On 05/03/2018 01:16 PM, Tanstaafl wrote:
On Thu May 03 2018 12:14:44 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time), Virgil
Arrington <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
For anyone interested in this topic (accessibility of PDF documents for
those relying on screen readers),
Ok, my last word on the subject...
Regardless, providing an INACCESSIBLE PDF form to the 99.99% of the
people who can fill them out without issues, and providing an
ALTERNATIVE for those who cannot, would completely circumvent and render
moot any potential legal issues.
People who seek to violate MY Rights to do whatever I ant in my personal
and business dealings - meaning, yes, I have the absolute Right to NOT
provide accessible ANYTHING to ANYONE.
Handicapped people (or whatever is the PC term of the day now for people
who have 'accessibility' needs) have the Right to find someone who can
or will provide services they can access.
Sorry, but Freedom ain't Free.
Wow, I guess I touched a nerve, which certainly wasn't my intent. I was
just trying to share a document from the creators of the PDF format that
explains how to make PDF forms accessible to the visually impaired.
You may be right -- depending on your profession -- that you have the
"absolute Right to NOT provide accessible ANYTHING to ANYONE." However,
as a teacher, I have an obligation under U.S. Federal law to make
"reasonable accommodations" for my visually impaired students. I don't
have the option of telling them to find a teacher or a college that will
provide services they can access. Of course, if I did tell them to look
elsewhere, my students would exercise their rights under the ADA to sue
the school and me, and they would prevail which would cost me and my
college oodles of bucks. So, you're right, "Freedom ain't Free."
However, all this talk about freedoms, rights, laws, and lawsuits misses
the point. I'm a teacher, and I *want* my students to learn. This means
if I have a visually impaired student, I *want* that student to have
access to my written documents. I don't need a law to impose that desire
on me. I don't need the threat of a lawsuit to motivate me to do the
best for my students.
Since I have never had visually impaired students in the past, this
issue has never before arisen for me, which is why I was at first
surprised to read Jonathon's non-legal (but helpful) advice. Since
reading his post, I have been digging deeper and learning more. As I
stated before, this issue isn't limited to PDF files although they have
their own set of unique challenges.
Many of the suggestions about making documents accessible apply to all
file formats and simply involve good document design. For example,
suggestions include making proper headers that can link to a table of
contents. This requires using Heading styles rather than just bolding a
few words and calling it a heading. Adobe also suggests creating a table
of contents and putting cross-reference bookmarks throughout the
document to make it more easily navigable. These suggestions force a
user to learn how to properly format a document, rather than following
the old typewriter model of helter skelter direct formatting.
I'm finding all of this fascinating. In the past couple days, I have
also discovered the screen reader that came with my Linux Mint 18. I've
been playing with it on various file formats. I created an HTML with
AsciiDoc, and it read it quite nicely. It also read an .ODT file without
difficulty. For some reason, it would read a .TXT file opened in LO, but
not in Geany, and, it didn't read PDFs created with either LO or LyX.
Now, these were quick and dirty tests without any tweaking of the files
or any settings, so these experiences are not at all the final word. I'm
sure I can make everything work properly as I learn more, but this does
indicate that some methods will require more work than others.
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