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About the contributor
Duff Johnson

A veteran of the electronic document space, Duff Johnson is an independent consultant, Executive Director of the PDF Association and ISO Project co-Leader (and US TAG chair) for ISO 32000 and ISO 14289.
More contributions
Participating in the PDF Techniques Accessibility Summit

The PDF Techniques Accessibility Summit’s objective is to establish a broad-based understanding of how PDF files should be tagged for accessibilty. It’s an opportunity to focus on establishing a common set of examples of accessible PDF content, and identify best-practice when tagging difficult cases.

Modernizing PDF Techniques for Accessibility

The PDF Techniques Accessibility Summit will identify best-practices in tagging various cases in PDF documents. Questions to be addressed will likely include: the legal ways to tag a nested list, the correct way to caption multiple images, the appropriate way to organize content within headings.

Refried PDF

My hospital emailed me a medical records release form as a PDF. They told me to print it, fill it, sign it, scan it and return it to the medical records department, in that order. In 2018? To get the form via email (i.e., electronically), yet be asked to print it? Did the last 20 years just… not mean anything! So I thought I’d be clever. I’d fill it first, THEN print it. Or better yet, never print it, but sign it anyhow, and return it along with a note making the case for improving their workflow. The story continues…

Slides and video recordings of PDF Days Europe 2018

You missed the PDF Days Europe 2018? Never mind! Here you can find the slides and video recordings of all 32 stunning sessions!

Using PDF/UA in accessibility checklists

PDF/UA, like PDF itself, is internally complex, but used correctly, actually makes things easier.

Coming Soon: Achieving WCAG 2.0 with PDF/UA

Many organizations and government regulators see web content accessibility through the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) lens.

WCAG 2.0 is fairly general, and in some cases requires interpretation to determine how to apply its Success Criteria consistently. It’s a peculiarity of PDF that there are many ways to use and re-use PDF content, but only a few correct ways to structure and “read” a file from an accessibility standpoint. Those means are detailed in PDF/UA, which largely operates by adding “shall” statements to items that are merely “should” or “may” statements in the ISO 32000 context.

In any case, it is certainly possible to map the terms and concepts of PDF accessibility to the WCAG 2.0 model, and that is the purpose of the US Committee’s “Achieving WCAG 2.0 with PDF/UA” document, to be released following distribution of the FDIS to ISO 14289-1 by ISO, expected in the first half of 2012.

What is the Purpose of the Mapping?

If you can map PDF/UA to WCAG 2.0, why do you need PDF/UA? Why aren’t the PDF Techniques for WCAG 2.0 sufficient?

The PDF/UA to WCAG 2.0 mapping table articulates the alignment between WCAG 2.0 and PDF/UA to facilitate interoperability and agreement between processing and validation models in areas that ISO 32000-1 leaves relatively unclear, or otherwise fails to specify.

While WCAG 2.0 includes content outside the scope of PDF/UA such as movies and XFA-PDF files, assuming conventional PDF document and forms, PDF software developers can achieve WCAG 2.0 conformance objectives with implementations that follow this mapping.

What is the Advantage of Using the Mapping?

Vendors who deliver PDF files in many cases are being asked to deliver PDF files that conform to WCAG 2.0. This requires PDF that goes well above and beyond mere ISO 32000-1 conformance, including an entire new structure and “tags tree”.

This mapping shows what’s necessary to create, process and validate, in PDF file-format and conforming reader terms, a PDF/UA conforming document and reader to meet all applicable WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria. It’s useful whether you are reading PDF/UA and the ISO 32000-1 from a WCAG 2.0 perspective, or the other way around.

When will the Mapping be Available?

Under final development now, we expect AIIM to publish the mapping document shortly the Final DIS of ISO 14289-1 is released.

Tags: Validation, WCAG 2.0, mapping, success criterion
Categories: PDF/UA