A pdf document is important because it includes images, footnotes, links, and other media content. But for many people accessing the document may become difficult due to various challenges such as hearing loss, blind, visual or cognitive impaired, or color blind.
Therefore tagging the pdf with the right source of accessibility is crucial, which allows readers to access the document more easily. Apart from this, there are various benefits of accessibility for businesses that have websites, as it allows them to abide by state laws and be compliant with the various rules and regulations.
This article underlines the importance of pdf accessibility thoroughly and gives an overview of becoming compliant with global accessibility standards.
What is PDF accessibility?
Before moving on further, let’s quickly understand what does pdf accessibility mean? We call a document accessible when people with disabilities can use it. By becoming compliant with accessibility standards and norms, businesses can reach a wider audience and make disabled people feel more comfortable in accessing various documents.
The global accessibility standards include WCAG 2.0, WCAG 2.1, Section 508, and PDF/UA. The standards must be followed by businesses so that they can serve their audiences better. When documents are incompatible with the needs of people with disabilities, it becomes difficult for them to access them, and the entire task becomes tiresome and frustrating.
Reasons why PDFs are so popular
Pdf is useful for various reasons, as it is usually compatible with almost every software and can be accessed anytime, anywhere across various platforms.
A Word document 2007 may be difficult to open in Microsoft Word 2017, but that isn’t true in the case of pdf. It can be opened without any difficulty on any system.
A pdf can hold a document’s content, graphics, and images. In contrast, it can also be usable from almost any source, including printers, scanners, and big photocopiers.
What Do Accessible PDF Documents Look Like?
Accessible pdf has become a trend, and enterprises in diverse businesses must use it for their audiences and their convenience. Everyone, including people with disabilities, color blindness, or cognitive impairment, can access an accessible pdf file.
The tags in the pdf files are an important way that makes documents accessible and allow people with disabilities to access each page using screen readers, screen magnifiers, and speech recognition software. While it also ensures that documents abide by the rules of global accessibility standards. Complying with global norms also helps organizations and businesses to magnify their user base.
When pdf content is accessible, it includes properly aligned pages, tables, images, and notes that are ready to be processed and can be easily picked up by the above-mentioned technologies. The popular tool which helps to understand whether a pdf is accessible or not is Adobe Acrobat Suite. Apart from this, there are various other tools as well.
Benefits of PDF Accessibility
Below are some of the important benefits of pdf accessibility that are not limited to only.
Increased ease of use
Consistent formatting with clear structures helps ease the viewing and reading experiences of people with disabilities. It efficiently allows the users to understand the documents and become more aware.
Reach wider audience
Accessibility allows reaching a wider audience and improving market share. With web accessibility, organizations can connect with users who cannot read or understand the pdf content due to disabilities or similar challenges. Businesses can easily reach wider populations by ensuring the pdf content meets the reader’s requirements.
Protects and grows business
Accessible pdf helps organizations in becoming a good corporate actor. Convenient access to information ensures that readers can comprehend it more easily. Assistive technology such as screen readers, magnifiers, speech-recognition software, and Braille displays are essential to inclusive accessibility standards.
Better User Experience (UX)
Well-formatted documents with clear headings and subheadings are easy to read and navigate. A proper logical hierarchy makes document accessibility much easier and allows formatting and reformatting content as per usability requirements. It also improves the user experience of those people who don’t have disability issues. In short, it contributes to providing a structured viewing option to both people with disabilities and people without disabilities.
Search Engine-Friendly Website
The accessible pdfs are easier to be crawled and can easily be indexed. Accessible pdfs can be crawled by the bots easily, allowing them to understand the content easily and give it more visibility in search results. As much as the search engine gathers information from the pdfs, the more visibility websites get.
To sum up
Pdf accessibility has become integral, allowing disabled people to conveniently consume information and become more vigilant towards various surrounding activities. Apart from user experience, PDf accessibility is also important because it allows websites to comply with the rules and regulations of global agencies. Not abiding by the laws may force them to incur heavy monetary losses. So from an economic perspective of social inclusion, accessible pdfs are very important and help tag the content with the correct structure.