Conferences, Document Accessibility

Adam Spencer discusses how to make a document PDF/UA compliant at the PDF Association’s OctoberPDFest 2020Oakville, Ontario

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Adam Spencer
on oktober 5, 2020 from Oakville, Ontario

AbleDocs President, Adam Spencer, joined the world’s leading experts on PDF technology for a free educational webinar series celebrating the diversity and power of PDF technology capabilities and solutions. AbleDocs is the top-tier accessibility sponsor and Partner to the PDF Association.

What is PDF/UA, and why it is integral to business?

  • PDF/UA is an ISO 14289-1/2, is a globally recognized standard for PDF accessibility.
  • Universal Accessibility [UA] is the applicable technical requirements in making a PDF accessible.
  • UA provides consistent guidance for achieving accessibility within a PDF context.
  • A fully structured UA file will always help do more with the content, so it is not just for screen reader access or for a person with a disability, it is universal access on different devices.
  • PDF content is one of the most important means of conveying communication of a given piece of content.

Did you know?

  • A fully accessible UA compliant PDF can be just as accessible as a WCAG compliant website.
  • For organizations that require documents of record, PDF/UA is the only way to ensure accessible access and compliance for that content.
  • PDF is not web content – it is a PDF document and needs to be treated as its own specification.
  • PDF is not owned by Adobe, it is an ISO standard.

Best practices and tools for leveraging PDF technology

  • The first step is recognizing that you cannot create a compliant PDF out of most software implementations. For example, Microsoft Word, Power Point, Excel, or InDesign cannot technically generate a compliant PDF.
  • Your organization is at risk if you are not adopting the right strategy and tools to do the job, you leave yourself vulnerable to being non-compliant with local laws or regulations.
  • What may seem easy or cheaper will not necessarily give you the right output.

The difference is paramount when creating truly equal access for everyone

  • Barrier-free access is the difference between someone living an independent life or not.
  • When we make our files PDF/UA compliant, it means we get that rich semantic experience that a sighted user is looking for, but it also unlocks so much more of what your graphic designers and authors are trying to create, and that’s a visual experience for everyone.
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