to communicate using the best combination of words, graphics,
audio/video, and technologies available to get the message sent, read, and
understood.

Saying that PDFs should be converted to HTML wipes out one of my best, most
effective tools for communicating - I doubt my clients will allow me to stop
making PDFs! The benefits to them are tremendous:

1) Total control over the appearance of the message. From typefaces and
color to strategic design and placement of the elements to invoke a
particular psychological response from the reader, I can't get that level of
control in HTML.

2) Succinct navigation. I can build quicker, easier navigation for a large,
complex PDF than I can into a series of HTML webpages.

3) Eye appeal. I can create a better-looking PDF than I can an HTML webpage,
and a better visual appearance translates into a more successful
communication piece.

4) One file. A PDF can contain dozens of other documents wrapped up into one
self-contained package. Easy to send via email or store on a server or in a
content management system.

5) Snapshot. Like a camera, a PDF can capture and preserve the state of a
document at a particular point in time, such as here is the report as of
last Friday. It can also be secured and made taper-proof. It's often used
for archival of documents. And it is used as an electronic paper trail in
institutions and large entities.

6) Workgroup tool. PDFs are passed around workgroups where members add
comments. Everyone can see everyone else's comments so issues or portions of
the document are openly discussed. I can't do this with HTML, not even with
group collaborative cloud-ware.

Note that so many of these benefits are visually oriented. 90% of the
information received by someone who is fully sighted is visual information,
so the bulk of communication is focused on its appearance, then on its
content.

Therefore, PDFs are not going to go away. I doubt I'll ever hear my clients
say, "Bevi, stop making PDFs and switch our material to HTML." They'd lose
so much of their power to communicate.

A better, more effective strategy for WebAIM is to get Adobe, Microsoft, and
the AT manufacturers to create better tools for PDFs (and other documents)
accessibility software/technologies. A well-made PDF can be accessible and
can equally match accessible HTML, but today's tools sometimes make it
difficult and costly to achieve that.

As a communicator, I want better tools so that I can successfully
communicate with everyone, regardless of whether they have a disability or
not.

-Bevi Chagnon

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
www.PubCom.com - Trainers, Consultants, Designers, Developers.
Print, Web, Acrobat, XML, eBooks, and U.S. Federal Section 508
Accessibility.
New Sec. 508 Workshop & EPUBs Tour in 2013 - www.Workshop.Pubcom.com

From: Olaf Drümmer
Date: Tue, Jun 25 2013 10:18AM
Subject: Re: PDF on websites
← Previous message | Next message →

+1

On 25 Jun 2013, at 18:08, Chagnon | PubCom wrote:

> My job is to communicate one person's ideas to another person.
>
> Sometimes I'm hired by a nonprofit to persuade people about a political or
> social issue.
> Sometimes I'm hired by a corporation to persuade people to buy their product
> or service.
> Sometimes by an educational institution to educate its students.
> Sometimes by a government entity to inform its constituents.
>
> But my job is to communicate using the best combination of words, graphics,
> audio/video, and technologies available to get the message sent, read, and
> understood.
>
> Saying that PDFs should be converted to HTML wipes out one of my best, most
> effective tools for communicating - I doubt my clients will allow me to stop
> making PDFs! The benefits to them are tremendous:
>
> 1) Total control over the appearance of the message. From typefaces and
> color to strategic design and placement of the elements to invoke a
> particular psychological response from the reader, I can't get that level of
> control in HTML.
>
> 2) Succinct navigation. I can build quicker, easier navigation for a large,
> complex PDF than I can into a series of HTML webpages.
>
> 3) Eye appeal. I can create a better-looking PDF than I can an HTML webpage,
> and a better visual appearance translates into a more successful
> communication piece.
>
> 4) One file. A PDF can contain dozens of other documents wrapped up into one
> self-contained package. Easy to send via email or store on a server or in a
> content management system.
>
> 5) Snapshot. Like a camera, a PDF can capture and preserve the state of a
> document at a particular point in time, such as here is the report as of
> last Friday. It can also be secured and made taper-proof. It's often used
> for archival of documents. And it is used as an electronic paper trail in
> institutions and large entities.
>
> 6) Workgroup tool. PDFs are passed around workgroups where members add
> comments. Everyone can see everyone else's comments so issues or portions of
> the document are openly discussed. I can't do this with HTML, not even with
> group collaborative cloud-ware.
>
> Note that so many of these benefits are visually oriented. 90% of the
> information received by someone who is fully sighted is visual information,
> so the bulk of communication is focused on its appearance, then on its
> content.
>
> Therefore, PDFs are not going to go away. I doubt I'll ever hear my clients
> say, "Bevi, stop making PDFs and switch our material to HTML." They'd lose
> so much of their power to communicate.
>
> A better, more effective strategy for WebAIM is to get Adobe, Microsoft, and
> the AT manufacturers to create better tools for PDFs (and other documents)
> accessibility software/technologies. A well-made PDF can be accessible and
> can equally match accessible HTML, but today's tools sometimes make it
> difficult and costly to achieve that.
>
> As a communicator, I want better tools so that I can successfully
> communicate with everyone, regardless of whether they have a disability or
> not.
>
> -Bevi Chagnon
>
> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
> www.PubCom.com - Trainers, Consultants, Designers, Developers.
> Print, Web, Acrobat, XML, eBooks, and U.S. Federal Section 508
> Accessibility.
> New Sec. 508 Workshop & EPUBs Tour in 2013 - www.Workshop.Pubcom.com
>
>
> > >

From: Duff Johnson
Date: Tue, Jun 25 2013 11:10AM
Subject: Re: PDF on websites
← Previous message | Next message →

Bevi,

That was the best speech about why PDF matters that I think I've ever read. :-)

Just as you say: people use PDF to communicate. In other words, they use PDF to make content accessible using all the various visual functionality PDF supports. This works for a lot of people, and it's not going anywhere.

Of course, it's possible to make choices when designing content that can preclude accessibility to all, *regardless* of format (witness the discussion about infinite scrolling in the other thread). Those situations aren't common, and/or almost all can be circumvented.

Bevi's suggestion is correct: tell your vendor you need better tools that support accessible PDF. The old excuses evaporated when PDF/UA was published in 2012.

Duff.


On Jun 25, 2013, at 12:08 PM, Chagnon | PubCom < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:

> My job is to communicate one person's ideas to another person.
>
> Sometimes I'm hired by a nonprofit to persuade people about a political or
> social issue.
> Sometimes I'm hired by a corporation to persuade people to buy their product
> or service.
> Sometimes by an educational institution to educate its students.
> Sometimes by a government entity to inform its constituents.
>
> But my job is to communicate using the best combination of words, graphics,
> audio/video, and technologies available to get the message sent, read, and
> understood.
>
> Saying that PDFs should be converted to HTML wipes out one of my best, most
> effective tools for communicating - I doubt my clients will allow me to stop
> making PDFs! The benefits to them are tremendous:
>
> 1) Total control over the appearance of the message. From typefaces and
> color to strategic design and placement of the elements to invoke a
> particular psychological response from the reader, I can't get that level of
> control in HTML.
>
> 2) Succinct navigation. I can build quicker, easier navigation for a large,
> complex PDF than I can into a series of HTML webpages.
>
> 3) Eye appeal. I can create a better-looking PDF than I can an HTML webpage,
> and a better visual appearance translates into a more successful
> communication piece.
>
> 4) One file. A PDF can contain dozens of other documents wrapped up into one
> self-contained package. Easy to send via email or store on a server or in a
> content management system.
>
> 5) Snapshot. Like a camera, a PDF can capture and preserve the state of a
> document at a particular point in time, such as here is the report as of
> last Friday. It can also be secured and made taper-proof. It's often used
> for archival of documents. And it is used as an electronic paper trail in
> institutions and large entities.
>
> 6) Workgroup tool. PDFs are passed around workgroups where members add
> comments. Everyone can see everyone else's comments so issues or portions of
> the document are openly discussed. I can't do this with HTML, not even with
> group collaborative cloud-ware.
>
> Note that so many of these benefits are visually oriented. 90% of the
> information received by someone who is fully sighted is visual information,
> so the bulk of communication is focused on its appearance, then on its
> content.
>
> Therefore, PDFs are not going to go away. I doubt I'll ever hear my clients
> say, "Bevi, stop making PDFs and switch our material to HTML." They'd lose
> so much of their power to communicate.
>
> A better, more effective strategy for WebAIM is to get Adobe, Microsoft, and
> the AT manufacturers to create better tools for PDFs (and other documents)
> accessibility software/technologies. A well-made PDF can be accessible and
> can equally match accessible HTML, but today's tools sometimes make it
> difficult and costly to achieve that.
>
> As a communicator, I want better tools so that I can successfully
> communicate with everyone, regardless of whether they have a disability or
> not.
>
> -Bevi Chagnon
>
> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
> www.PubCom.com - Trainers, Consultants, Designers, Developers.
> Print, Web, Acrobat, XML, eBooks, and U.S. Federal Section 508
> Accessibility.
> New Sec. 508 Workshop & EPUBs Tour in 2013 - www.Workshop.Pubcom.com
>
>
> > > >

From: Chagnon | PubCom
Date: Tue, Jun 25 2013 11:59AM
Subject: Re: PDF on websites
← Previous message | Next message →

Duff wrote: " Bevi's suggestion is correct: tell your vendor you need better
tools that support accessible PDF. The old excuses evaporated when PDF/UA
was published in 2012"

And thanks Duff for your work leading this initiative. Great job by all
involved.

