PDF Accessibility: pre-composition and post-composition
We all know that buildings, parks, and public transportation must be accessible to everyone. These guidelines also extend to digital media. In that context, accessibility requires that everyone easily open, read, understand, and navigate an electronic or digital asset.
Making all your digital assets accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities, can be overwhelming, especially if you have hundreds or thousands of documents. So, where do you even start?
It is common to focus on making web pages accessible first, followed by media (images, videos and audio files). PDFs are tackled later, or not at all, ignoring hidden accessibility issues.
A better approach to digital accessibility is to identify gaps by assessing how your customers do business with your organization.
Many large enterprises use client portals to allow clients to securely access confidential documents like statements, invoices, insurance policies, and explanations of benefits. These documents are typically saved as PDFs so that clients can download them for review. Whether these PDFs live within your online properties or are shared via electronic means, accessibility is critical.
Accessible PDFs make it easier for people with disabilities to read them with the aid of assistive technology software and devices, like screen magnifiers, screen readers, speech-recognition software, text-to-speech software, alternative input devices, and refreshable Braille displays.
In the current legal environment concerning digital accessibility, you cannot assume that clients will request accessible versions of documents. Therefore, you need to verify that your files are compliant in the authoring process to stay compliant. Fortunately, automation can make this process easier and more efficient.
CommonLook’s advanced automation technology is designed to ensure documents are fully accessible and standards-compliant. In addition, we offer two solutions to address template-based documents generated from database content.
Let’s look at the pre-composition and post-composition of the generated PDF to determine which technology best solves the problem.
CommonLook Dynamic generates the PDF document as a fully accessible and 100% compliant PDF with the correct tags, metadata, and alt-text necessary for full compliance on the pre-composition side. Dynamic was recently awarded a U.S. patent for our unique approach to solving this problem.
CommonLook AI uses deep neural learning to properly tag volume-generated documents in real-time to comply with accessibility standards for documents already in PDF format.
Both tools solve volume-generated document accessibility and go far beyond competitive auto tagger technology that requires additional work and still leaves you vulnerable.
With CommonLook Dynamic or CommonLook AI, you’ll know your documents are accessible, work well with screen readers and other assistive technology, and meet a high level of compliance with WCAG, HHS, or PDF/UA standards.
Let’s talk about automation.
If you are interested in learning more about our automation technology, CommonLook will be speaking at the 37th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference next week with our partner, Solimar Systems. Our session, Why Accessibility Needs to be Part of Your Print and Digital Workflows, will bring our print and automation technology expertise to the accessibility community.
CSUN will also be the first time exhibiting with our new partners, T-Base Communications and Accessible360. You can visit us at booths 423 and 409 to learn more about automation technology and our new comprehensive accessibility solutions.
In April 2022, you can see us at the DOCUMENT Strategy Forum (DSF) with Solimar to discuss how adding accessibility into your document generation systems can be tackled using our patented technology. In addition, you can visit us at the Solimar booth (222) to learn more about our solutions for volume document accessibility.
If you are not coming to CSUN or DSF this year, please reach out to our CommonLook Automation team. We look forward to discussing how to solve document accessibility problems for you and your customers.