ACCESSIBLE PDFs: How to Add a PDF/UA Identifier

Four Adobe PDF Icons in a row

Is your PDF document really technically accessible? Have you checked to see if the PDF/UA identifier has been set? This enables reader applications and assistive technologies to fully process PDF/UA conforming files to maximize accessibility.

By adding the PDF/UA identifier, you are claiming that the PDF document conforms to the structure elements as stated in ISO 14289, the informal name for the International Standard for accessible PDF technology.

NOTE: If PDFs were created in Microsoft Word 2013 for Windows or in any version of Adobe InDesign, you definitely need to add the PDF/UA identifier.

How can you tell if the PDF/UA identifier has been set in a PDF?

Download PAC 3, one of the most comprehensive free testing tools that checks PDF documents for compatibility with the PDF/UA standard. Distributed by the Swiss organization Access for all and only available for Windows, PAC 3 evaluates the failure conditions that should be tested by other software apps. It also includes a screen reader preview tool to check the failure conditions which need to be tested manually.

How to test a PDF for its PDF/UA identifier with PAC 3

1. Download and launch PAC 3.
2. Click the Upload button to select the PDF you want to test.

PAC 3 Upload Button

3. In the Summary Report, if you see a red X to the left of Metadata, this means the PDF/UA identifier is missing.

PAC 3 Metadata Line in Summary Report
4. Click the Results in Detail button

PAC 3 Results in Detail Button

5. On the Report screen, click the arrow to the left of Metadata and Settings, then the arrow to the left of Metadata, then the arrow to the left of PDF/UA Identifier.

PAC 3 Report Detail PDF UA Identifier Missing

If you see a red X to the left of the option PDF/UA identifier missing, this means the PDF/UA identifier needs to be added to the document. You can fix this using Adobe Acrobat DC.

How to add the PDF/UA identifier using Adobe Acrobat DC

1. Open the PDF document in Adobe Acrobat DC.
2. Select More Tools > Print Production > Preflight
3. In the Preflight dialog, be sure PDF Standards is selected from the dropdown.
4. Activate the wrench icon above the list of Preflight checks. This should open the Document info and Metadata settings.

Adobe Acrobat Pro Preflight Wrench icon
5. Select the Set PDF/UA-1 entry option, then click the Fix button.

Adobe Acrobat Preflight Set PDF-UA-1
6. In the next dialog box, you will need to re-save your file with a different name.

Save the PDF file as a different name to set the PDF/UA identifier

To check to see if the PDF has been updated with the PDF/UA identifier, return to the PAC 3 app.

1. Go back to the PAC 3 app.
2. Click the Upload button to select the revised PDF you want to test.
3. In the Summary Report, if you see a friendly green check mark to the left of Metadata, this mean the PDF/UA identifier is now part of the PDF document.

PAC 3 Summary Report Successful Update of PDF/UA identifier

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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RESOURCE TOOL: Use PDFsam to Count Pages in Multiple PDF Files

Five PDF icons in a row

Need to count the pages in multiple PDFs without tediously opening each file and counting the pages manually?

Welcome to PDFsam, the free, open source tool designed to help you count PDF pages, as well as split and merge PDF files.

Available for Windows, Mac and Linux, PDFsam allows you to drag and drop multiple PDFs to its interface. The app then generates a spreadsheet-like report on the number of pages and info of each file. You can then copy and paste the report into Excel or other spreadsheet programs.

Download PDFsam for free now.

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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ACCESSIBLE FORMS: Avoid the Automatic Submit

Cartoon Illustration of HTML Forms

Forms are frequently designed so that they submit automatically when the user has filled in all the fields, or when focus leaves the last field.

From an accessibility standpoint, this causes two problems:

1) A disabled user who needs more context may move focus away from the field to the directions on how to fill in the form, or to other text, accidentally submitting the form.

2) With some form elements (such as a select menu), the value of the field changes as each item is navigated with the keyboard, again accidentally submitting the form.

Best Practice

Better to rely on the standard form behavior of the submit button and enter key.

