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Translating high quality research specific to better design and building practice

PDF Accessibility Report

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Authors Andersen, K., Hoss, H., Bridge, C.
Audience Authors, Government/NGOs/Peaks, Industry, Librarians/Researchers/Students
ISBN 978-0-7334-3948-3
DOI 10.26288/5f9a2c5999e9e

This report aims to highlight the accessibility of the documents found on four different organisations’ websites. The purpose of this is to highlight the accessibility issues found in PDFs hosted on the internet and what these issues mean for users with disabilities. This report is useful for both document creators and managers who wish to better understand the components of an accessible PDF and how to assess their own document creation processes.

The analysis in this report was conducted using the freely available PDF Accessibility Checker. Throughout the analysis it was clear that many PDFs had fundamental flaws with respect to accessibility, even though visually they looked fine. Some issues can be traced back to the PDF generator used and the document creation process, while others are a result of incorrect document set up. Of the documents assessed 36% were deemed to be wholly inaccessible due to missing internal data in the PDFs. While some organisations’ websites performed better than others, all have significant room for improvement in their provision of accessible PDFs.

Table of Contents

1.               Introduction  8

1.1.         PDF Components  9

2.               Methodology  16

2.1.         Accessibility Tool 16

2.2.         PDF Selection  18

3.               Results and Analysis  20

3.1.         Interpreting the Graphs  20

3.2.         Overall Performance  20

3.3.         PDF Tags  22

3.4.         Structure Elements  23

3.5.         Structure Tree  24

3.6.         Role Mapping  25

3.7.         Natural language  26

3.8.         Fonts and Embedded Files  27

3.9.         Content 28

3.10.      Alternative Descriptions  29

3.11.      Document settings  29

3.12.      Metadata  30

3.13.      Third-Party Documents  31

4.               Assessing a PDF Generator 33

5.               Conclusion  35

6.               Appendix – PDF Test Document 37

6.1.     Example Document 38

Specialist Review Panel

Jackie Leach ScullyDisability Innovation InstituteGuest Reviewer

Reads 546 Downloads 103

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