-Bevi Chagnon
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
www.PubCom.com - Trainers, Consultants, Designers, Developers.
Print, Web, Acrobat, XML, eBooks, and U.S. Federal Section 508
Accessibility.
New Sec. 508 Workshop & EPUBs Tour in 2013 - www.Workshop.Pubcom.com

From: Shawn Henry (uiAccess projects)
Date: Sun, Jun 30 2013 5:27PM
Subject: Re: PDF on websites + PDF is *not* accessible
← Previous message | Next message →

Hi all,

Background from previous comments is below [1].

The problem is that PDF is currently *not sufficiently accessible* to many people with low vision, dyslexia, and related conditions and situations that impact reading - because Adobe Reader and other PDF viewers lack sufficient text customization functionality.

Even well tagged PDF that is more accessible to screen reader users is still *not accessible* to many people with other print disabilities. Accessibility is more than screen reader access.

Unfortunately, "tagged PDF" started getting called "accessible PDF" -- that is inaccurate and a harmful misnomer. It perpetuates the lack of awareness, even among accessibility specialists, that PDF is actually not accessible to many people with print disabilities.

> My job is to communicate one person's ideas to another person.
> I want to provide what is both legally required and what is desirable to the users.

While PDF is a useful medium for some situations; when it is used, there must be a more accessible alternative provided in order for the information to be available to people with disabilities.

---

I've been fairly quiet about this for many years (except to Adobe product managers :) because the accessibility of PDF has improved from years ago, but I'm deeply concerned about the *misconception that PDF is accessible*.

For more info, please see:
* Text Customization for Readability <http://www.tader.info/>;
* PDF viewers section of Support for Text Customization <http://www.tader.info/support.html#PDFisNOTaccessible>;

(That is a work in progress and I welcome feedback directly.)

Sincerely,
~Shawn Henry
<http://www.uiaccess.com/profile.html>;

Note: Please be careful in referencing the information on the tader.info website and e-mails from uiAccess.com as from the individual Shawn, not her employer.


[1] Background from previous comments:
...
> Here's the Access Board's current standards, effective December 21, 2000.
> http://access-board.gov/sec508/standards.htm
>
> Subpart A General, Section 1194.1 Purpose.
> "Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure, maintain,
> or use electronic and information technology, Federal employees with
> disabilities have access to and use of information and data that is
> comparable to the access and use by Federal employees who are not
> individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on
> the agency." [next sentence includes the general public]
>
> I think the key words are "have access and use of information and data that
> is comparable."
> If the PDF is truly accessible, then it meets this requirement. Nothing more
> needs to be done.
> If the other hand, the PDF wasn't accessible (and therefore not providing
> comparable access and use of the information), then alternate accessible
> versions would be needed.
...

> A better, more effective strategy for WebAIM is to get Adobe, Microsoft, and
> the AT manufacturers to create better tools for PDFs (and other documents)
> accessibility software/technologies. A well-made PDF can be accessible and
> can equally match accessible HTML, but today's tools sometimes make it
> difficult and costly to achieve that.
>
> As a communicator, I want better tools so that I can successfully
> communicate with everyone, regardless of whether they have a disability or
> not.

###

From: Olaf Drümmer
Date: Sun, Jun 30 2013 6:05PM
Subject: Re: PDF on websites + PDF is *not* accessible
← Previous message | Next message →

Hi Shawna,

On 1 Jul 2013, at 01:27, Shawn Henry (uiAccess projects) wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> Background from previous comments is below [1].
>
> The problem is that PDF is currently *not sufficiently accessible* to many people with low vision, dyslexia, and related conditions and situations that impact reading - because Adobe Reader and other PDF viewers lack sufficient text customization functionality.

except you have for example
- Adobe Reader with at least JAWS and NVDA to provide a very decent user experience for people with vision disabilities
- free VIP PDF Reader for people with low vision
- free pdfGoHTML for people wishing to to redirect PDF content to their default browser and use it as they see fit, including low vision users and dyslexic users

> Even well tagged PDF that is more accessible to screen reader users is still *not accessible* to many people with other print disabilities. Accessibility is more than screen reader access.

absolutely - and that's why the above mentioned tools exist. And more are to come...

> Unfortunately, "tagged PDF" started getting called "accessible PDF" -- that is inaccurate and a harmful misnomer. It perpetuates the lack of awareness, even among accessibility specialists, that PDF is actually not accessible to many people with print disabilities.

Complaining about language other people use, I think you should be more careful with your own language here - the sentence "that PDF is actually not accessible to many people with print disabilities" in this form just doesn't hold water. What you probably wanted to say is that PDFs that are neither tagged nor prepared with accessibility in mind are not accessible to many people with print disabilities (though personally I wouldn't limit this to *print** disabilities, but that's just my view here...)

>> My job is to communicate one person's ideas to another person.
>> I want to provide what is both legally required and what is desirable to the users.
>
> While PDF is a useful medium for some situations;

... except hat the zillions of documents out there will never ever be converted to HTML. More and more of them are being provided in an accessible fashion though.


> when it is used, there must be a more accessible alternative provided in order for the information to be available to people with disabilities.

To be honest - I consider this statement in this form 100% unacceptable. Wake up! The world has changed.



People in this community will have to choose - either ask for something that will never happen (and continue to try to block PDF altogether), or join those who are (more and more successfully) nudging PDF towards a pretty decent degree of accessibility. It should be acknowledged that there even was an ISO standard for accessible PDF (ISO 14289-1) before there was an ISO standard for accessible web content (ISO 40500). ;-)


PDF is a format for documents. HTML is not a format for documents. The world is not a disk, and there is content outside of web sites. Maybe rich text format or Word files or OpenOffice files could serve as a carrier for accessible documents, but HTML as of today is not in a position to serve as a document format. And as a consequence nobody is preparing and exchanging their documents in HTML format, but a substantial portion of users is creating, exchanging, sharing, publishing their documents in PDF form. It is not clear to me how this can be denied?


And one more thing: PDF itself is an ISO standard (for five years now, actually). Adobe is just one out of many companies dealing in PDF (albeit a very important company). Talk (also) to other PDF developers, not just Adobe, whenever you wish to further the accessibility of PDFs.


Olaf


PS: BTW - personally, I find it easier to make my PDFs accessible than to make the websites accessible that I am responsible for... ;-)


> ---
>
> I've been fairly quiet about this for many years (except to Adobe product managers :) because the accessibility of PDF has improved from years ago, but I'm deeply concerned about the *misconception that PDF is accessible*.
>
> For more info, please see:
> * Text Customization for Readability <http://www.tader.info/>;
> * PDF viewers section of Support for Text Customization <http://www.tader.info/support.html#PDFisNOTaccessible>;
>
> (That is a work in progress and I welcome feedback directly.)
>
> Sincerely,
> ~Shawn Henry
> <http://www.uiaccess.com/profile.html>;
>
> Note: Please be careful in referencing the information on the tader.info website and e-mails from uiAccess.com as from the individual Shawn, not her employer.
>
>
> [1] Background from previous comments:
> ...
>> Here's the Access Board's current standards, effective December 21, 2000.
>> http://access-board.gov/sec508/standards.htm
>>
>> Subpart A General, Section 1194.1 Purpose.
>> "Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure, maintain,
>> or use electronic and information technology, Federal employees with
>> disabilities have access to and use of information and data that is
>> comparable to the access and use by Federal employees who are not
>> individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on
>> the agency." [next sentence includes the general public]
>>
>> I think the key words are "have access and use of information and data that
>> is comparable."
>> If the PDF is truly accessible, then it meets this requirement. Nothing more
>> needs to be done.
>> If the other hand, the PDF wasn't accessible (and therefore not providing
>> comparable access and use of the information), then alternate accessible
>> versions would be needed.
> ...
>
>> A better, more effective strategy for WebAIM is to get Adobe, Microsoft, and
>> the AT manufacturers to create better tools for PDFs (and other documents)
>> accessibility software/technologies. A well-made PDF can be accessible and
>> can equally match accessible HTML, but today's tools sometimes make it
>> difficult and costly to achieve that.
>>
>> As a communicator, I want better tools so that I can successfully
>> communicate with everyone, regardless of whether they have a disability or
>> not.
>
> ###
>
> > >

From: Ryan E. Benson
Date: Mon, Jul 01 2013 3:46PM
Subject: Re: PDF on websites + PDF is *not* accessible
← Previous message | Next message →

Olaf,

> - Adobe Reader with at least JAWS and NVDA to provide a very decent user
experience for people with vision disabilities
This is what Shawn was getting at. Without my glasses I can probably see 2
feet ahead. Would I use JAWS/NVDA for my usage? No probably not. I would
more likely to use ZoomText. ZoomText is so-so with PDFs, and pretty good
with HTML. So not a solution.

