Technology Background

Creating Accessible Content: The Necessity is Growing

Posted by Pat Needles, Equidox Sales Manager on Dec 11, 2014

Web Accessibility

Information is the center of organizational activities. But what if information is inaccessible to a certain group of users? Facing moral obligations and potential government fines, organizations are looking for ways to create accessible content.

PDF files pose large barriers to accessibility. A screen reader's inability to read content in every PDF format — from every operating system — can result in content being withheld from those who require the use of a screen reader. Therefore, many organizations have decided to utilize HTML in order to ensure that their content is accessible to everyone. If your company is still debating the best route, see the article: PDF VS HTML.

PDF to HTML Conversion

Manual PDF to HTML conversion is time consuming, expensive, and requires a significant amount of HTML knowledge. A large backlog of PDFs often results in the creation of an immense workload, leaving those responsible questioning where to start. Manually converting hundreds or thousands of PDFs can be a very tedious process. In addition, project managers will then have to find a way to ensure that all future content is also converted from PDF to HTML. Further complicating this whole process, project managers also have to ensure the content conforms to any applicable legislation and regulations, which can be a challenge in itself.

Automate and Streamline an Otherwise Tedious Process

Equidox™ is an automated solution that streamlines the process of discovering, converting and publishing PDF to WCAG2.0-compliant HTML. Equidox reduces the risk for human error during the conversion process. HTML table generation and auto-detection of reading zones drastically decrease conversion time and effort. The automated conversion reduces the skill set required to convert PDF to HTML, since Equidox does not require expert HTML skills as does manual conversion.

In a recent pilot project, Equidox was tested to assess its impact on the conversion process. The automated solution was compared with to existing methods of manual PDF to HTML conversion for tens of thousands of PDF documents. Below is a summary of the results:

  • Average time to convert existing PDFs was 60% less
  • Average cost to convert was reduced by 60%
  • Average WCAG 2.0 compliance score was greater than or equal to existing methods
  • Skill set requirements are reduced

Topics: Equidox


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Pat Needles, Equidox Sales Manager

Pat Needles, Equidox Sales Manager

As Equidox Sales Manger, Pat educates public and private organizations about the importance of online document accessibility. He manages sales for Onix's Equidox automated document conversion software.