PDF was originally designed to do one thing: deliver an author’s intent to screen or printer in an efficient, precise and platform-independent manner. This “print paradigm” persists today, and colors the issue of accessible PDF in subtle but pervasive ways. To understand how the print orientation in PDF presents a challenge to accessibility, begin with […]View Post
Blind Spots: PDF and Section 508 Compliance
When I first tell someone that blind people can read PDF files, I often get a slightly puzzled expression. Sighted people sometimes appear to assume that the blind can’t read; that maybe somehow blind professors and programmers and lawyers are born, not taught. I digress. The fact is that blind and other disabled individuals can […]View Post
What Are “PDF Tags” and Why Should I Care?
What are “PDF tags” and why should I care? was published in February, 2006 on AcrobatUsers.com. Of especial interest to government website managers and others who’ve been hearing that they need to comply with Section 508, this article delivers a basic overview of what accessibility means in the world of PDF, and why that might […]View Post
An Introduction to Accessible PDF
Accessibility is not an especially familiar concept in the computing world. Most of us encounter the idea of accessibility often enough by way of special vehicle parking spaces, ramps, braille signage, beeping crosswalks, and so on. Improving accessibility is more than a courtesy, it is an accepted and vital goal of any advanced society. Both […]View Post
PDF Files Can Comply with Section 508. Now It’s Your Move.
A blind person cannot read from a screen any more than from a printed page. Technologies nonetheless exist that allow blind and other disabled users impressively full-featured access to documents. To be accessible, however, the document contents must be available to these so-called “assistive” technologies. To address the needs of visually impaired and other users […]View Post
Accessible PDF: A Strategic Review
Accessibility: Why is it important to Adobe Systems? Government demands it. Schools need it. Users want it. But when it comes to making electronic documents friendly to assistive technology, the great strengths of the PDF format are also its weakness. The very flexibility of PDF and the tremendous power of Acrobat make real accessibility (also […]View Post
What Is Tagged PDF?
PDF files can contain many things. At a minimum, a PDF contains the text, graphics, bookmarks, links and other elements of content that go to make up an electronic document. In addition to content, PDF files may also include “structure”. Structure is the term for a set of instructions that define the logic that binds […]View Post
Tags or Scripts for Accessible Forms?
Bryan is a solitary, but well-armed PDF developer, fighting (and winning) an uphill battle to make Canadian government forms PDF accessible to Canadian standards (WCAG priority 2), which are a lot tougher than the relatively simple (and vague) Section 508 regulations. Bryan basically feels that there’s not a lot about tags that promotes accessibility in […]View Post