> - free VIP PDF Reader for people with low vision
Maybe a solution, but new products are kind of hard to get to buy into.

> - free pdfGoHTML for people wishing to to redirect PDF content to their
default browser and use it as they see fit, including low vision users and
dyslexic users
Sorry I know this is your product, but I would label this as not a
solution. I would say this is a great dev tool, but not something I'd
market to end users for normal use. Maybe those especially hard or one off
situations, but then again most of the time when I would be in this
situation, I would not have the needed admin privileges to install.

> "that PDF is actually not accessible to many people with print
disabilities" in this form just doesn't hold water.....that PDFs that are
neither tagged nor prepared with accessibility in mind are not accessible
to many people with print disabilities
I disagree with both your tone here and the comment. On bad days, I can
zoom in the document all I want, even beautifully tagged ones, and my eyes
cannot make the connection. I need to alter something else, and stuff like
this happens to people with print disabilities. Maybe Shawn's use of many
here was a bit much, and maybe tone it back to a "fair number" or
something, but I would agree on her comment with that change.

> And as a consequence nobody is preparing and exchanging their documents
in HTML format,
Given this is a web forum, are we not creating content here, which is then
a document? Which is then written in HTML?

--
Ryan E. Benson


On Sun, Jun 30, 2013 at 8:05 PM, Olaf Drümmer < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:

> Hi Shawna,
>
> On 1 Jul 2013, at 01:27, Shawn Henry (uiAccess projects) wrote:
>
> > Hi all,
> >
> > Background from previous comments is below [1].
> >
> > The problem is that PDF is currently *not sufficiently accessible* to
> many people with low vision, dyslexia, and related conditions and
> situations that impact reading - because Adobe Reader and other PDF viewers
> lack sufficient text customization functionality.
>
> except you have for example
> - Adobe Reader with at least JAWS and NVDA to provide a very decent user
> experience for people with vision disabilities
> - free VIP PDF Reader for people with low vision
> - free pdfGoHTML for people wishing to to redirect PDF content to their
> default browser and use it as they see fit, including low vision users and
> dyslexic users
>
> > Even well tagged PDF that is more accessible to screen reader users is
> still *not accessible* to many people with other print disabilities.
> Accessibility is more than screen reader access.
>
> absolutely - and that's why the above mentioned tools exist. And more are
> to come...
>
> > Unfortunately, "tagged PDF" started getting called "accessible PDF" --
> that is inaccurate and a harmful misnomer. It perpetuates the lack of
> awareness, even among accessibility specialists, that PDF is actually not
> accessible to many people with print disabilities.
>
> Complaining about language other people use, I think you should be more
>> careful with your own language here - the sentence "that PDF is actually
>> not accessible to many people with print disabilities" in this form just
>> doesn't hold water. What you probably wanted to say is that PDFs that are
>> neither tagged nor prepared with accessibility in mind are not accessible
>> to many people with print disabilities (though personally I wouldn't limit
>> this to *print** disabilities, but that's just my view here...)
>>
>
> >> My job is to communicate one person's ideas to another person.
> >> I want to provide what is both legally required and what is desirable
> to the users.
> >
> > While PDF is a useful medium for some situations;
>
> ... except hat the zillions of documents out there will never ever be
> converted to HTML. More and more of them are being provided in an
> accessible fashion though.
>
>
> > when it is used, there must be a more accessible alternative provided in
> order for the information to be available to people with disabilities.
>
> To be honest - I consider this statement in this form 100% unacceptable.
> Wake up! The world has changed.
>
>
>
> People in this community will have to choose - either ask for something
> that will never happen (and continue to try to block PDF altogether), or
> join those who are (more and more successfully) nudging PDF towards a
> pretty decent degree of accessibility. It should be acknowledged that there
> even was an ISO standard for accessible PDF (ISO 14289-1) before there was
> an ISO standard for accessible web content (ISO 40500). ;-)
>
>
> PDF is a format for documents. HTML is not a format for documents. The
> world is not a disk, and there is content outside of web sites. Maybe rich
> text format or Word files or OpenOffice files could serve as a carrier for
> accessible documents, but HTML as of today is not in a position to serve as
> a document format. And as a consequence nobody is preparing and exchanging
> their documents in HTML format, but a substantial portion of users is
> creating, exchanging, sharing, publishing their documents in PDF form. It
> is not clear to me how this can be denied?
>
>
> And one more thing: PDF itself is an ISO standard (for five years now,
> actually). Adobe is just one out of many companies dealing in PDF (albeit a
> very important company). Talk (also) to other PDF developers, not just
> Adobe, whenever you wish to further the accessibility of PDFs.
>
>
> Olaf
>
>
> PS: BTW - personally, I find it easier to make my PDFs accessible than to
> make the websites accessible that I am responsible for... ;-)
>
>
> > ---
> >
> > I've been fairly quiet about this for many years (except to Adobe
> product managers :) because the accessibility of PDF has improved from
> years ago, but I'm deeply concerned about the *misconception that PDF is
> accessible*.
> >
> > For more info, please see:
> > * Text Customization for Readability <http://www.tader.info/>;
> > * PDF viewers section of Support for Text Customization <
> http://www.tader.info/support.html#PDFisNOTaccessible>;
> >
> > (That is a work in progress and I welcome feedback directly.)
> >
> > Sincerely,
> > ~Shawn Henry
> > <http://www.uiaccess.com/profile.html>;
> >
> > Note: Please be careful in referencing the information on the tader.infowebsite and e-mails from uiAccess.com as from the individual Shawn, not her
> employer.
> >
> >
> > [1] Background from previous comments:
> > ...
> >> Here's the Access Board's current standards, effective December 21,
> 2000.
> >> http://access-board.gov/sec508/standards.htm
> >>
> >> Subpart A General, Section 1194.1 Purpose.
> >> "Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure,
> maintain,
> >> or use electronic and information technology, Federal employees with
> >> disabilities have access to and use of information and data that is
> >> comparable to the access and use by Federal employees who are not
> >> individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed
> on
> >> the agency." [next sentence includes the general public]
> >>
> >> I think the key words are "have access and use of information and data
> that
> >> is comparable."
> >> If the PDF is truly accessible, then it meets this requirement. Nothing
> more
> >> needs to be done.
> >> If the other hand, the PDF wasn't accessible (and therefore not
> providing
> >> comparable access and use of the information), then alternate accessible
> >> versions would be needed.
> > ...
> >
> >> A better, more effective strategy for WebAIM is to get Adobe,
> Microsoft, and
> >> the AT manufacturers to create better tools for PDFs (and other
> documents)
> >> accessibility software/technologies. A well-made PDF can be accessible
> and
> >> can equally match accessible HTML, but today's tools sometimes make it
> >> difficult and costly to achieve that.
> >>
> >> As a communicator, I want better tools so that I can successfully
> >> communicate with everyone, regardless of whether they have a disability
> or
> >> not.
> >
> > ###
> >
> > > > > > >
> > > >

From: Olaf Drümmer
Date: Mon, Jul 01 2013 4:13PM
Subject: Re: PDF on websites + PDF is *not* accessible
← Previous message | Next message →

Hi Ryan,

let me just comment on two aspects:

- Shawn's statement was a tad too absolute, and I felt the urge to put that into perspective. I think the following statement is neither true nor justifiable:
While PDF is a useful medium for some situations;
when it is used, there must be a more accessible alternative provided
in order for the information to be available to people with disabilities.
When done right, PDF is as is good as and as accessible as any other content technology.

- it is OK for everybody to prefer some options over other options. But if reasonable options exist and they are not taken advantage of, guess who should take the blame?

And before this gets into a heated debate heading in the wrong direction...:

instead of fighting each other's less favored technology, why don't we simply support each other in improving the accessibility level of technologies that exist anyway, whether some of us like them or not? Let's work on better accessibility in the field of web content, HTML, software, PDF, ... whatever is relevant. If the situation is not good enough (yet) for PDF and PDF tools - let's work on better tools. Are you realizing how much is currently happening in the PDF field as we speak? NVDA moves towards PDF/UA conformance, VIP PDF Reader has been released, pdfGoHTML (while started as a developer and educational tool it will continue to move in a direction that might be quite handy for end users, just hang on...) - all of them free of charge (though donations are gladly accepted by their respective developers, especially for NVDA and VIP PDF-Reader). Tools to aid with creation of well tagged, and thus accessible PDF (complying with the PDF/UA ISO standard), have emerged, like MadeToTag for InDesign, axesPDF for Word, CommonLook Office for Word and PowerPoint, etc. Lots of stuff going on over here.


