Feeds

PDF tagging for the blind

Online service aims to take the strain

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

A new online service will supply automatic tagging for PDF documents to make them easier for blind and visually impaired readers to understand.

Open Access, an umbrella group established to help institutions render their websites more accessible to people with disabilities, announced the service last week in Paris at the International Conference on Computers Helping People With Special Needs (ICCHP 2004).

A recent eGovernment Benchmarking Report, compiled by Irish Web firm IQ Content, reveals that many government websites rely too much on PDF format files. This can be problematic for users with disabilities. Also, too few sites offer consistent orientation and navigation.

At present, the provision of tagging functionality ensures that correctly tagged and formatted Adobe PDF (portable document files) documents will adhere to accessibility guidelines. The problem, however, is for institutions to create documents with the correct tags; this is costly and time consuming, requiring software programs and appropriately trained staff.

"These organisations may have thousands of PDFs, which may only need to be updated just once a year," said Charles Pike from Usabledesign.ie, which is part of the Open Access group. "To update them manually at present is a major expense and companies aren't keen."

To address this, Open Access has developed a Web-based service known as "EnablePDF". Organisations upload their PDF documents, which are processed and returned with the relevant accessibility features added. The service will be available online from September; and will "include the production of a full report as to the changes made to the document".

This means that blind and visually-impaired surfers who at present receive screen readers in a "stream of consciousness" format, will be told specifically where to find headers and new paragraphs.

© ENN

Related stories

Egg decorated for site accessibility in DRC study
Germans unleash electronic guide dog
Top UK websites diss disabled
Old people need computers too
Disabled users struggle to access FTSE 100 sites
Usability - is it what we think it is?

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.