University Web Developers

University Web Developers

HI, all.

Curious to know your approach to making pdfs and Word documents accessible. We have lots of pdfs on our site for event schedules, programs of study, faculty publications, etc. These are items that are made by the content owner and sent to me to post online.

I'm looking for suggestions on how to make these documents accessible without it becoming a full-time job.

 

A quick Google search led me to PAW which is an accessibility wizard for PDFs. http://www.accessingenuity.com/commonlook-pdf-accessibility-wizard-...

Anyone using this?

 

Appreciate your help.

 

Views: 146

Replies to This Discussion

Hello,

I feel your pain.

I tired PAW sometime back and had minimal success with some of the documents from my campus. You can get a demo of PAW here: http://www.net-centric.com/products/PAW.aspx

Most of the documents that I need to remediate are so poorly structured, I was unable to use this tool effectively. Most campus document creators here never use any headings or properly created lists, and love to nest stuff in tables for layout . Many were scanned docs that do one can even remember who created them.

I do not recall what the cost of PAW was, but think it was outside of my budget at the time.

At this point in time, we ( I ) are recreating any modified documents in html and making the markup accessible. This could easily be a full time job, though I have too many other full time jobs to only concentrate on only this. So far, this approach is working okay for campus documents, but often the state and federal pdfs (hr, finaid) I'm told to post are not accessible. On those, I've quickly tried to "fix" the pdf and improve accessibility.

This is mostly a temporary step as we are currently implementing a CMS that we hope will elevate our campus need for simple PDFs. In the long run (like 3 -5 years) we hope to integrate all of our pdf forms into the CMS and have the data go directly to ERB (or where ever).

I'd be glad to hear from anyone else that had better success with PAW or any other tools as we are still looking for a better method to make docs accessible. PAW may have been updated since my last experience with it.

PAW is not a remediation tool. It is a "wizard" add on to Word. You create the document in Word and then send it to PDF through PAW. I use it and like it, but the author still needs some knowledge of creating accessible PDFs. For remediation I use Acrobat Pro and CommonLook. CommonLook is by NetCentric who also makes PAW. Last I checked, PAW is between $100 and $200 and CommonLook is around $1000.

James Bailey M.S.
Adaptive Tech Coordinator
University of Oregon

Thanks for the information.

Would you be able to provide any tips or techniques to use to make word documents and pdfs more accessible for people who get them from our web site?

 

Thanks,

Laurie

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