Olaf


PS: Believe me - some of the stuff going on the HTML / web world s***s so much from my point of view (in accessibility terms as much as in other regards) - but I have to admit that some people like it, use it, enjoy, love it, ... Who am I to tell them not to use that kind of stuff?


On 1 Jul 2013, at 23:46, Ryan E. Benson wrote:

> Olaf,
>
>> - Adobe Reader with at least JAWS and NVDA to provide a very decent user
> experience for people with vision disabilities
> This is what Shawn was getting at. Without my glasses I can probably see 2
> feet ahead. Would I use JAWS/NVDA for my usage? No probably not. I would
> more likely to use ZoomText. ZoomText is so-so with PDFs, and pretty good
> with HTML. So not a solution.
>
>> - free VIP PDF Reader for people with low vision
> Maybe a solution, but new products are kind of hard to get to buy into.
>
>> - free pdfGoHTML for people wishing to to redirect PDF content to their
> default browser and use it as they see fit, including low vision users and
> dyslexic users
> Sorry I know this is your product, but I would label this as not a
> solution. I would say this is a great dev tool, but not something I'd
> market to end users for normal use. Maybe those especially hard or one off
> situations, but then again most of the time when I would be in this
> situation, I would not have the needed admin privileges to install.
>
>> "that PDF is actually not accessible to many people with print
> disabilities" in this form just doesn't hold water.....that PDFs that are
> neither tagged nor prepared with accessibility in mind are not accessible
> to many people with print disabilities
> I disagree with both your tone here and the comment. On bad days, I can
> zoom in the document all I want, even beautifully tagged ones, and my eyes
> cannot make the connection. I need to alter something else, and stuff like
> this happens to people with print disabilities. Maybe Shawn's use of many
> here was a bit much, and maybe tone it back to a "fair number" or
> something, but I would agree on her comment with that change.
>
>> And as a consequence nobody is preparing and exchanging their documents
> in HTML format,
> Given this is a web forum, are we not creating content here, which is then
> a document? Which is then written in HTML?
>
> --
> Ryan E. Benson
>
>
> On Sun, Jun 30, 2013 at 8:05 PM, Olaf Drümmer < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>
>> Hi Shawna,
>>
>> On 1 Jul 2013, at 01:27, Shawn Henry (uiAccess projects) wrote:
>>
>>> Hi all,
>>>
>>> Background from previous comments is below [1].
>>>
>>> The problem is that PDF is currently *not sufficiently accessible* to
>> many people with low vision, dyslexia, and related conditions and
>> situations that impact reading - because Adobe Reader and other PDF viewers
>> lack sufficient text customization functionality.
>>
>> except you have for example
>> - Adobe Reader with at least JAWS and NVDA to provide a very decent user
>> experience for people with vision disabilities
>> - free VIP PDF Reader for people with low vision
>> - free pdfGoHTML for people wishing to to redirect PDF content to their
>> default browser and use it as they see fit, including low vision users and
>> dyslexic users
>>
>>> Even well tagged PDF that is more accessible to screen reader users is
>> still *not accessible* to many people with other print disabilities.
>> Accessibility is more than screen reader access.
>>
>> absolutely - and that's why the above mentioned tools exist. And more are
>> to come...
>>
>>> Unfortunately, "tagged PDF" started getting called "accessible PDF" --
>> that is inaccurate and a harmful misnomer. It perpetuates the lack of
>> awareness, even among accessibility specialists, that PDF is actually not
>> accessible to many people with print disabilities.
>>
>> Complaining about language other people use, I think you should be more
>>> careful with your own language here - the sentence "that PDF is actually
>>> not accessible to many people with print disabilities" in this form just
>>> doesn't hold water. What you probably wanted to say is that PDFs that are
>>> neither tagged nor prepared with accessibility in mind are not accessible
>>> to many people with print disabilities (though personally I wouldn't limit
>>> this to *print** disabilities, but that's just my view here...)
>>>
>>
>>>> My job is to communicate one person's ideas to another person.
>>>> I want to provide what is both legally required and what is desirable
>> to the users.
>>>
>>> While PDF is a useful medium for some situations;
>>
>> ... except hat the zillions of documents out there will never ever be
>> converted to HTML. More and more of them are being provided in an
>> accessible fashion though.
>>
>>
>>> when it is used, there must be a more accessible alternative provided in
>> order for the information to be available to people with disabilities.
>>
>> To be honest - I consider this statement in this form 100% unacceptable.
>> Wake up! The world has changed.
>>
>>
>>
>> People in this community will have to choose - either ask for something
>> that will never happen (and continue to try to block PDF altogether), or
>> join those who are (more and more successfully) nudging PDF towards a
>> pretty decent degree of accessibility. It should be acknowledged that there
>> even was an ISO standard for accessible PDF (ISO 14289-1) before there was
>> an ISO standard for accessible web content (ISO 40500). ;-)
>>
>>
>> PDF is a format for documents. HTML is not a format for documents. The
>> world is not a disk, and there is content outside of web sites. Maybe rich
>> text format or Word files or OpenOffice files could serve as a carrier for
>> accessible documents, but HTML as of today is not in a position to serve as
>> a document format. And as a consequence nobody is preparing and exchanging
>> their documents in HTML format, but a substantial portion of users is
>> creating, exchanging, sharing, publishing their documents in PDF form. It
>> is not clear to me how this can be denied?
>>
>>
>> And one more thing: PDF itself is an ISO standard (for five years now,
>> actually). Adobe is just one out of many companies dealing in PDF (albeit a
>> very important company). Talk (also) to other PDF developers, not just
>> Adobe, whenever you wish to further the accessibility of PDFs.
>>
>>
>> Olaf
>>
>>
>> PS: BTW - personally, I find it easier to make my PDFs accessible than to
>> make the websites accessible that I am responsible for... ;-)
>>
>>
>>> ---
>>>
>>> I've been fairly quiet about this for many years (except to Adobe
>> product managers :) because the accessibility of PDF has improved from
>> years ago, but I'm deeply concerned about the *misconception that PDF is
>> accessible*.
>>>
>>> For more info, please see:
>>> * Text Customization for Readability <http://www.tader.info/>;
>>> * PDF viewers section of Support for Text Customization <
>> http://www.tader.info/support.html#PDFisNOTaccessible>;
>>>
>>> (That is a work in progress and I welcome feedback directly.)
>>>
>>> Sincerely,
>>> ~Shawn Henry
>>> <http://www.uiaccess.com/profile.html>;
>>>
>>> Note: Please be careful in referencing the information on the tader.infowebsite and e-mails from uiAccess.com as from the individual Shawn, not her
>> employer.
>>>
>>>
>>> [1] Background from previous comments:
>>> ...
>>>> Here's the Access Board's current standards, effective December 21,
>> 2000.
>>>> http://access-board.gov/sec508/standards.htm
>>>>
>>>> Subpart A General, Section 1194.1 Purpose.
>>>> "Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure,
>> maintain,
>>>> or use electronic and information technology, Federal employees with
>>>> disabilities have access to and use of information and data that is
>>>> comparable to the access and use by Federal employees who are not
>>>> individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed
>> on
>>>> the agency." [next sentence includes the general public]
>>>>
>>>> I think the key words are "have access and use of information and data
>> that
>>>> is comparable."
>>>> If the PDF is truly accessible, then it meets this requirement. Nothing
>> more
>>>> needs to be done.
>>>> If the other hand, the PDF wasn't accessible (and therefore not
>> providing
>>>> comparable access and use of the information), then alternate accessible
>>>> versions would be needed.
>>> ...
>>>
>>>> A better, more effective strategy for WebAIM is to get Adobe,
>> Microsoft, and
>>>> the AT manufacturers to create better tools for PDFs (and other
>> documents)
>>>> accessibility software/technologies. A well-made PDF can be accessible
>> and
>>>> can equally match accessible HTML, but today's tools sometimes make it
>>>> difficult and costly to achieve that.
>>>>
>>>> As a communicator, I want better tools so that I can successfully
>>>> communicate with everyone, regardless of whether they have a disability
>> or
>>>> not.
>>>
>>> ###
>>>
>>> >>> >>> >>
>> >> >> >>
> > >

From: Shawn Henry (uiAccess projects)
Date: Mon, Jul 01 2013 10:31PM
Subject: Re: PDF on websites + PDF is *not* accessible
← Previous message | Next message →

Olaf & all,

I fully agree with you that it would be best if the community comes together to make all technologies more accessible and usable to people with disabilities. *That is my goal*. For about 10 years I have actively (though quietly) encouraged PDF to support the text customization that users need. (And I encourage web browsers to improve usability for text customization.)

