BISG Quick Start Guide to Accessible Publishing

Last week the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) launched its Quick Start Guide to Accessible Publishing, providing a comprehensive guide to the essentials of creating accessible ebooks. The guide is available as a free download from the BISG site in, not surprisingly, a highly accessible EPUB as well as, unfortunately, an inaccessible PDF.

PDF accessibility: beyond tagging and screen reader accessibility

The following is a summary of the talk given by Ted Page, at the recent PDF Accessibility Days conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Ted Page interview with Olaf Drümmer, PDF Association

It's just over 1 month until the PDF Accessibility Days conference begins in Copenhagen on 12-13 November 2015. In readiness, guest speaker Ted Page was interviewed by Olaf Drümmer on his views around accessible PDF and school exams, which will be the topic of Ted's discussion at the conference.

WebAIM survey finds no significant improvement in PDF accessibility in more than 6 years. Why?

WebAIM recently published it's sixth screen reader user survey. It finds that perceptions of the accessibility of PDFs hasn’t improved significantly in over six years.

PDF is not an inherently inaccessible format

PDF is not an inherently inaccessible format. If you know how, most PDFs can be made as accessible as content in any other format, and in some cases, more so. The real problem is a dearth of relevant skills and know-how.

Over-reliance on automated PDF accessibility checkers

The PDF accessibility checker built into Acrobat Professional (versions 11 onwards) is a useful tool. However, it is important to understand that no automated checker will test the accessibility of a PDF and give you a yes or no answer. I have written about this previously elsewhere,…

PDF background colour bug returns in Acrobat/Reader DC

In December I posted that a long-standing PDF accessibility problem, namely a serious background colour bug, had been eliminated with an update to Acrobat/Adobe Reader 11. However, six months on, and with the release of Acrobat and Reader DC, the bug has returned.

Soft hyphens in InDesign

Question: when is a hyphen not a hyphen? Answer: when it’s an artifact. As hard and soft hyphens look the same, for sighted readers the consequences of confusing the two are likely to be minimal, if any. But to a screen reader user, a passage of…

Fixing broken anchors in PDFs

Fixing broken anchor links in PDFs. This problem is specific to Word-originated files. It does not occur with documents created in InDesign

PDF background colour fix with latest Adobe updates

Specifically, if the original colours were, say, black text on a pink background, and if a user set his or her preferences to yellow text on a black background, Acrobat or Reader would convert the text colour to yellow as required, but would not recognise the background correctly and so leave its colour unchanged. The outcome, of course, would be (a hard-to-read) yellow text on a pink background.