Form Submit Code That Is Not Accessible

<form method=”get” id=”form1″>
<input type=”text” name=”text1″ size=”3″ maxlength=”3″>
<input type=”text” name=”text2″ size=”3″ maxlength=”3″>
<input type=”text” name=”text3″ size=”4″ maxlength=”4″ onchange=”form1.submit();”>
</form>

Form Select Menu Code That Is Not Accessible

<form method=”get” id=”form2″>
<input type=”text” name=”text1″>
<select name=”select1″ onchange=”form2.submit();”>
<option>one</option>
<option>two</option>
<option>three</option>
<option>four</option>
</select>
</form>

[SOURCE]

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Read More Accessible Website Design Advice: Accessible Best Practice: Don’t Use Color As Part of Your Instructional Content

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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WEB DESIGN: Be Sure To Accommodate the Dyslexic Reader

''Dyslexia'' word with wooden letters on dark background

Dyslexia is a general term for disorders that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols, but that do not affect general intelligence. It is the most common cause of reading, writing, and spelling difficulties.

Of people with reading difficulties, 70-80% are likely to have some form of dyslexia. It is estimated that between 5-10% of the population has dyslexia, but this number can also be as high as 17%.

Here are some CSS tips to consider when designing web content to accommodate the dyslexic reader.

Beware Italics
Italicized characters can be difficult for dyslexics to read.

Column Widths
Use narrow column widths (60 to 80 characters). Tracking lines of unbroken text across a page can be difficult.

No Justification
Never use justified text. It causes “rivers” that make text difficult for dyslexics to read.

River Effect in Justified Text

Use Sans-serif Fonts
Serif fonts (like Times Roman) have “feet” at the end of the letter strokes. This can be a nightmare for dyslexics to read because the letters look like they are all connected. Use sans-serif fonts.

See the difference between Serif vs Sans-serif typefaces

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Resource:  OpenDyslexic

OpenDyslexic is a new open source font created to increase readability for readers with dyslexia. The typeface includes regular, bold, italic, and bold-italic styles. It is being updated continually and improved based on input from dyslexic users. OpenDyslexic is free for Commercial and Personal use.
Download: http://opendyslexic.org/

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Read More Accessible Website Design Advice: Accessible Best Practice: Don’t Use Color As Part of Your Instructional Content

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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WEB DEV: Free Zip Code Distance, Radius and Location API

Hand drawn U.S. Map

Need to pull dynamic U.S. zip code data for your website? Check out ZipCodeAPI.com, the easy way to calculate distances, radius, and locations for U.S. zip codes.

ZipCodeAPI.com allows you to:

– Convert zip code to city/town or city/town to zip code
– Pull zip codes from a nearby radius
– Create a custom SQL search
– Pull related zip codes from a surrounding area
– Find the distance between two zip codes
– Organize a list of zips ordered closest to each other

Free Plan

With the free plan (registration required), you are allowed 1,200 API requests per day, which should offer enough functionality for a simple application. Note that the free account allows up to 10 API requests per hour. You also receive a free trial period of 50 API requests per hour for 2 weeks. Paid plans are also available for more robust applications.

Find out more about ZipCodeAPI.com.

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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ACCESSIBILITY TOOLS: Convert PDF Files to MP3 Audio with RoboBraille.org

Hispanic blind man with disability. Visually impaired man using Digital Assistant and Ease of Access functions on mobile phone, voice typing to smartphone

RoboBraille is an e-mail and web-based service capable of automatically transforming documents into a variety of alternate formats for the visually and reading impaired.

RoboBraille.org Logo

Originally created by Synscenter Refsnæs (the National Centre for Visually Impaired Children and Youth in Denmark) and Sensus ApS, RoboBraille is accessible 24/7 as a self-service solution and is available free of charge for individual, non-commercial use. Users don’t need not register in order to use the service.

Step 1: Select your file and upload it to the server (max 64 MB). Multiple files of the same type may be selected. Supported file types are .DOC, .DOCX, .PDF, .PPT, .PPTX, .TXT, .XML, .HTML, .HTM, .RTF, .EPUB, .MOBI, .TIFF, .TIF, .GIF, .JPG, .JPEG, .BMP, .PNG, .PCX, .DCX, .J2K, .JP2, .JPX, .DJV and .ASC

Step 2: Specify the target format of your document. The following formats are available: MP3 audio, Braille, E-book or Accessibility conversion.

List of RoboBraille Output Formats

Step 3: If you specify Accessibility conversion, here are your options: Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx), RTF, Tagged PDF (text over image, image over text), Microsoft Excel (xls, xlsx), Windows Text (.txt) or HTML (.htm).

Robobraille Accessibility Options

Step 4: Add your email address then submit your file conversion request.