My concern is the lack of understanding that PDF is not currently accessible to some users. Many people think "accessible PDF" is available today, but it is not. My goal is to help people understand the current limitations so that they can encourage those limitations to be addressed. That is the motivation for the many hours that I put into the research and development behind <http://www.tader.info>;

I stand by my original statements. To clarify: Even well tagged PDF developed with accessibility in mind is not sufficiently accessible to some people with low vision, dyslexia, and related conditions and situations that impact reading - because Adobe PDF Reader and other PDF viewers lack sufficient text customization functionality. (The aspects of text that users need to be able to customize are introduced at <http://www.tader.info/display.html>;)

To your points:

* VIP PDF Reader. It came out only last week, afaik. It provides more text customization for PDF than any other tool that I've evaluated! However, it still falls short of users' needs. For example, as far as I can tell, it does not work for some PDF documents, including any PDF with form fields; and it does not allow users to print documents. (See <http://www.tader.info/support.html#PDFisNOTaccessible>;) I will provide feedback to the tool developers, praising the positive points and encouraging improvements.

* pdfGoHTML. While it is helpful to some, it is not feasible to most and also has limitations. For example, it requires purchase of Acrobat, requires administrator access to install, and the HTML it produces misses some markup necessary for accessibility (likely due to a limitation of PDF itself, not pdfGoHTML).

* ISO. Unfortunately, becoming an ISO standard does not guarantee accessibility.

User needs. Accessibility of PDF has largely focused on screen reader access for users who are blind. I agree that was a priority in the past, given that there was no access at all. After that basic accessibility was covered, it is important to address accessibility for other users. I am focusing on people with low vision, dyslexia, and related conditions and situations that impact reading – including the increasing number of people with age-related impairments.

* HTML for documents. That is a tangent that I am not prepared to dive into. I'll briefly mention that currently word processing software offers the most usable text customization functionality. Web browsers provide limited text customization functionality through menu options; customizing all aspects of text display requires user style sheets, which is a skill beyond most users. EPUB and other efforts for advancing HTML for documents are underway... but I said I wasn't going to get into that tangent! :-)

I stand by the statement that "While PDF is a useful medium for some situations; when it is used, there must be a more accessible alternative provided in order for the information to be available to people with disabilities."
I am not saying that PDF should not be used. (I use it for documents intended to be printed -- and I also provide it in an alternative accessible format.) I am saying that PDF is not currently sufficiently accessible, therefore, if you want the information to be readable by everyone, it needs to be provided in a more accessible format as well.

---

Individuals and organizations have invested a lot of effort to make PDF more accessible to screen reader users. Thank you!!! I appreciate your efforts and acknowledge your success. Now I ask that all are open to further advancements to make PDF accessible to an even larger user group. For starters, see Understanding Users' Needs to Customize Text Display at <http://www.tader.info/understanding.html>;

Sincerely,
~Shawn



On 6/30/2013 7:05 PM, Olaf Drümmer wrote:
> Hi Shawna,
>
> On 1 Jul 2013, at 01:27, Shawn Henry (uiAccess projects) wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>>
>> Background from previous comments is below [1].
>>
>> The problem is that PDF is currently *not sufficiently accessible* to many people with low vision, dyslexia, and related conditions and situations that impact reading - because Adobe Reader and other PDF viewers lack sufficient text customization functionality.
>
> except you have for example
> - Adobe Reader with at least JAWS and NVDA to provide a very decent user experience for people with vision disabilities
> - free VIP PDF Reader for people with low vision
> - free pdfGoHTML for people wishing to to redirect PDF content to their default browser and use it as they see fit, including low vision users and dyslexic users
>
>> Even well tagged PDF that is more accessible to screen reader users is still *not accessible* to many people with other print disabilities. Accessibility is more than screen reader access.
>
> absolutely - and that's why the above mentioned tools exist. And more are to come...
>
>> Unfortunately, "tagged PDF" started getting called "accessible PDF" -- that is inaccurate and a harmful misnomer. It perpetuates the lack of awareness, even among accessibility specialists, that PDF is actually not accessible to many people with print disabilities.
>
> Complaining about language other people use, I think you should be more careful with your own language here - the sentence "that PDF is actually not accessible to many people with print disabilities" in this form just doesn't hold water. What you probably wanted to say is that PDFs that are neither tagged nor prepared with accessibility in mind are not accessible to many people with print disabilities (though personally I wouldn't limit this to *print** disabilities, but that's just my view here...)
>
>>> My job is to communicate one person's ideas to another person.
>>> I want to provide what is both legally required and what is desirable to the users.
>>
>> While PDF is a useful medium for some situations;
>
> ... except hat the zillions of documents out there will never ever be converted to HTML. More and more of them are being provided in an accessible fashion though.
>
>
>> when it is used, there must be a more accessible alternative provided in order for the information to be available to people with disabilities.
>
> To be honest - I consider this statement in this form 100% unacceptable. Wake up! The world has changed.
>
>
>
> People in this community will have to choose - either ask for something that will never happen (and continue to try to block PDF altogether), or join those who are (more and more successfully) nudging PDF towards a pretty decent degree of accessibility. It should be acknowledged that there even was an ISO standard for accessible PDF (ISO 14289-1) before there was an ISO standard for accessible web content (ISO 40500). ;-)
>
>
> PDF is a format for documents. HTML is not a format for documents. The world is not a disk, and there is content outside of web sites. Maybe rich text format or Word files or OpenOffice files could serve as a carrier for accessible documents, but HTML as of today is not in a position to serve as a document format. And as a consequence nobody is preparing and exchanging their documents in HTML format, but a substantial portion of users is creating, exchanging, sharing, publishing their documents in PDF form. It is not clear to me how this can be denied?
>
>
> And one more thing: PDF itself is an ISO standard (for five years now, actually). Adobe is just one out of many companies dealing in PDF (albeit a very important company). Talk (also) to other PDF developers, not just Adobe, whenever you wish to further the accessibility of PDFs.
>
>
> Olaf
>
>
> PS: BTW - personally, I find it easier to make my PDFs accessible than to make the websites accessible that I am responsible for... ;-)
>
>
>> ---
>>
>> I've been fairly quiet about this for many years (except to Adobe product managers :) because the accessibility of PDF has improved from years ago, but I'm deeply concerned about the *misconception that PDF is accessible*.
>>
>> For more info, please see:
>> * Text Customization for Readability <http://www.tader.info/>;
>> * PDF viewers section of Support for Text Customization <http://www.tader.info/support.html#PDFisNOTaccessible>;
>>
>> (That is a work in progress and I welcome feedback directly.)
>>
>> Sincerely,
>> ~Shawn Henry
>> <http://www.uiaccess.com/profile.html>;
>>
>> Note: Please be careful in referencing the information on the tader.info website and e-mails from uiAccess.com as from the individual Shawn, not her employer.
>>
>>
>> [1] Background from previous comments:
>> ...
>>> Here's the Access Board's current standards, effective December 21, 2000.
>>> http://access-board.gov/sec508/standards.htm
>>>
>>> Subpart A General, Section 1194.1 Purpose.
>>> "Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure, maintain,
>>> or use electronic and information technology, Federal employees with
>>> disabilities have access to and use of information and data that is
>>> comparable to the access and use by Federal employees who are not
>>> individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on
>>> the agency." [next sentence includes the general public]
>>>
>>> I think the key words are "have access and use of information and data that
>>> is comparable."
>>> If the PDF is truly accessible, then it meets this requirement. Nothing more
>>> needs to be done.
>>> If the other hand, the PDF wasn't accessible (and therefore not providing
>>> comparable access and use of the information), then alternate accessible
>>> versions would be needed.
>> ...
>>
>>> A better, more effective strategy for WebAIM is to get Adobe, Microsoft, and
>>> the AT manufacturers to create better tools for PDFs (and other documents)
>>> accessibility software/technologies. A well-made PDF can be accessible and
>>> can equally match accessible HTML, but today's tools sometimes make it
>>> difficult and costly to achieve that.
>>>
>>> As a communicator, I want better tools so that I can successfully
>>> communicate with everyone, regardless of whether they have a disability or
>>> not.
>>
>> ###
>>
>> >> >> >
> > > >

From: Jonathan Metz
Date: Tue, Jul 02 2013 9:44AM
Subject: Re: PDF on websites + PDF is *not* accessible
← Previous message | Next message →

Formats that are inaccessible to some users do not make something
inherently inaccessible to all users. There are plenty of web sites out
there that are tagged appropriately, but I find them particularly
inaccessible from the point of view of my own learning disability.

