Any PDF or document that you publish must be accessible in order for all individuals to be able to read it correctly. Moreover, it is against compliance standards and laws to publish documents that are not accessible.
So, how can you make sure your documents and PDFs are accessible? There are software and services that can help you remediate your documents to make them accessible.
Now, how can you ensure or confirm that your PDFs and documents are “appropriately” accessible? There are PDF accessibility checkers that you can use.
What is a PDF Accessibility Checker?
PDF accessibility checker is a software, also known as PDF compliance checker. And as the name suggests, it’s a tool to help you perform PDF accessibility checks. This software runs a PDF document through particular tests and checks for predetermined parameters.
If the PDF document passes the PDF accessibility test, it is safe to consider it accessible for publishing – ensuring that users with visual, hearing, or other impairments can access the PDF documents posted on your website or elsewhere.
An accessible PDF supports assistive technology and software, such as screen readers, magnifiers, and speech recognition software. You can get a well-performing PDF accessibility checker online. But, it’s crucial that you know how to decide which one to use.
Features to Look for in a PDF Accessibility Checker
Here are some of the most vital elements which any good PDF accessibility checker must have:
- It Should Perform the Mandatory PDF Accessibility Testing
The compliance standards such as HHS, WCAG 2.0, PDF/UA, and WCAG 2.1 determine whether a PDF is accessible or not. An effective PDF accessibility checker tests the PDF against all such norms. It makes sure that the PDF meets all the standards.
It’s of no use if a PDF accessibility checker declares your PDF as accessible without testing against these norms. Any user can question your credibility, and as mentioned earlier, you could be sued for publishing an inaccessible PDF document.
- It Should Generate a Compliance Report
When a PDF accessibility checker runs all the tests on the document, the software should generate a compliance report. This report will help you identify your weak links. This report acts as a record that your document is accessible in case any dispute arises in the future.
A good PDF accessibility checking software goes the extra mile. It also seals its compliance report with a certification, breaking down the status of accessibility of your PDF.
- It Should Support a Screen Reader
A screen reader is vital for visually challenged people. It’s a tool that evaluates the PDF through speech and Braille to communicate the document’s information to individuals with disabilities. The logical document structure is essential for the screen reader to do its job correctly. Thus, your PDF accessibility checker must test your PDF to check if it supports the screen reader.
PREP's PDF Accessibility Checker
PREP’s PDF accessibility checker assists in inspecting the accessibility level of the content as your documents are getting remediated. It checks for accessibility features and compliance and then corrects any errors found.
There are two kinds of accessibility checkers in PREP.
1. The Page-wise Checker
The page-wise checker analyzes a single page and identifies the errors.
2. The Document Checker
On the other hand, the document checker helps to analyze the entire document or PDF that needs to be remediated. It tests the entire document against ADA and WCAG standards and helps determine its errors.
As for both accessibility checkers mentioned above, the errors appear on the dashboard’s left-hand side panel. PREP’s PDF accessibility checker reduces half of the problems by identifying errors in the document, allowing for a smoother remediation process