Millions of people are visually impaired and must use assistive technology (AT) to read electronic content. Assistive technology software is sometimes called screen readers. To ensure equal access to information, the US Congress enacted legislation in 1998 to require U.S. Federal agencies and contractors to procure accessible software and to produce accessible electronic documents. The regulations, known as Section 508, went into effect in June, 2001. Section 508 ensures content is tagged in correct order, section headings, bulleted and numbered lists, and footnotes and endnotes are properly identified.
The Appligent accessibility group has put together a document containing a useful set of guidelines to follow when creating documents which need to be made accessible and Section 508 compliant. The “PDF Creation Best Practices” document talks about the following:
- Fonts and Bullets
- Formatting Issues
- Formatting Issues Specific to Microsoft Work
Taking the time to follow these simple guidelines can save your organization a lot of time and money when preparing an accessible document.
The web page can be found here: PDF Creation Best Practices