Universal Accessibility: making PDF’s accessible with BrandSpot

Theoretically, the internet is the place where information can be shared and read by everyone. Yet online information is often not accessible to everyone. Especially people with functional disabilities (such as the blind, visually impaired, low-literate and dyslexic) are often excluded from information that could be useful to them.

Many people with a functional impairment possess the necessary technology to at least access PDFs. Thanks to so-called screen readers it is possible to convert text from PDF documents into speech and braille. However, this is not enough: when creating the PDF file, specific structures must be applied and special actions must be taken to make them “screen-reader-proof”. To ensure digital accessibility, special Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) have been devised at European level. These guidelines take screen readers into account and describe the special actions that are necessary when creating a PDF file.

Over the last couple of months, Cordeo has been working on making BrandSpot suitable for generating PDF documents that comply with the WCAG. In the latest release this support has now become available for all customers. This makes Cordeo the first in the market that makes tooling documents truly accessible to the blind and visually impaired by means of an automated layout. What makes this unique is that BrandSpot takes care of the work: based on designs made in Indesign and the added content, the right structures – such as logical layout, reading order, document structure and table of contents – are automatically created. The result is a document that complies with the WCAG requirements. Post-enhancement of the generated PDFs is no longer required.

This is good news for people with functional limitations, but also for our education and government customers. Digital accessibility is not only important from a social point of view (Corporate Social Responsibility) but is also mandatory for (semi-) administrations. With the official appliance of the European standard EN 301 549 in the new law Generic Digital Infrastructure (GDI) this is underlined once again.

Cordeo will soon release a whitepaper with more information about ‘Universal Accessibility’.

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