Accessibility

kwsoft provides accessibility support

kwsoft stands behind the intention of the German constitution to empower people with disabilities to allow participation  in everyday life without barriers.  For us, however, it is not only the legal foundations and obligations that have long been decisively applied to public institutions, but we also rely on private initiative.

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With the Series M/

What kwsoft does for you in terms of accessibility

The criteria for barrier-free access to digital documents as well as to web applications via user interface are defined nationwide in the “Barrier-free Information Technology Ordinance” BITV as well as globally in the “Web Content Accessibility Guidelines” WCAG. These include requirements such as:

  • Creation of accessible documents in PDF/UA format with the Series M/
  • Accessible editor M/TEXT TONIC for employees with handicap
  • PDF/UA as a Service - conversion of your documents into validated PDF/UA documents

Standard format for accessible documents – PDF/UA

The PDF subformat PDF/UA stands for Universal Accessibility and provides an internationally standardized, ISO-certified, and validatable standard for accessible documents. Like all PDF formats, PDF/UA documents can be displayed with freely accessible viewers such as Acrobat Reader and they can be checked for technical compliance with the PDF/UA standard by using tools such as the PDF Accessibility Checker (PAC).

The Series M/ – as proven as it is modern

Rely on an always up-to-date solution for your accessible content composition.

Things to know about document accessibility

What does barrier-free mean?

The criteria for barrier-free access to digital documents as well as web applications via user interface are defined nationwide in the “Barrier-free Information Technology Ordinance” BITV as well as globally in the “Web Content Accessibility Guidelines” WCAG. These include requirements such as:

  • Well-structured texts that promote an overview with bulleted lists, numbering
  • Formal text markup such as heading, paragraph, footnote, columns, tables, etc.
  • Easier navigation through table of contents with direct navigation to topics
  • Description of the document
  • Use of easily readable fonts and (scalable) font sizes
  • Description of audio-visual elements, pictures and graphics by alternative texts
  • Colors not as sense-bearing elements, the content should also be understandable in B/W
  • Labeling or translation of foreign language words
  • And about 80 other requirements ...

The last point makes it clear that a 100 % barrier-free solution that meets all criteria cannot be achieved with reasonable effort. This is not the goal. The  motto is rather: With manageable system-controlled efforts, numerous barriers can be removed to enable people with disabilities to access such business documents privately and professionally.

Accessible PDF/UA documents with the Series M/

Since 2014, the Series M/ has also offered the option of creating accessible documents as part of the system-controlled CCM processes. In addition to the basic PDF format, the license for PDF Output also includes the subformats PDF/VT for mass printing, PDF/A for archiving, and PDF/UA for accessibility. This means that there are no additional licensing costs for creating accessible documents with the Series M/.

Practical experience has shown that it is much easier and more efficient to create documents as PDF/UA documents during the creation process than to convert them afterwards. See also the chapter “PDF/UA as a Service”.

Structure and content information

The basis for barrier-free access is to provide the document with structural information so that assistive technologies such as screen readers can adequately reproduce the text. This involves

  • Paragraph and column markings for the correct reading sequence
  • Marking of artifacts that are not to be output (continuation sheet notes, board lines, etc.)
  • Alternative texts, which e.g. describe the content of graphics
  • And much more …

Formal aspects of the text structure (headings, columns, abbreviations, etc.) can be easily mapped with the internal format of the Series M/ and automatically inserted in the creation process. The provision of content-relevant, meaning-bearing elements such as alternative texts or tables of contents must be taken into account from an organizational point of view (e.g. deposit as a resource or enter interactively).

Tagged documents

This form of marking up documents with structural information is called tagging, because the metadata is specified in the form of tags between angle brackets <tag>. Those who – like the Series M/ – have mastered this procedure not only have advantages when creating accessible documents, but also tagging is elementary for generating HTML documents in responsive design Responsive design, as the name suggests, “responds” to the characteristics of the output device by flexibly adapting the layout of the content to it, i.e. formatting it to fit the screen width or scaling graphics and images. This depends on how much space is available, which zoom factor is set, or etc.. For this you need the structure information, such as where a paragraph begins and ends or what is output as a heading. So if you decide to tag your documents carefully, you kill two birds with one stone.

The PDF Association

kwsoft is also a member of the PDF Association, among others. The task of the globally active association is to promote and further develop open, standardized, electronic documents based on PDF. In the field of professional document creation and output management, the Series M/ has already been one of the PDF/UA-capable systems on the market since 2014.
An overview is provided by the association’s independent competence center.

Accessible editor

The accessible M/TEXT TONIC Editor is the central user interface of the Series M/ when it comes to interactive document creation and content editing. For this reason, the developers of this editor have placed particular emphasis on the criteria of barrier-free access. It can be operated completely via the keyboard and supports the use of assistive technologies such as screen readers, Braille output, and magnification software.

barrierefrei mit kwsoft und der Serie M/ arbeiten dank des Editors

PDF/UA as a Service

Since 2020, our satz & medien department has been offering “PDF/UA as a Service”. The colleagues have many years of experience with the professional digital preparation and publication of content, in particular the creation of barrier-free, verified PDF files for public clients.

The PDF/UA as a Service offer is aimed in principle at all companies that want to convert non-accessible PDF documents to the accessible PDF/UA standard. It does not matter whether they were created with the Series M/ or not.

The starting point can be your Word or InDesign documents, which are processed and reprocessed as validated PDF/UA documents that include a test report.

If PDF documents are available without proprietary source files, we will prepare an individual offer – with personal coordination of the respective solution path for converting PDF to PDF/UA. In addition, Satz & Medien advises on the conception and planning of new documents so that the requirements for barrier-free access are already taken into account in advance. Find out more on the satz & medien homepage.

M/TEXT – the innovative product line

Set to document creation with M/TEXT.

Conclusion

If public institutions proceed according to the legal guidelines and private companies support these inclusion efforts and recognize, consider, and dismantle the essential barriers, a great deal can be done for the participation of handicapped people in daily life. A powerful CCM system like the Series M/ provides the software means to generate accessible PDF/UA documents very efficiently as well as set up accessible screen workstations with the M/TEXT TONIC Editor.

Do you have any specific questions about this topic?

Related topics

Accessible documents

With the Series M/ , they are easy and efficient to create. This was a decisive criterion for the Public Employment Service Austria AMS to choose our CCM solution.

Use PDF/UA!

Accessible PDF/UA documents help people with disabilities to participate in everyday life. With the Series M/, the additional effort compared to “normal” PDF is manageable. That is why we support the PDF Association, which is entrusted internationally with the further development and standardization of this format.

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Tabea Tischler