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PDF Accessibility

Best practices and reliable PDF remediation service

Yes, yes, yes! PDFs also need to be accessible so that people with disabilities using their screen reader, speech to text technology or even with a braille displayer. PDF Accessibility is now a requirement as per Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 508 & AODA.

Just because a document is available as a downloadable PDF does not mean that it is an accessible PDF. As we know, PDFs are the go to format for organizations to share information.

Formats are used to deliver:

  • User Manual
  • Textbooks
  • Training Manuals
  • Marketing Brochures
  • Application Forms
  • Annual Reports

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How do we make PDFs accessible?

The key to providing an accessible PDF is to ensure that it is a tagged PDF. Tagging a PDF ensures that the content is available to assistive technology & screen reader users.

A tagged PDF has different elements that are required to be marked up. It is very similar to an HTML document. Once a PDF is tagged, we can then set the relevant content into the specified tags. The tags then provide the relevant information to the assistive technology of the type of content that is there in the document.

What are the techniques to make a PDF document accessible?

Once a PDF is converted into a tagged PDF, the content is then marked up to ensure that it is understandable to assistive technology & screen readers. Some of the techniques that would be followed would be to:

  • Identify the relevant Heading Structure
  • Mark the language of the document & the content
  • Set the correct reading order
  • Mark the lists
  • Set the column and row headers for simple & complex tables
  • Set the bookmarks
  • Correct the colour contrast for textual content (optional)

In addition to implementing the PDF techniques, at 247 Accessible Documents, we also write the Image Descriptions.

What standards do we comply with Accessible PDF?

We work with the Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) 2.0 - PDF Techniques & PDF U/A standard. Meeting these standards for PDF accessibility ensure that we comply to the requirements as per ADA, AODA & Section 508.

How do we ensure that the PDF document is Accessible?

At 247 Accessible Documents we take quality seriously. With expertise in WCAG 2.0 and PDF Techniques & PDF U/A standard, we not only test with the PDF Accessibility Checker in Adobe Professional but also ensure that a manual quality check is thoroughly implemented on the tags and the content. In addition, all our documents are tested by a Screen Reader User to ensure that it is goes beyond compliance and is usable to people with disabilities.

Testimonials

G3ict relies on 247 Accessible Documents as its trusted advisor for its document accessibility needs: we like the professionalism, speed and creativity of its team when complex issues need to be resolved. And, knowing that two-third of 247 Accessible Documents dedicated employees are persons with disabilities gives us an additional motivation to support an organization which walks the talk!

Axel Leblois
President, G3ict