Web Accessibility

Isn’t It Time You Offer Online Document Accessibility?

Posted by Pat Needles, Equidox Sales Manager on Mar 15, 2018

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document accessibilityYou’ve built the perfect website with great design and compelling content. But can visitors using assistive technology access this information? Do you offer document accessibility for PDF files housed there so all visitors can view them?

If not, read on and learn why you should.

The National Federation of the Blind estimates that as many as 10 million Americans are blind or visually impaired. And, as the NFB notes, access to computer technology and the internet continues to be a major hurdle for the blind. They need websites they can easily access and, on those websites, documents they can read with assistive technology, such screen readers.

Think about how a visually impaired visitor to your website might feel when they can’t access the information they need. They’re likely feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.

Are all of the various statements, memos, rules and regulations housed on your website easily accessible for your visually impaired site visitors? 

This information includes everything from online coupons to billing and financial statements, contracts, applications and instruction manuals, to name a few. Any document that an individual might need to access should be available for everyone, including the visually impaired.

Even if you've optimized your website for accessibility under WCAG 2.0-AA guidelines, if visitors can’t read your PDF documents, your site isn’t fully accessible. Nor is it compliant with ADA standards, leaving you open to complaints and potential litigation, not to mention a hit to your organization’s reputation.

So what can your organization do? You can start by doing the right thing: providing document accessibility.

Yes, I know accessibility is mandated at both state and federal levels, but giving people access shouldn’t be something you do because you have to. It should be something you do because you care for and value your customers and employees.

At Onix, we are dedicated to helping organizations do the right thing and also to comply with document accessibility mandates. That is why we developed Equidox, our web-based conversion tool.

Equidox is a software platform that allows you to easily, quickly and automatically convert your inaccessible documents to meet WCAG 2.0-AA guidelines, a process that could take days if you did it manually. Or, if you prefer, you can outsource your PDF remediation projects to the consultants on our PDF Conversion Services team and save even more time in your goal for full document accessibility.

Either way, you’re doing the right thing: providing accessible online documents to those with visual impairment.

In this digital age, information is power, yet not all of it is accessible to everyone. With simple tools and a short amount of time for conversions, more people will be able to access larger portions of your website, getting the information they need in a format they can read.

To discuss your site with an accessibility expert, complete the form below and we'll be in touch.

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Pat Needles, Equidox Sales Manager

MEET THE AUTHOR

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.

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