The topic of Document Accessibility is one that is getting a lot of attention these days…and for good reason. More than 21 million people in North America live with a visual impairment. Blindness affects more than 3 million Americans age 40 and over. And according to the National Eye Institute, the number of people who are blind or suffer from vision impairment is projected to double in the next decade.
Freedom and Service
For the visually impaired, the ability to access bills, statements and other transactional documents means greater independence. For companies, accommodating customers who are visually impaired is not just good business, it’s required by federal legislation. To accommodate compliance and support forward-thinking corporate initiatives, many organizations are looking for workable solutions for the delivery of billing statements and other transactional documents for visually impaired customers in alternate formats.
PDF/UA – “Universally Accessible”
Formats for accessible documents range from traditional braille to large print, audio and e-text. Most recently, PDF/UA documents have been developed for people with disabilities who require assistive technology to communicate. According to Dr. Judith Dixon, the consumer relations officer for the National Library Service for the Blind, universal document accessibility means employing all of the above.
“An accessible PDF document is quite accessible for people who have the right equipment,” says Dr. Dixon. “But it is important for any company to know their constituents. Not all people have computers, or can use them effectively, so other alternatives need to also be used and considered.”
With all the various options to consider, evolving regulations, and increasing market demand for accessible documents, it can be difficult to know which technologies and approaches to use. Many organizations are finding success using our flagship product, DocOrigin, to create accessible PDF documents. We developed this capability to help our customers meet the demand for accessible documents. We’re experts at transactional documents, so banks, utilities and telecommunications companies, as well as government organizations, all benefit from using DocOrigin to create alternate format customer communications.
PDF/UA Design and Output Methods
Companies have two primary methods to design and generate PDF/UA compliant documents, Pre-Processing which is the merging of raw data from your Line of Business Software to a form template that produces the PDF/UA files or Post-Processing which is a conversion of PDF or PS files to PDF/UA. Pre-Processing is more efficient and requires less effort to manage and maintain. Post-Processing is a good solution if you have existing PDF or PS archives that need to be converted to PDF/UA on an on-demand basis. No matter what your preference or requirements, there are a number of options available to design and generate PDF/UA.
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