It would be absolutely impossible for the US Federal government (or
anyone, really) to try to accommodate every single disability out there,
so they need to find a middle ground. If they use a format, it needs to be
made in an accessible way to accommodate the greatest population of users.
If that happens to be HTML, it¹s done in HTML. If it¹s a document that
carries a benefit of being printed or stored for offline use, then it¹s
going to be a PDF.

But they also strive to accommodate the various emerging technologies out
there too. Which means they need to use social media, video and mobile
applications. These areas are newish and carry their own limitations on
accessibility.

The fact remains though, that if anyone tried to make every possible
alternative out there, they would end up spending more money than they
have. It¹s just not a feasible solution. Instead we need to focus on a
middle ground that benefits the widest range of users with disabilities,
IMO. For those individuals that require greater attention, there should be
tools to help one achieve that.

Would it be annoying to click a button and create a separate local file
that allowed you to read the text of a tagged PDF in a different font
specifically geared for users with dyslexia? That would be best answered
by you, but for now, there is a tool that Olaf has that does that.

There is some truth to the argument that there are too many
PDFs/Flash/Video/etc. out there, but for much of that content, it¹s better
served to be that format. HTML is not the world¹s answer to accessibility,
or for that matter, usability. In that regard, I happen to agree with
Olaf¹s assessment that we have a choice - "either ask for something that
will never happen (and continue to try to block PDF altogether), or join
those who are (more and more successfully) nudging PDF towards a pretty
decent degree of accessibility". The key here is *pretty decent degree*.

Thanks,

Jon

On 7/2/13 12:31 AM, "Shawn Henry (uiAccess projects)"
< = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:

>Olaf & all,
>
>I fully agree with you that it would be best if the community comes
>together to make all technologies more accessible and usable to people
>with disabilities. *That is my goal*. For about 10 years I have actively
>(though quietly) encouraged PDF to support the text customization that
>users need. (And I encourage web browsers to improve usability for text
>customization.)
>
>My concern is the lack of understanding that PDF is not currently
>accessible to some users. Many people think "accessible PDF" is available
>today, but it is not. My goal is to help people understand the current
>limitations so that they can encourage those limitations to be addressed.
>That is the motivation for the many hours that I put into the research
>and development behind <http://www.tader.info>;
>
>I stand by my original statements. To clarify: Even well tagged PDF
>developed with accessibility in mind is not sufficiently accessible to
>some people with low vision, dyslexia, and related conditions and
>situations that impact reading - because Adobe PDF Reader and other PDF
>viewers lack sufficient text customization functionality. (The aspects of
>text that users need to be able to customize are introduced at
><http://www.tader.info/display.html>;)
>
>To your points:
>
>* VIP PDF Reader. It came out only last week, afaik. It provides more
>text customization for PDF than any other tool that I've evaluated!
>However, it still falls short of users' needs. For example, as far as I
>can tell, it does not work for some PDF documents, including any PDF with
>form fields; and it does not allow users to print documents. (See
><http://www.tader.info/support.html#PDFisNOTaccessible>;) I will provide
>feedback to the tool developers, praising the positive points and
>encouraging improvements.
>
>* pdfGoHTML. While it is helpful to some, it is not feasible to most and
>also has limitations. For example, it requires purchase of Acrobat,
>requires administrator access to install, and the HTML it produces misses
>some markup necessary for accessibility (likely due to a limitation of
>PDF itself, not pdfGoHTML).
>
>* ISO. Unfortunately, becoming an ISO standard does not guarantee
>accessibility.
>
>User needs. Accessibility of PDF has largely focused on screen reader
>access for users who are blind. I agree that was a priority in the past,
>given that there was no access at all. After that basic accessibility was
>covered, it is important to address accessibility for other users. I am
>focusing on people with low vision, dyslexia, and related conditions and
>situations that impact reading ­ including the increasing number of
>people with age-related impairments.
>
>* HTML for documents. That is a tangent that I am not prepared to dive
>into. I'll briefly mention that currently word processing software offers
>the most usable text customization functionality. Web browsers provide
>limited text customization functionality through menu options;
>customizing all aspects of text display requires user style sheets, which
>is a skill beyond most users. EPUB and other efforts for advancing HTML
>for documents are underway... but I said I wasn't going to get into that
>tangent! :-)
>
>I stand by the statement that "While PDF is a useful medium for some
>situations; when it is used, there must be a more accessible alternative
>provided in order for the information to be available to people with
>disabilities."
>I am not saying that PDF should not be used. (I use it for documents
>intended to be printed -- and I also provide it in an alternative
>accessible format.) I am saying that PDF is not currently sufficiently
>accessible, therefore, if you want the information to be readable by
>everyone, it needs to be provided in a more accessible format as well.
>
>---
>
>Individuals and organizations have invested a lot of effort to make PDF
>more accessible to screen reader users. Thank you!!! I appreciate your
>efforts and acknowledge your success. Now I ask that all are open to
>further advancements to make PDF accessible to an even larger user group.
>For starters, see Understanding Users' Needs to Customize Text Display at
><http://www.tader.info/understanding.html>;
>
>Sincerely,
>~Shawn
>
>
>
>On 6/30/2013 7:05 PM, Olaf Drümmer wrote:
>> Hi Shawna,
>>
>> On 1 Jul 2013, at 01:27, Shawn Henry (uiAccess projects) wrote:
>>
>>> Hi all,
>>>
>>> Background from previous comments is below [1].
>>>
>>> The problem is that PDF is currently *not sufficiently accessible* to
>>>many people with low vision, dyslexia, and related conditions and
>>>situations that impact reading - because Adobe Reader and other PDF
>>>viewers lack sufficient text customization functionality.
>>
>> except you have for example
>> - Adobe Reader with at least JAWS and NVDA to provide a very decent
>>user experience for people with vision disabilities
>> - free VIP PDF Reader for people with low vision
>> - free pdfGoHTML for people wishing to to redirect PDF content to their
>>default browser and use it as they see fit, including low vision users
>>and dyslexic users
>>
>>> Even well tagged PDF that is more accessible to screen reader users is
>>>still *not accessible* to many people with other print disabilities.
>>>Accessibility is more than screen reader access.
>>
>> absolutely - and that's why the above mentioned tools exist. And more
>>are to come...
>>
>>> Unfortunately, "tagged PDF" started getting called "accessible PDF" --
>>>that is inaccurate and a harmful misnomer. It perpetuates the lack of
>>>awareness, even among accessibility specialists, that PDF is actually
>>>not accessible to many people with print disabilities.
>>
>> Complaining about language other people use, I think you should be more
>>careful with your own language here - the sentence "that PDF is actually
>>not accessible to many people with print disabilities" in this form just
>>doesn't hold water. What you probably wanted to say is that PDFs that
>>are neither tagged nor prepared with accessibility in mind are not
>>accessible to many people with print disabilities (though personally I
>>wouldn't limit this to *print** disabilities, but that's just my view
>>here...)
>>
>>>> My job is to communicate one person's ideas to another person.
>>>> I want to provide what is both legally required and what is desirable
>>>>to the users.
>>>
>>> While PDF is a useful medium for some situations;
>>
>> ... except hat the zillions of documents out there will never ever be
>>converted to HTML. More and more of them are being provided in an
>>accessible fashion though.
>>
>>
>>> when it is used, there must be a more accessible alternative provided
>>>in order for the information to be available to people with
>>>disabilities.
>>
>> To be honest - I consider this statement in this form 100%
>>unacceptable. Wake up! The world has changed.
>>
>>
>>
>> People in this community will have to choose - either ask for something
>>that will never happen (and continue to try to block PDF altogether), or
>>join those who are (more and more successfully) nudging PDF towards a
>>pretty decent degree of accessibility. It should be acknowledged that
>>there even was an ISO standard for accessible PDF (ISO 14289-1) before
>>there was an ISO standard for accessible web content (ISO 40500). ;-)
>>
>>
>> PDF is a format for documents. HTML is not a format for documents. The
>>world is not a disk, and there is content outside of web sites. Maybe
>>rich text format or Word files or OpenOffice files could serve as a
>>carrier for accessible documents, but HTML as of today is not in a
>>position to serve as a document format. And as a consequence nobody is
>>preparing and exchanging their documents in HTML format, but a
>>substantial portion of users is creating, exchanging, sharing,
>>publishing their documents in PDF form. It is not clear to me how this
>>can be denied?
>>
>>
>> And one more thing: PDF itself is an ISO standard (for five years now,
>>actually). Adobe is just one out of many companies dealing in PDF
>>(albeit a very important company). Talk (also) to other PDF developers,
>>not just Adobe, whenever you wish to further the accessibility of PDFs.
>>
>>
>> Olaf
>>
>>
>> PS: BTW - personally, I find it easier to make my PDFs accessible than
>>to make the websites accessible that I am responsible for... ;-)
>>
>>
>>> ---
>>>
>>> I've been fairly quiet about this for many years (except to Adobe
>>>product managers :) because the accessibility of PDF has improved from
>>>years ago, but I'm deeply concerned about the *misconception that PDF
>>>is accessible*.
>>>
>>> For more info, please see:
>>> * Text Customization for Readability <http://www.tader.info/>;
>>> * PDF viewers section of Support for Text Customization
>>><http://www.tader.info/support.html#PDFisNOTaccessible>;
>>>
>>> (That is a work in progress and I welcome feedback directly.)
>>>
>>> Sincerely,
>>> ~Shawn Henry
>>> <http://www.uiaccess.com/profile.html>;
>>>
>>> Note: Please be careful in referencing the information on the
>>>tader.info website and e-mails from uiAccess.com as from the individual
>>>Shawn, not her employer.
>>>
>>>
>>> [1] Background from previous comments:
>>> ...
>>>> Here's the Access Board's current standards, effective December 21,
>>>>2000.
>>>> http://access-board.gov/sec508/standards.htm
>>>>
>>>> Subpart A General, Section 1194.1 Purpose.
>>>> "Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure,
>>>>maintain,
>>>> or use electronic and information technology, Federal employees with
>>>> disabilities have access to and use of information and data that is
>>>> comparable to the access and use by Federal employees who are not
>>>> individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be
>>>>imposed on
>>>> the agency." [next sentence includes the general public]
>>>>
>>>> I think the key words are "have access and use of information and
>>>>data that
>>>> is comparable."
>>>> If the PDF is truly accessible, then it meets this requirement.
>>>>Nothing more
>>>> needs to be done.
>>>> If the other hand, the PDF wasn't accessible (and therefore not
>>>>providing
>>>> comparable access and use of the information), then alternate
>>>>accessible
>>>> versions would be needed.
>>> ...
>>>
>>>> A better, more effective strategy for WebAIM is to get Adobe,
>>>>Microsoft, and
>>>> the AT manufacturers to create better tools for PDFs (and other
>>>>documents)
>>>> accessibility software/technologies. A well-made PDF can be
>>>>accessible and
>>>> can equally match accessible HTML, but today's tools sometimes make it
>>>> difficult and costly to achieve that.
>>>>
>>>> As a communicator, I want better tools so that I can successfully
>>>> communicate with everyone, regardless of whether they have a
>>>>disability or
>>>> not.
>>>
>>> ###
>>>
>>> >>> >>> >>
>> >> >> >>
>>>

