Facilitating access information on the internet for people with a visual impairment

Since 2005, legislation has evolved in several countries (France, UK, Germany, USA, Canada, Australia, etc.) in favor of the right of persons with disabilities to improve access digital content online. This is reflected in preventing to create discrimination situations vis-à-vis employees,customers, shareholders, journalists or any stakeholder – situations that would be detrimental to the high end for the company. Several cases of legal actions have recently been filledin several countries. 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.

The need to read a document only once suggests that all four formats should be considered, and appropriate ones should be made available depending on where the information will be read. If someone needs to read an agenda during a meeting, for example, an audio tape is not ideal, unless the tape is distributed ahead of time. In this situation, braille or large print may be the best choices, or if the agenda is available beforehand, the person may prefer to download the electronic file into a portable reading device for review during the meeting. Like sighted people, blind individuals want to follow along with the text and fully participate. Understandably, handouts may continue to change until close to the time of the meeting, so time pressure may become a concern. But good planning and communicating in advance with blind or visually impaired attendees will result in a better experience for everyone.

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.

People who exhibit deficits in: attention, thinking, perception and memory. They are found in varying degrees in neurodegenerative diseases as well as in cases of head trauma. Reading tools are also essential for them. 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. See more details at https://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. Braille displays exist for visually impaired or blind people, which come as a complement to the standard keyboard and screen reader. On these Braille terminals, the content displayed on the screen is transcribed to Braille, which therefore prevents the reading of the entire document by the screen reader only.

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.

Achieving an accessible PDF requires a rigorous, multi-step process. We have developed our own tagging expertise, with an analysis methodology combining both artificial intelligence and human control. During and after the tagging of the document, we perform user tests in two stages. All the accessibility criteria are scrutinized: presence and order of titles and columns of texts, accessibility of tables, diagrams and graphs, differentiation of images and illustrations, insertion of alternative texts if necessary. This method is labeled “e-accessible PDF.”

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 readers see more details at https://e-accessiblepdf.com/index.php/un-balisage-numerique-permet-laccessibilite-des-pdf-e-accessiblepdf/.