Press "Enter" to skip to content

Documents Accessible to People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Amelia Whitehart 0

Since 2005, legislation has evolved in several countries (France, UK, Germany, USA, Canada, Australia, etc.) in favor of the right of persons with disabilities to improve access digital content online. This is reflected in preventing to create discrimination situations vis-à-vis employees,customers, shareholders, journalists or any stakeholder – situations that would be detrimental to the high end for the company. Several cases of legal actions have recently been filledin several countries. Among the 3 keys of SEO (accessibility, keyword optimization, clear navigation) accessibility plays a vital role because it transforms your content into indexable formats that Google will better reference. The more your content is numerous and relevant, the better your Search Engine Optimization will be.

The accessibility of PDF documents offers many advantages: An enhanced pro-citizen image: thanks to digital accessibility, participate in the promotion of sustainable development and social responsibility. By making your PDF documents accessible, your image and your responsibility to citizens will be promoted among the general public, your employees and your shareholders. Thus, you ensure them transparent and accessible communication.

One of the best methods to determine which formats to provide is to contact a representative sample of customers who are blind or visually impaired. Consumer groups, like the American Council of the Blind, and other local organizations serving blind people, often provide suggestions directly, or they may guide you to individuals willing to give advice. In addition, if texts are being prepared for an activity that requires people to register, the registration process can be used to ask blind people about their format preferences. What follows is a discussion of some of the issues and information you will want to consider.

To help you comply with these regulations, we have developed an innovative technology solution: e-Accessible-PDF, which renders PDF documents “accessible”, at an ultra-competitive cost. Whether you are in the non-profit sector or the private sector, this solution allows you to expand your audiences and make them more inclusive for people with disabilities.

Numerous PDF documents circulate on the websites. As it stands, these documents are not available for all persons with visual impairments. Braille tracks or voice synthesizer, which these persons use to surf the Internet cannot interpret the particular coding of the PDF format. PDF accessibility is a digital treatment aimed precisely at tagging the document hence making it readable.

People with total visual impairment. Their visual acuity at five meters is less than 4/10th. They usually use voice screen readers, combined with a Braille display. According to WHO, about 1.3 billion people in the world, have some form of visual impairment. In Europe, the statistics show that almost 10% are affected. These figures include people with blindness, low vision, cognitive and motor impairments. The majority of these individuals are over 50 years old. With the growing and ageing of the population, coupled with a greater prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s), the WHO estimates that the number of visually impaired is expected to double by 2050.

For many years we have developed and improved our accessibility and PDF tagging techniques and now have developed a proprietary solution to accelerate the production of Ultra Accessible PDFs. This allows us to produce on a fast turnaround and at competitive costs quality PDFs. We have customers around the world, public or private companies, and meet the international standards defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), such as ADA, Section 508, WCAG 2.0 AA, HHS and PDF / UA. We are able to produce various accessible documents such as PDF, documents from the Microsoft range (word, Excel, Power point) or Epubs. Read extra info on

Unfortunately, PDF, Word, Excel or PPT documents, which are widely integrated on websites, are rarely adapted to these tools. Our role is to render these documents accessible for processing by reading software so that they can be vocalized in the correct reading order. Braille displays exist for visually impaired or blind people, which come as a complement to the standard keyboard and screen reader. On these Braille terminals, the content displayed on the screen is transcribed to Braille, which therefore prevents the reading of the entire document by the screen reader only.

For screen readers to read a PDF document effectively, the document must have an underlying logical structure and reading order. This logical structure and reading order use behind-the-scenes elements called tags, which a PDF author adds to the document. Tags define the intended reading order of the content on each page. Screen readers rely on these tags to present text in a way that makes sense when someone is hearing the text read out loud. The tags allow a screen reader to interpret page elements such as headings, sidebars, tables, and multi-column text.

Achieving an accessible PDF requires a rigorous, multi-step process. We have developed our own tagging expertise, with an analysis methodology combining both artificial intelligence and human control. During and after the tagging of the document, we perform user tests in two stages. All the accessibility criteria are scrutinized: presence and order of titles and columns of texts, accessibility of tables, diagrams and graphs, differentiation of images and illustrations, insertion of alternative texts if necessary. This method is labeled “e-accessible PDF.”

What are the benefits of the Accessible PDFs we produce ?

– PDFs that meet the following standards PDF / UA, ADA, Section 508, WCAG 2.0 AA, HHS…
– Documents validated through user tests
– Accessible PDFs directly utilisable
– Quick production turnaround
– A fast and customized service

For your users :

– More user-friendly navigation
– The ability to convert text to voice
– Reading on different media (tablets, mobile, screen magnifiers)
– Replacing mouse actions with keyboard combinations
– The possibility of searching in images
– A help to navigation

Electronic files may be read using a refreshable braille display attached to a computer, using a portable note-taker, or using synthetic speech. Synthetic speech may be built into a portable note-taker, or it may be produced using software and a voice synthesizer installed on a computer. Basically, a blind person who uses synthetic speech is able to hear all of the textual information that is displayed on a sighted person’s screen. Electronic files can be distributed to blind people on World Wide Web pages, by e-mail, on diskettes, or on compact discs. Sometimes, producing an accessible electronic document can give the user the most flexibility since an electronic file can be searched, reviewed, and manipulated. For french guests read more info on