From: Kroon, Kurtis@FTB
Date: Tue, Jul 02 2013 10:30AM
Subject: Re: PDF on websites
← Previous message | Next message →

I've found an excellent discussion of just this matter:

http://www.tresor.gouv.qc.ca/fileadmin/PDF/ressources_informationnelles/
AccessibiliteWeb/guide_pdf_html.pdf

Alas, it's in French ... ;-)

Thanks!

Kurtis Kroon
Analyst, Web Business Services
Franchise Tax Board
916*845*5603


-----Original Message-----
From: Chagnon | PubCom [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 9:09
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF on websites

My job is to communicate one person's ideas to another person.

Sometimes I'm hired by a nonprofit to persuade people about a political
or
social issue.
Sometimes I'm hired by a corporation to persuade people to buy their
product
or service.
Sometimes by an educational institution to educate its students.
Sometimes by a government entity to inform its constituents.

But my job is to communicate using the best combination of words,
graphics,
audio/video, and technologies available to get the message sent, read,
and
understood.

Saying that PDFs should be converted to HTML wipes out one of my best,
most
effective tools for communicating - I doubt my clients will allow me to
stop
making PDFs! The benefits to them are tremendous:

1) Total control over the appearance of the message. From typefaces and
color to strategic design and placement of the elements to invoke a
particular psychological response from the reader, I can't get that
level of
control in HTML.

2) Succinct navigation. I can build quicker, easier navigation for a
large,
complex PDF than I can into a series of HTML webpages.

3) Eye appeal. I can create a better-looking PDF than I can an HTML
webpage,
and a better visual appearance translates into a more successful
communication piece.

4) One file. A PDF can contain dozens of other documents wrapped up into
one
self-contained package. Easy to send via email or store on a server or
in a
content management system.

5) Snapshot. Like a camera, a PDF can capture and preserve the state of
a
document at a particular point in time, such as here is the report as of
last Friday. It can also be secured and made taper-proof. It's often
used
for archival of documents. And it is used as an electronic paper trail
in
institutions and large entities.

6) Workgroup tool. PDFs are passed around workgroups where members add
comments. Everyone can see everyone else's comments so issues or
portions of
the document are openly discussed. I can't do this with HTML, not even
with
group collaborative cloud-ware.

Note that so many of these benefits are visually oriented. 90% of the
information received by someone who is fully sighted is visual
information,
so the bulk of communication is focused on its appearance, then on its
content.

Therefore, PDFs are not going to go away. I doubt I'll ever hear my
clients
say, "Bevi, stop making PDFs and switch our material to HTML." They'd
lose
so much of their power to communicate.

A better, more effective strategy for WebAIM is to get Adobe, Microsoft,
and
the AT manufacturers to create better tools for PDFs (and other
documents)
accessibility software/technologies. A well-made PDF can be accessible
and
can equally match accessible HTML, but today's tools sometimes make it
difficult and costly to achieve that.

As a communicator, I want better tools so that I can successfully
communicate with everyone, regardless of whether they have a disability
or
not.

-Bevi Chagnon

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
www.PubCom.com - Trainers, Consultants, Designers, Developers.
Print, Web, Acrobat, XML, eBooks, and U.S. Federal Section 508
Accessibility.
New Sec. 508 Workshop & EPUBs Tour in 2013 - www.Workshop.Pubcom.com



CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This email from the State of California is for the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review or use, including disclosure or distribution, is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender and destroy all copies of this email.

From: Jonathan Metz
Date: Tue, Jul 02 2013 10:59AM
Subject: Re: PDF on websites
← Previous message | Next message →

I¹m getting an Erreur 404. :D



On 7/2/13 12:30 PM, "Kroon, Kurtis@FTB" < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:

>I've found an excellent discussion of just this matter:
>
>http://www.tresor.gouv.qc.ca/fileadmin/PDF/ressources_informationnelles/
>AccessibiliteWeb/guide_pdf_html.pdf
>
>Alas, it's in French ... ;-)
>
>Thanks!
>
>Kurtis Kroon
>Analyst, Web Business Services
>Franchise Tax Board
>916*845*5603
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Chagnon | PubCom [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
>Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 9:09
>To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
>Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF on websites
>
>My job is to communicate one person's ideas to another person.
>
>Sometimes I'm hired by a nonprofit to persuade people about a political
>or
>social issue.
>Sometimes I'm hired by a corporation to persuade people to buy their
>product
>or service.
>Sometimes by an educational institution to educate its students.
>Sometimes by a government entity to inform its constituents.
>
>But my job is to communicate using the best combination of words,
>graphics,
>audio/video, and technologies available to get the message sent, read,
>and
>understood.
>
>Saying that PDFs should be converted to HTML wipes out one of my best,
>most
>effective tools for communicating - I doubt my clients will allow me to
>stop
>making PDFs! The benefits to them are tremendous:
>
>1) Total control over the appearance of the message. From typefaces and
>color to strategic design and placement of the elements to invoke a
>particular psychological response from the reader, I can't get that
>level of
>control in HTML.
>
>2) Succinct navigation. I can build quicker, easier navigation for a
>large,
>complex PDF than I can into a series of HTML webpages.
>
>3) Eye appeal. I can create a better-looking PDF than I can an HTML
>webpage,
>and a better visual appearance translates into a more successful
>communication piece.
>
>4) One file. A PDF can contain dozens of other documents wrapped up into
>one
>self-contained package. Easy to send via email or store on a server or
>in a
>content management system.
>
>5) Snapshot. Like a camera, a PDF can capture and preserve the state of
>a
>document at a particular point in time, such as here is the report as of
>last Friday. It can also be secured and made taper-proof. It's often
>used
>for archival of documents. And it is used as an electronic paper trail
>in
>institutions and large entities.
>
>6) Workgroup tool. PDFs are passed around workgroups where members add
>comments. Everyone can see everyone else's comments so issues or
>portions of
>the document are openly discussed. I can't do this with HTML, not even
>with
>group collaborative cloud-ware.
>
>Note that so many of these benefits are visually oriented. 90% of the
>information received by someone who is fully sighted is visual
>information,
>so the bulk of communication is focused on its appearance, then on its
>content.
>
>Therefore, PDFs are not going to go away. I doubt I'll ever hear my
>clients
>say, "Bevi, stop making PDFs and switch our material to HTML." They'd
>lose
>so much of their power to communicate.
>
>A better, more effective strategy for WebAIM is to get Adobe, Microsoft,
>and
>the AT manufacturers to create better tools for PDFs (and other
>documents)
>accessibility software/technologies. A well-made PDF can be accessible
>and
>can equally match accessible HTML, but today's tools sometimes make it
>difficult and costly to achieve that.
>
>As a communicator, I want better tools so that I can successfully
>communicate with everyone, regardless of whether they have a disability
>or
>not.
>
>-Bevi Chagnon
>
>- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
>- -
>- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
>www.PubCom.com - Trainers, Consultants, Designers, Developers.
>Print, Web, Acrobat, XML, eBooks, and U.S. Federal Section 508
>Accessibility.
>New Sec. 508 Workshop & EPUBs Tour in 2013 - www.Workshop.Pubcom.com
>
>
>
>>CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This email from the State of California is for
>the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain confidential and
>privileged information. Any unauthorized review or use, including
>disclosure or distribution, is prohibited. If you are not the intended
>recipient, please contact the sender and destroy all copies of this email.
>>>

