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What Does PDF Accessibility Remediation Mean – Its Process and Benefits?

HomeTechnologyWhat Does PDF Accessibility Remediation Mean – Its Process and Benefits?

With the modern-day requirements, assistive technology is getting smarter to help special audiences embrace the latest learning. Assistive technology requires targeted tags to label the document and its various elements for proper alignment with the content. 

Pdf remediation is a process where document elements are digitally labeled so that they can be viewed and read by people with disabilities. And assistive technology also plays a vital role in this. This article underlines accessibility remediation and its benefits for people with disabilities. Along with that, the article discusses legal compliances related to accessibility.

What does accessible mean?

Before understanding pdf remediation, it is imperative to look into the meaning of accessibility. Accessibility means providing viewing and reading chances to those with disabilities. People who use assistive technology to read need compatible documents, allowing them to access documents across various channels such as screen readers, connected Braille displays, etc. People with disabilities include vision impairment, cognitive disorders, brain injuries, etc. 

Certain tags are used to label the document so that it can make sense to people with disabilities and allow them to comprehend the material’s essence. Moreover, tags provide crucial information about the elements in a document, such as headings, subheadings, images, lists, tables, and links. While it also helps them to understand the hierarchy and order of the document’s content. 

What is PDF Remediation?

PDF remediation is a process that tags the digital elements of PDF documents so that people with disabilities can read using assistive technology. These tags are important in properly ordering the document’s elements and making readers understand the PDF content more effectively. It also keeps the pdf document’s visual elements intact and gives it a consistent look across various platforms or a variety of devices. 

Though all created documents should be ideally accessible, that doesn’t happen. Document created in MS Word, google docs or other tools may not completely align with the accessibility norms. Therefore those need to be tagged properly because some elements lose their essence. And here, you require some pdf remediation to make your document flawless and format-ready – accessible for people with disabilities. 

With the right tagging, accessibility needs can go beyond. It also improves the SEO of any online document and makes it more accessible and usable by people of all kinds. 

Some of the accessibility issues that need pdf remediation services 

Improper reading order 

PDf document needs to be aligned properly with the perfect sequence of content. An improper order of content may contribute to losing the document’s importance. Moreover, properly sequencing content in the pdf allows people to use assistive technology to grasp it better. 

Lack of alternative text for images

People using screen readers understand the images through text-based descriptions. Therefore, pdfs containing images and other visual content must be specified by the right description that perfectly explains the image so that people with disabilities can comprehend the content and make necessary decisions. 

Inaccessible tables

The table in the pdf is important; it improves the visual experience and helps in comprehending the content and finding difficulty or similarity more early. Therefore the pdf document must follow assistive technologies so that people with disabilities can use it correctly. 

Inaccessible forms

Forms stand as an essential element that helps the user connect with the concerned person or  Team if they have any queries or concerns. Inaccessible pdfs make it difficult for people with disabilities to comprehend the form or fill them out. Therefore the pdf document must comply with assistive technology and pave the specially-abled user’s path to fill it out conveniently.  

What is the process for remediating a document?

Improving the accessibility and usability of the document is known as pdf remediation. Pdf remediation ensures that your document is usable by people with disabilities because not all documents fit every kind of person. Therefore it becomes necessary to remove any barrier or hindrance that comes up with specially-abled people while reading pdf documents. 

Remediation is the process that employs various tools and techniques to remove any reading barrier and make the document more accessible. Depending upon the content or document type, the technique may change. The process includes the following:

  • Adding alt text descriptions for images.
  • Restructuring reading order.
  • Ensuring correct usage of forms and tables accessible to assistive technology.  

The pdf remediation process typically involves the below-mentioned steps:

Evaluation

At this stage, the experts review the document and determine inaccessible elements. Also, they determine the right course of action to remediate the same. 

Planning

Once the experts understand key critical challenges in the document, they develop a comprehensive remediation plan to outline the techniques and tools for remediation.  

Remediation

The entire exercise completed in the previous stages is executed in this stage. Experts implement the right remediation plan and remove various reading barriers in the pdf document. 

Testing

Once all the required remediated elements are implemented in the document, then comes the time to test it to ensure that it perfectly aligns with the needs of the specially-abled users. 

Verification

In the last stage, tools such as AbleDocs, ADScan, and assistive technologies are used to verify whether a document aligns with the needs of people with disabilities. 

Benefits of pdf remediation services

1. Follow compliance norms 

Following various compliance norms like ADA, WCAG allows businesses to prevent legal actions. So it improves user experience and helps organizations or websites to become legally compliant. 

2. Reach a larger audience 

A document could reach a wider audience when it becomes easy to navigate and understandable as it allows more people to read and become more informed about the product or service. 

3. Improve social inclusions 

Making documents accessible for people with disabilities means businesses and websites promote social inclusion and allow people to interact with the content for enhanced opportunities. 

Conclusion

PDFs have become an important part of our lives due to the convenience it provides to the users. Pdf accessibility remediation not only helps in reaching a wider audience but also is a prerequisite for business success. It’s a legal compliance requirement. So when a website is compliant with various pdf accessibility elements such as heading, headings, links, tables, etc., it becomes easy for assistive technology to identify the pattern and provide people with disabilities a better chance to comprehend the document content. 

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Jasmine David
Jasmine David
Jasmine is a language technology expert and professional translator with over 12 years of experience in the field. They hold a Master's degree in Computational Linguistics and have worked with several renowned language service providers. Jasmine is passionate about exploring new AI-powered translation tools and sharing their insights through writing, teaching, and consulting.

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