As we enter an age where the majority of people opt for fully remote roles or permanent hybrids, much of our work is done online–whether it is communicating with internal and external teams or collaborating on shared files to conduct research. PDF is a convenient and versatile way to access, transfer, and retrieve information.
Sharing a PDF via email or uploading it on a website makes it a digital document. Ensuring that these digital documents are accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities is vital in a world that has gone digital. Everything in the document including color, language, font size, and style can be detrimental to those with impairments if those are not accessible. So, this is where the concept of accessible PDFs comes into the picture.
The data sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics only accentuates the fact. It states that 22.3% of people with disability were employed in the year 2022. Bringing inaccessible digital documents, whether Word files, PDFs, PPTs, etc., is one of the effective ways to bridge the gaps for such a sizable chunk of the disabled workforce. Given the time-consuming and resource-intensive nature of the process, you can rely on professional PDF remediation services to get quality results within the stipulated time and budget.
Break Barriers in a Digital World With Accessible Documents
Professional PDF accessibility companies take care of the entire remediation process including the addition of tags, meeting color-contrast requirements, adding bookmarks and hyperlinks, optimizing file size, etc. They already have the right potential needed in terms of skilled experts who are equipped with automated tagging tools and robust workflows to redress the documents and make them AT-friendly. Listed below are some of the advantages of investing in accessible PDFs:
Fostering Inclusivity and Diversity
Making PDFs accessible ensures that individuals with disabilities, such as visual impairments or motor disabilities, can access and understand the content. It promotes inclusivity and equal access to information. All in all, accessible PDFs are not only good for individuals with disabilities, but for everyone in the organization, regardless of their ability—from the C-suite officials who deal with legal documents and strategic plans to sales representatives who interact with customers daily.
Obligatory Legal Compliance
In many countries, including the United States (under the Americans with Disabilities Act) and the European Union (under the Web Accessibility Directive), there are legal requirements to make digital content, including PDFs, accessible to people with disabilities. Failing to do so has serious repercussions and might lead to large fines, costly litigation, and loss of potential business opportunities.
PDF to Accessible Format: Take the Next Step
Uncover Market Opportunities
Avoid losing prospects that have poor vision or cognitive disabilities, which is a huge market. Ensuring digital accessibility can help you connect with new clients and carve a unique niche for yourself in the industry. Accessible PDFs can be used by a broader audience, including users on mobile devices and those who rely on assistive technologies, such as screen readers or text-to-speech software.
Improved SEO and Searchability
Creating accessible PDFs often involves adding descriptive metadata, such as alt text for images and proper headings. The crawling bots cannot read inaccessible PDFs. Hence, an accessible PDF helps search engines to gather more information about your website, which can improve your visibility in search engine result pages and boost SEO organically. This way, users can easily find your content.
Build Brand Reputation
Be a good corporate actor and prioritize accessibility. If you lack the resources to perform it in-house, you can also avail of document accessibility services. This demonstrates a commitment to inclusivity and social responsibility as people using assistive technologies can access your content easily, which can enhance your brand’s reputation and public perception.
Optimal Approaches to PDF Accessibility
Here are some of the experts’ recommended best practices to make accessible documents:
- Make sure that the content in your PDF document follows a logical reading order. You can create a structured document using headings, lists, and appropriate formatting. Make sure that the hyperlink text is meaningful and descriptive. Avoid using vague phrases like ‘click here’ and provide context for the link’s destination.
- Include descriptive alt text for images, charts, and graphs as it provides context for non-text elements, allowing screen readers to convey the information to visually impaired users. Use appropriate tags for headings, paragraphs, lists, and tables. Tags help screen readers understand the document structure.
- Choose fonts that are easy to read and avoid using single colors to convey information. Balance the text and background using different colors. Specify the language of the document to assist screen readers in using the correct pronunciation and language settings.
- If your PDF contains fillable forms, ensure they are accessible to keyboard users and assistive technologies. Add appropriate labels to form fields. Use accessibility tools and screen readers to test your PDFs for accessibility issues. Address any problems that are identified during testing.
Other than avoiding lawsuits and hefty fines, accessible PDFs help businesses take a step closer to becoming all-inclusive organizations and reach out to wider prospects. Professional document remediation services act as enablers in your quest of reaching enhanced accessibility standards and help you stand out from the competition. So, if you haven’t started with your digital accessibility initiatives, now is the time to make the move.