Are your PDFs accessible?

The Danish Parliament has passed a new law concerning web accessibility. The law states that websites and apps from all public authorities must be accessible to all citizens – also disabled citizens, for instance those with a visual impairment, speech impairment, hearing impairment or learning disability. And it all has to be accessible by 23 September 2019. This also applies for documents and PDFs, that are present at the public websites.

We have the experience and are ready to help

Are you unsure as to how to make your PDFs accessible, then we now how. We already have huge experience incorporating the principles of accessibility into our design and layout of products for your public clients.

We can help make your existing publications and other PDFs accessible, or we can help make new materiale accessible – we jump in wherever you need us 🙂

PDFs published after 23 September 2018 have to be accessible. If you have PDFs that have been published before this date, you only need to make them accessible, if they are characterised as “necessary for active administrative processes”.

Why does the material have to be accessible?

Accessible PDFs allow all users to read and navigate your documents and fill out forms – no matter for instance reading abilities and visual impairment.

This allows for your messages to reach a wider audience, and it offers people with disabilities the same options as other users regarding being digitally self-reliant and informed.

How you do make your PDFs accessible?

There are four overall principles in making something accessible: Is has to be 1) Perceivable, 2) Operable, 3) Understandable and 4) Robust.

These principles mean that you for instance have to pay attention to the following elements in your PDF:

  • There must be a clear structure and order in the content, and components with the same function within the same material have to be defined consistently in order for assistive software to understand the material. That applies for instance to defining all headlines as headlines and all image texts and image texts etc.
  • Alternative text must be added to images, figures and other elements that are not text, but that are relevant for understanding the content. The alternative text ensures that screen reading programmes will be able to “read” the images.
  • The contrast ratio between text and background needs to be high enough for all text to be visible even for those visually impaired.

This is an important topic, and you need to think about both existing PDFs and new publications and PDFs you develop yourself.

Of course, it’s important to respect the law. Furthermore, your publications and therefore you messages will reach a wider audience if your material is accessible. And citizens will be more self-reliant, once the material is more user-friendly, which should both ensure user satisfaction and minimise the need for personal service from public companies.

Read more about the new law, who needs to abide the law and how you abide the law on (link in Danish)

Please let us know on +45 70 22 87 89, if you need help making sure your PDFs are accessible. We’re ready to get started 🙂

24 June 2019