From: Chagnon | PubCom
Date: Tue, Jul 02 2013 11:06AM
Subject: Re: PDF on websites + PDF is *not* accessible
← Previous message | Next message →

It sounds like your issues should be addressed to Adobe, the ISO, WAI, and
manufacturers of assistive technology.
-Bevi Chagnon

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Shawn Henry
(uiAccess projects)

Olaf & all,

I fully agree with you that it would be best if the community comes together
to make all technologies more accessible and usable to people with
disabilities. *That is my goal*. For about 10 years I have actively (though
quietly) encouraged PDF to support the text customization that users need.
(And I encourage web browsers to improve usability for text customization.)

My concern is the lack of understanding that PDF is not currently accessible
to some users. Many people think "accessible PDF" is available today, but it
is not. My goal is to help people understand the current limitations so that
they can encourage those limitations to be addressed. That is the motivation
for the many hours that I put into the research and development behind
<http://www.tader.info>;

I stand by my original statements. To clarify: Even well tagged PDF
developed with accessibility in mind is not sufficiently accessible to some
people with low vision, dyslexia, and related conditions and situations that
impact reading - because Adobe PDF Reader and other PDF viewers lack
sufficient text customization functionality. (The aspects of text that users
need to be able to customize are introduced at
<http://www.tader.info/display.html>;)

To your points:

* VIP PDF Reader. It came out only last week, afaik. It provides more text
customization for PDF than any other tool that I've evaluated! However, it
still falls short of users' needs. For example, as far as I can tell, it
does not work for some PDF documents, including any PDF with form fields;
and it does not allow users to print documents. (See
<http://www.tader.info/support.html#PDFisNOTaccessible>;) I will provide
feedback to the tool developers, praising the positive points and
encouraging improvements.

* pdfGoHTML. While it is helpful to some, it is not feasible to most and
also has limitations. For example, it requires purchase of Acrobat, requires
administrator access to install, and the HTML it produces misses some markup
necessary for accessibility (likely due to a limitation of PDF itself, not
pdfGoHTML).

* ISO. Unfortunately, becoming an ISO standard does not guarantee
accessibility.

User needs. Accessibility of PDF has largely focused on screen reader access
for users who are blind. I agree that was a priority in the past, given that
there was no access at all. After that basic accessibility was covered, it
is important to address accessibility for other users. I am focusing on
people with low vision, dyslexia, and related conditions and situations that
impact reading - including the increasing number of people with age-related
impairments.

* HTML for documents. That is a tangent that I am not prepared to dive into.
I'll briefly mention that currently word processing software offers the most
usable text customization functionality. Web browsers provide limited text
customization functionality through menu options; customizing all aspects of
text display requires user style sheets, which is a skill beyond most users.
EPUB and other efforts for advancing HTML for documents are underway... but
I said I wasn't going to get into that tangent! :-)

I stand by the statement that "While PDF is a useful medium for some
situations; when it is used, there must be a more accessible alternative
provided in order for the information to be available to people with
disabilities."
I am not saying that PDF should not be used. (I use it for documents
intended to be printed -- and I also provide it in an alternative accessible
format.) I am saying that PDF is not currently sufficiently accessible,
therefore, if you want the information to be readable by everyone, it needs
to be provided in a more accessible format as well.

---

Individuals and organizations have invested a lot of effort to make PDF more
accessible to screen reader users. Thank you!!! I appreciate your efforts
and acknowledge your success. Now I ask that all are open to further
advancements to make PDF accessible to an even larger user group. For
starters, see Understanding Users' Needs to Customize Text Display at
<http://www.tader.info/understanding.html>;

Sincerely,
~Shawn

From: Denis Boudreau
Date: Tue, Jul 02 2013 11:23AM
Subject: Re: PDF on websites
← Previous message | No next message

Hey there,

As the author of that document for the Quebec govt, I can always help you guys figure out what it means - at least what the essence of the content was. ;p

It was indeed a comparison on format, to help organizations decide when to choose one or the other. It is getting a little old though… a lot of things have happened since the moment I wrote it back in 2009. But I'm pretty sure that for the most part, the content is still accurate enough to influence decision makers into choosing the best format to meet a specifically defined goal.

Best,

/Denis





On 2013-07-02, at 12:30 PM, "Kroon, Kurtis@FTB" < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:

> I've found an excellent discussion of just this matter:
>
> http://www.tresor.gouv.qc.ca/fileadmin/PDF/ressources_informationnelles/
> AccessibiliteWeb/guide_pdf_html.pdf
>
> Alas, it's in French ... ;-)
>
> Thanks!
>
> Kurtis Kroon
> Analyst, Web Business Services
> Franchise Tax Board
> 916*845*5603
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Chagnon | PubCom [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
> Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 9:09
> To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF on websites
>
> My job is to communicate one person's ideas to another person.
>
> Sometimes I'm hired by a nonprofit to persuade people about a political
> or
> social issue.
> Sometimes I'm hired by a corporation to persuade people to buy their
> product
> or service.
> Sometimes by an educational institution to educate its students.
> Sometimes by a government entity to inform its constituents.
>
> But my job is to communicate using the best combination of words,
> graphics,
> audio/video, and technologies available to get the message sent, read,
> and
> understood.
>
> Saying that PDFs should be converted to HTML wipes out one of my best,
> most
> effective tools for communicating - I doubt my clients will allow me to
> stop
> making PDFs! The benefits to them are tremendous:
>
> 1) Total control over the appearance of the message. From typefaces and
> color to strategic design and placement of the elements to invoke a
> particular psychological response from the reader, I can't get that
> level of
> control in HTML.
>
> 2) Succinct navigation. I can build quicker, easier navigation for a
> large,
> complex PDF than I can into a series of HTML webpages.
>
> 3) Eye appeal. I can create a better-looking PDF than I can an HTML
> webpage,
> and a better visual appearance translates into a more successful
> communication piece.
>
> 4) One file. A PDF can contain dozens of other documents wrapped up into
> one
> self-contained package. Easy to send via email or store on a server or
> in a
> content management system.
>
> 5) Snapshot. Like a camera, a PDF can capture and preserve the state of
> a
> document at a particular point in time, such as here is the report as of
> last Friday. It can also be secured and made taper-proof. It's often
> used
> for archival of documents. And it is used as an electronic paper trail
> in
> institutions and large entities.
>
> 6) Workgroup tool. PDFs are passed around workgroups where members add
> comments. Everyone can see everyone else's comments so issues or
> portions of
> the document are openly discussed. I can't do this with HTML, not even
> with
> group collaborative cloud-ware.
>
> Note that so many of these benefits are visually oriented. 90% of the
> information received by someone who is fully sighted is visual
> information,
> so the bulk of communication is focused on its appearance, then on its
> content.
>
> Therefore, PDFs are not going to go away. I doubt I'll ever hear my
> clients
> say, "Bevi, stop making PDFs and switch our material to HTML." They'd
> lose
> so much of their power to communicate.
>
> A better, more effective strategy for WebAIM is to get Adobe, Microsoft,
> and
> the AT manufacturers to create better tools for PDFs (and other
> documents)
> accessibility software/technologies. A well-made PDF can be accessible
> and
> can equally match accessible HTML, but today's tools sometimes make it
> difficult and costly to achieve that.
>
> As a communicator, I want better tools so that I can successfully
> communicate with everyone, regardless of whether they have a disability
> or
> not.
>
> -Bevi Chagnon
>
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> www.PubCom.com - Trainers, Consultants, Designers, Developers.
> Print, Web, Acrobat, XML, eBooks, and U.S. Federal Section 508
> Accessibility.
> New Sec. 508 Workshop & EPUBs Tour in 2013 - www.Workshop.Pubcom.com
>
>
>
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