Welcome to the Great Lakes ADA Center's quarterly Accessible Technology Bulletin
Technology Trainings & Events
Join Us for Next Accessible Technology Webinar
The ADA National Network provides comprehensive services for up-to-date information, consultation, referrals, resources, and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act for businesses, employers, governmental entities, service providers and individuals with disabilities.
Next Session: Thursday May 22, 2013 1:00 – 2:30pm CST
Accessibility with Word Press with speaker Joseph Dolson, Independent Consultant
With well over 5 million web sites using WordPress, it’s obvious that the open-source CMS is a huge part of the web eco-system. WordPress has been developed with great attention to HTML semantics and best practices, but there are still holes to fill if you want best practice web accessibility for your web site. Learn about what you can do to improve WordPress on the front-end, in the admin, and what you need to know about themes and plug-ins to keep your site accessible
Joseph Dolson has been writing and working in web accessibility since 2004, when he founded the web development and accessibility consultancy Accessible Web Design. His articles have been published in Practical eCommerce magazine, QualityWorld, the Accessites blog, and many other places around the web. His work in WordPress includes the authorship of several popular plug-ins and he's active as an editor on the WordPress accessibility task force site http://make.wordpress.org/accessibility
The Accessible Technology Webinar series is free, but participants must register at http://www.ada-audio.org/
- July 25, 2013 Android Accessibility, speaker TBA
- September 19, 2013 Creating Accessible PDFs – Part 1 with Judith Stark
- July 25, 2013 Android Accessibility, speaker TBANovember 21, 2013 Advanced Accessible PDF – Part 2 with Christy Blew
Accessibility Improvements in Adobe Acrobat
While the accessibility of PDFs is still being debated, there have been improvements made in Acrobat XI, the newest version of Acrobat Professional. Acrobat XI includes several new and improved features that make it much easier to create accessible PDF files.
Alternative text for images
Adding alternative text to images has always been a frustrating process in Acrobat. It usually entails viewing the document with the TouchUp Reading Order tool and searching for images that display the text “Figure – No alternate text exists.” You then have to right click on the image, select “Edit Alternate Text…”, and then type the alternative text in the provided box. This is very inefficient and time consuming, especially if a page has numerous images, or small images with overlapping alternative text. Acrobat XI now includes a “Set Alternate Text” option that allows you to add alternative text to all the images in your document at one time. It even includes the ability to identify an image as a “Decorative figure”, the PDF equivalent of alt=””.
TouchUp Reading Order Tool
There are two solid improvements to the “TouchUp Reading Order” tool. First, the number of available headings has been upgraded from 3 to 6. This is nice. While documents with sixth-level headings are not very common, I have often wished for an easier way to tag an item as an h4. An even more significant improvement is found in a single radio button that I passed over the first few times using the Acrobat XI. A new option to show “Structure types” allows you to view the tag structure of the page inline at a glance.
Several Solid Improvements
There are other accessibility features as well, including significant improvements to the accessibility “action wizard” and accessibility checker. The updated wizard quides you through several commonly-overlooked steps, including adding the document title and language, alternative text for images, etc. The accessibility checker does a better job of identifying issues that need to be checked manually and now provides helpful explanations for each rule. The export to DOC or PPT format is promising as well.
The following are additional resources for Adobe Acrobat Accessibility. If you are interested in PDF accessibility, be sure to catch the upcoming Accessible Technology webinars http://www.ada-audio.org/.
- Adobe Acrobat Accessibility Page http://www.adobe.com/accessibility/products/acrobat/
- Adobe Acrobat Accessibility Frequently Asked Questions http://www.adobe.com/accessibility/products/acrobat/faq.html
- Preparing InDesign Files to create Accessible PDFs http://tv.adobe.com/watch/accessibility-adobe/preparing-indesign-files-for-accessibility/
This article by Jonathan Whiting is reprinted with permission from WebAIM.
The Great Lakes ADA Center provides expert assistance via a national toll-free information line 800-949-4232 (V/TTY) or Online via Contact Us and presents customized trainings for employers, businesses, government, and individuals with disabilities regarding accessible technology and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.Great Lakes ADA and Accessible IT Center
University of Illinois at Chicago
Department of Disability and Human Development (MC 728)
1640 West Roosevelt Road, Room 405
Chicago, IL 60608-6904