Accessibility and PDFs
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Presentation by Gian Wild to the Victoria Online Seminar in Melbourne, 14 October 2010.

Presentation by Gian Wild to the Victoria Online Seminar in Melbourne, 14 October 2010.

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Accessibility and PDFs Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Gian Wild October 2010 [email_address] www.gianwild.com.au Accessibility and PDFs
  • 2. What is online accessibility?
    • Online accessibility:
      • The ability for a person with a disability to understand and use a web site, application intranet, or program
    • Governed by:
      • AHRC: Disability Discrimination Act
    • Achieved by:
      • W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
  • 3. Accessibility is important…
    • It allows people with disabilities to:
    • access information like anyone else
    • interact with others without being categorised as “disabled”
    • undertake activities which they are not otherwise able to do
  • 4. People with Disabilities
    • What types of people with disabilities are assisted by an accessible web site?
      • Disabilities affecting vision
      • Disabilities affecting how the mind interprets information
      • Disabilities affecting movement
      • Disabilities affecting hearing
  • 5. Disabilities affecting vision
    • Types of visual disabilities:
      • Blindness
      • Colour blindness
      • Glaucoma
      • Cataracts
  • 6. How do people with visual disabilities access the web?
    • Assistive technologies:
      • Screen readers or braille readers
      • Braille keyboards or large size keyboards
      • Magnifiers
    • User techniques:
      • Increasing text size
      • Turning off JavaScript
      • Changing text and background colour
  • 7. Disabilities affecting the mind
    • Types of cognitive disabilities:
      • Epilepsy & migraine
      • Dyslexia
      • Aphasia
      • Problems with memory
      • Reading disabilities
  • 8. Disabilities affecting the mind
    • Assistive technologies:
      • Screen readers
      • Speech recognition software
      • Screen masking software
      • Hover highlighting software
      • Dictionary definition software
    • User techniques:
      • Turning off Flash, JavaScript
  • 9. Disabilities affecting movement
    • Types of physical disabilities:
      • Cerebral palsy
      • Motor Neuron Disease
      • Huntington’s
      • Parkinson’s
      • Quadriplegia
  • 10. Disabilities affecting movement
    • Assistive technologies:
      • Joysticks
      • Modified or onscreen keyboards
      • Touchscreens & headwands
      • Switches
    • User techniques:
      • Turning off Flash, JavaScript
      • Using the keyboard only
      • Increasing text size
  • 11. Disabilities affecting hearing
    • Types of audio disabilities:
      • Profound deafness
      • Hard of hearing
    • Assistive technologies:
      • Speech to text translators
    • User techniques:
      • Open or closed captioning (by the author)
  • 12. Legal Requirements
    • The provision of information and online services through the Worldwide Web is a service covered by the DDA. Equal access for people with a disability in this area is required by the DDA where it can reasonably be provided.
    • World Wide Web Access: Disability Discrimination Act Advisory Notes
    • http://www.hreoc.gov.au/disability_rights/standards/www_3/www_3.html
  • 13. Legal Precedents
    • June 1999 – August 2000
    • Bruce Maguire lodged a HREOC complaint about the Sydney Olympics web site
    • HREOC ruled in Maguire’s favour
    • September 2000
    • SOCOG ignored HREOC and fined $20,000
    • Legal fees greater than $500,000
  • 14. Disability Discrimination Act
    • Recommends following W3C WCAG, Version 1.0
    • Will be moving to W3C WCAG, Version 2.0
    • AGIMO has a recommended timeframe for federal sites:
      • WCAG2 Level A: December 2012
      • WCAG2 Level AA: December 2015
  • 15. AGIMO National Transition Strategy
    • Preparation phase: July – Dec 2010
    • Agency website stocktake
    • WCAG2 conformance check
    • Website infrastructure assessment
    • Capability assessment
    • Risk assessment
    • Mitigation projects led by AGIMO
  • 16. What does this mean for PDFs?
    • WCAG1 (Level A):
    • Requires an accessible equivalent for all PDFs:
      • RTF or
      • HTML or
      • Text or
      • Word document
  • 17. What does this mean for PDFs?
    • WCAG1 (Level AA):
    • Above and
    • Requires PDFs to be tagged with accessibility features, such as:
      • Headings
      • Alternative text for images
      • Bookmarks
      • Links
  • 18. The AGIMO PDF project
    • People with disabilities make more complaints to the Australian Human Rights Commission about PDF documents than any other format
    • 40 submissions to the AGIMO PDF project including those from:
      • Adobe
      • Government departments
      • Assistive technology manufacturers
      • People with disabilities
      • Accessibility specialists
  • 19. The AGIMO PDF project
    • Vision Australia tested a variety of PDFs with low vision and blind users. They found:
      • There was a strong negative attitude about PDF
      • Even with assistance a tagged PDF was often difficult to use
      • Lack of support for certain scanning and navigation features. For more see my blog post:
      • http://www.gianwild.com/2010/06/11/a-few-problems-with-the-concept-of-accessible-pdfs-part-two/
  • 20. The AGIMO PDF project
    • PDFs were tested against the technology-neutral WCAG2.
    • Different PDFs were tested:
      • Adobe tagged “best practice” PDFs
      • Specialist tagged PDFs
      • Non-tagged PDFs
  • 21. The AGIMO PDF project
    • Talked to assistive technology vendors:
      • What is supported?
      • How many people use the technology?
      • What will be supported?
  • 22. What does this mean for PDFs?
    • PDF will not be defined as an “accessible technology”
    • WCAG2 will require:
    • An accessible equivalent for all PDFs:
      • RTF or
      • HTML or
      • Text or
      • Word document
  • 23. Conclusions
    • PDF is not defined as an “accessible technology” because:
    • The design of the PDF file (and no universal definition of an “accessible PDF”)
    • Technical ability of the assistive technologies
    • Skill of the end user (using an assistive technology with a PDF is different to HTML)
  • 24. Some advances in PDF accessibility
    • For people with severe vision impairments, tagging is essential.
    • For people with mild visual impairments, physical and cognitive disabilities, BrowseAloud can interpret untagged PDF documents
  • 25. Cognitive disabilities and low literacy…
    • 6.2 million adults have low literacy levels
    • 2 million people with dyslexia or specific learning difficulties
    • 3 million people with English as a foreign language
    • 300,000 people who have a mild visual impairment
    • 4 million people with a registered disability
  • 26.  
  • 27. More on accessibility…
    • eGovernment Accessibility Toolkit
    • WebAIM
    • W3C Web Accessibility Initiative
    • www.gianwild.com.au
    • http://agimo.govspace.gov.au/category/accessibility/
    • Twitter: #accessibilityoz