While the digital age has improved accessibility, there are still many barriers with technology. I have noticed a lot of tweets in my timeline about accessible PDF documents. Then my investigation commenced. Here are 2 ways to make your PDF document accessible:
- It is only natural to presume that there is an app out there that could read a PDF for someone who is visually impaired, and there is. I downloaded the vBookz PDF Voice Reader and it is actually pretty cool. You can select the voice you want (male or female), and then you can upload the PDF you want to “read” from Google Drive or Dropbox.I think that if we want to share our PDF’s and make it accessible, this is not the best way. It is too reliant on the reader having to have a smart phone, find and download an app, then have to go through great lengths to create a Dropbox or Google Drive and the upload the PDF. Then, you have to sign in to Dropbox or Google Drive through the app and then open the document. Goodness, the fact that I need an entire paragraph to describe the process means it is too damn frustrating and hard to access. If we want to make an accessible world for all, why not make it an easier process?
2. For technology and infrastructure to be accessible, it is the innovator, or the creator who has to make it accessible for it to be accessible. Makes sense, right? Since computers have a certain life expectancy to force you to upgrade every few years (yes, I believe that!), it is very likely that you have more accessibility features on your current computer. On Microsoft Windows, there is an “Accessibility Checker” tool that will find accessibility issues in your Word documents, your Excel spreadsheets, and even your Powerpoints! Pretty cool, right? Then why don’t we do it? There is no room for laziness in creating and promoting an accessible world, so take these five minutes when you produce a document.In Microsoft Office 365, you simply go to the “Review” tab on the Ribbon to find the “Accessibility Checker” feature. Simply click on this and it will generate a report identifying where you require placing ALT-text or even naming an empty cell that should have content in it. Someone who is visually impaired may believe that if certain cells are empty, there is no other content in the spreadsheet. Microsoft Office 365 literally does the work for you. So do it.