A Test

I uploaded an 11-page PDF file and requested a conversion to MP3. Within five minutes I received an email that contained a link to the MP3 file. I also received confirmation that the original PDF file I uploaded was deleted from the RoboBraille.org server.

Visit RoboBraille.org now and test the file conversion functionality.

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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ACCESSIBLE FORMS: Get a Head Start with Boilerform

Cartoon Illustration of HTML Forms

Boilerform is a little HTML and CSS boilerplate to give you a head start when creating accessible HTML forms.

By providing baseline BEM structured CSS and appropriate attributes on elements, Boilerform takes some of the pain away when building forms in the best possible way with a view to being dropped into most projects.

Take Boilerform for a test drive here.

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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ACCESSIBILITY TESTING TOOLS: Microsoft Accessibility Insights

Microsoft Logo on Web page

Microsoft’s two Accessibility Insights applications are now available as open source code.

The two free tools, Accessibility Insights for Windows and Accessibility Insights for Web, help developers find and fix common accessibility issues early in the software development cycle. They can be used as stand-alone tools or can be integrated through their rules engines into a developer’s build process.

The applications are built on open-source axe technology from Deque Systems, which works with companies to make their websites and mobile apps accessible to people with disabilities. The Accessibility Insights applications are part of Microsoft’s larger inclusion efforts that also involve inclusive hiring and the Department of Homeland Security’s Trusted Tester program.

Read the rest of eWeek’s article Microsoft Now Offers Accessibility Insights as Open Source Code

Download Accessibility Insights for Windows and Accessibility Insights for Web now.

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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ACCESSIBLE VOICE: Conversational Search for All

Mobile Voice Search Illustration

We all know folks with physical, cognitive and learning disabilities who need to use voice recognition technology rather than type on a keyboard or use a mouse. Yet many more of us are conducting conversational searches via voice-activated services on our mobile phones and other devices.

Report: There are now over 50 billion voice searches every month. This number is expected to grow to over 200 billion by 2020 and account for over 50% of all searches. [SOURCE]

So how is this changing the keyword phrases we use when we use voice search?

In the article How conversational searches change your search strategy, author Sara Kleinberg reports that people are “searching with natural language in a manner reminiscent of asking for advice.”

Here are some examples:

Mobile searches for “do I need” have grown over 65%. For example, “how much do I need to retire,” “what size generator do I need,” and “how much paint do I need.”

Mobile searches for “should I” have grown over 65%. For example, “what laptop should I buy,” “should I buy a house,” “what SPF should I use,” and “what should I have for dinner.”

Mobile searches starting with “can I” have grown over 85%. For example, “can I use paypal on amazon,” “can I buy stamps at walmart,” and “can I buy a seat for my dog on an airplane.”

Sara offers this advice to website owners and marketers:

“Because consumers are growing more and more at ease with technology, consider using more natural language and creating intuitive experiences across all of your digital touch points. In search, after locking down the key words and phrases typically associated with your business, think beyond those to consider more conversational phrases that customers might be using to find you.”

Read the rest of How conversational searches change your search strategy

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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ACCESSIBLE E-COMMERCE: Five Online Shopping Problems Encountered by People with Disabilities

Pencil Drawing of Shopping Cart

In the article Tips For Online Shopping With Disabilities: A Website Accessibility Guide, you’ll discover some of the common online shopping problems experienced by people with disabilities.

These include:

  • Rarely can you see what clothing looks like on people sitting down. There’s the website, but what about the products themselves? For people who use wheelchairs, it can be hard to tell if clothing they see online would be comfortable or flattering in a wheelchair
  • Detailed, homogeneous descriptions can be difficult to find on some sites. According to surveys, only 49% of disabled people feel they have even some of the information needed or wanted while making purchasing decisions
  • Flash animations can be bad for both visually impaired and learning-disabled users, creating over-stimulation. Sometimes, there’s not much to be done for ads, but sites themselves can be overstimulating, too.
  • Subtitles and closed captions are a small thing to add to videos but sometimes ignored. Be sure to turn on closed captions on YouTube, as most websites use YouTube to host their videos.
  • Plain links called “links” or “click here” are not helpful to those who use screen readers. Luckily, labeling a link with the text “click here” is falling out of fashion

Read the rest of Tips For Online Shopping With Disabilities: A Website Accessibility Guide

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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