What makes PDF accessibility important yet challenging?

PDF or the portable document format is one of the most preferred formats for digital content publishing and distribution. PDF is an open standard format that allows for faithful representation of content across multiple platforms and devices strictly maintaining document structure and integrity.
Unfortunately, not all PDFs are created with accessibility in mind. So, what is an accessible PDF?
An accessible PDF is one where each page element in a PDF document is tagged appropriately with PDF tags (similar to HTML tags) that helps identify the content type, format, and establishes a logical reading order for assistive technologies to follow, making the PDF fully accessible.
With the increasing number of visually impaired users or persons with other disabilities around the world, there is a responsibility to make all digital content accessible.
With the increasing number of visually impaired users or persons with other disabilities around the world, there is a responsibility to make all digital content accessible.
With regards to PDF accessibility, by meeting comprehensive standards such as WCAG 2.0, PDF/UA and Section 508 allows for creating accessible PDF documents to be read by screen readers like JAWS or NVDA, text-to-speech tools, screen magnification and other assistive technologies.
A fully accessible PDF makes it easy for people with disabilities to access and navigate the document interpreting and understanding the content with the aid of assistive technology.

How to convert a standard PDF into an accessible PDF?

A standard PDF needs to be tagged to provide a structured representation of the content for screen readers to interpret. Tagging a PDF document has always been a time-consuming and cumbersome task.
There are many PDF document remediators in the market that offer licensed software for PDF remediation that traditionally come with a high-learning curve requiring extensive knowledge of the various standards making the tagging process arduous, time-consuming and comes with a hefty price tag.
PDF remediation is the process of accurately tagging an inaccessible PDF by identifying and tagging the document structure with appropriate tags for page elements like headings, paragraphs, image alt text, nested lists, and tables making it accessible.
In the case of scanned PDFs, the documents need to be processed through optical character recognition (OCR). OCR takes a scanned image of a page and converts it into text layer and then after that, the document is tagged.

What makes PDF accessibility important?

Currently, around 10% of the world’s population, around 650 million people, live with some form of disability. This number is expected to increase as the population ages and along with it the global awareness for disability-inclusive solutions are also on the rise.
o make millions of digital PDF content that is available on the internet accessible is now more essential than ever. Not addressing the needs of disabled users, only makes one lose brand credibility and potential business.

How does PREP help?

PREP is a PDF remediation platform that is intuitive, affordable, and scalable. It has the framework to deliver a high volume of accurately tagged accessible PDFs in a short span of time.
The AI-driven platform quickly detects the base tags and allows for one-click tagging process for headers, text, adding alt text to image, lists and nested lists. You can also re-arrange the reading order with a simple drag and drop motion. The highly intuitive interface allows one to effortlessly tag tables, lists, nested lists, and TOCs.
PREP’s remediation process is 70% automated, reducing turnaround time significantly regardless of the document complexity. It also comes with a robust built-in accessibility checker tool that validates your documents’ compliance against Section 508, WCAG 2.0, PDF/UA, and HHS guidelines.
So, if you are looking for PDF remediation software or service that is simpler, cheaper and better than competing solutions, click here.

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