The European Directive 2016/2012 of 26 October 2016 requires that all documents and forms, downloadable and published on existing public sector websites after 23 September 2018, be made “accessible” at latest by 23 September 2020. In addition, any document of this type published on new public sector websites (those published after 23 September 2018) must be accessible no later than 23 September 2019 (Article 12 (3)). The European directive entered into force on December 22, 2016. It implies that all websites, integrated digital documents (PDF) from public bodies will have to be made accessible according to a relatively restrictive agenda. A monitoring and complaints mechanism is also in place.
The accessibility of PDF documents offers many advantages: A wider audience: a document made accessible to the disabled may be consulted by all, including people with visual impairments, without having to make any graphic and ergonomic concessions.
One of the best methods to determine which formats to provide is to contact a representative sample of customers who are blind or visually impaired. Consumer groups, like the American Council of the Blind, and other local organizations serving blind people, often provide suggestions directly, or they may guide you to individuals willing to give advice. In addition, if texts are being prepared for an activity that requires people to register, the registration process can be used to ask blind people about their format preferences. What follows is a discussion of some of the issues and information you will want to consider.
To help you comply with these regulations, we have developed an innovative technology solution: e-Accessible-PDF, which renders PDF documents “accessible”, at an ultra-competitive cost. Whether you are in the non-profit sector or the private sector, this solution allows you to expand your audiences and make them more inclusive for people with disabilities.
Numerous PDF documents circulate on the websites. As it stands, these documents are not available for all persons with visual impairments. Braille tracks or voice synthesizer, which these persons use to surf the Internet cannot interpret the particular coding of the PDF format. PDF accessibility is a digital treatment aimed precisely at tagging the document hence making it readable.
Some people with reduced mobility, are not able to use the mouse, they therefore navigate with adapted keyboards or use the “focus” mode to interact on a web page. In this case tagging of documents proves to be of a precious help. According to WHO, about 1.3 billion people in the world, have some form of visual impairment. In Europe, the statistics show that almost 10% are affected. These figures include people with blindness, low vision, cognitive and motor impairments. The majority of these individuals are over 50 years old. With the growing and ageing of the population, coupled with a greater prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s), the WHO estimates that the number of visually impaired is expected to double by 2050.
For many years we have developed and improved our accessibility and PDF tagging techniques and now have developed a proprietary solution to accelerate the production of Ultra Accessible PDFs. This allows us to produce on a fast turnaround and at competitive costs quality PDFs. We have customers around the world, public or private companies, and meet the international standards defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), such as ADA, Section 508, WCAG 2.0 AA, HHS and PDF / UA. We are able to produce various accessible documents such as PDF, documents from the Microsoft range (word, Excel, Power point) or Epubs. Read extra info at Page layout – e-accessiblepdf.com
Unfortunately, PDF, Word, Excel or PPT documents, which are widely integrated on websites, are rarely adapted to these tools. Our role is to render these documents accessible for processing by reading software so that they can be vocalized in the correct reading order. A blind or visually impaired person can use a “screen reader” to vocalize what is appearing on the screen. There are two main screen readers for desktop computers using Windows: JAWS and NVDA. In addition to reading the elements out loud present on the screen, these screen readers offer a wide range of keyboard shortcuts to navigate through the content with greater ease. Although not free, JAWS is the most popular and most commonly used because it is more advanced in terms of functionality and assistance.
For screen readers to read a PDF document effectively, the document must have an underlying logical structure and reading order. This logical structure and reading order use behind-the-scenes elements called tags, which a PDF author adds to the document. Tags define the intended reading order of the content on each page. Screen readers rely on these tags to present text in a way that makes sense when someone is hearing the text read out loud. The tags allow a screen reader to interpret page elements such as headings, sidebars, tables, and multi-column text.
Following the conventional techniques for formatting documents with a word processor is important because doing so facilitates the production of these alternate formats. Software used to translate text into braille, for example, is designed to find and utilize standard word processing codes and to apply them to generate text formatted in the ways that are common practice for the production of braille. When generating large print, often a text must be reformatted, and this task is easier when proper coding in the word processor makes the page numbering, margins, line spacing, tabs, etc. consistent.
What are the benefits of the Accessible PDFs we produce ?
– PDFs that meet the following standards PDF / UA, ADA, Section 508, WCAG 2.0 AA, HHS…
– Documents validated through user tests
– Accessible PDFs directly utilisable
– Quick production turnaround
– A fast and customized service
For your users :
– More user-friendly navigation
– The ability to convert text to voice
– Reading on different media (tablets, mobile, screen magnifiers)
– Replacing mouse actions with keyboard combinations
– The possibility of searching in images
– A help to navigation
Those who read large print may be able to read a document with the aid of prescription lenses, but others may use handheld magnifiers for reading. Some of those who read large print use a closed circuit television (CCTV) at home or in an office. A CCTV is equipped with a camera that enlarges the print and projects it onto a television-like screen. Those who read large print may also have software to enlarge the print displayed on the computer’s monitor. For french visitors see extra info at pdf accessible.