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NewFormat AB

NewFormat make PDF information permanently
accessible, searchable, readable and reusable
for the future and for as many people as possible.

We create accessible PDF in compliance with the ISO Standard PDF/UA.

Our solutions are based on
recognized ISO Standards based on PDF technology
and tested, reliable, and highly accessible software solutions from
the PDF Association vendor community.

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Inaccessible PDF

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Inaccessible PDF
May Constitute Discrimination

    Access to digital public information is a fundamental right for everyone;
    also access to digital information in the form of PDF documents created by
    government authorities constitutes digital public service.

    Barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to a website
    by people with disabilities can be considered discrimination.

    The EU Web Accessibility Directive ensures that all users,
    regardless of functional ability, have equal access to
    information and functionality on the web;
    (The Swedish Act 2019 on Access to Digital Public Services".

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Sweden as a nation is bound by
international regulations for accessibility for everyone

    Sweden as a nation is bound to:

    • the UN Declaration on Human Rights,

    • the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,

    • the Swedish Anti-Discrimination Act, and

    • the EU Web Accessibility Directive implemented as
      the Swedish Act on Access to Digital Public Services
      (SFS 2018:1937 & SFS 2018:1938)

    Declarations, conventions, directives and acts that are technology-neutral.
    Regardless of the technology used for a digitally based service (web/HTML, PDF, ...)
    it must be published in a form so that it is accessible for everyone in the community.

    No matter which technology the government entity chooses for its
    digital services (web/HTML, PDF, ...) it must be provided in a form
    ensuring it is accessible for everyone in the society.

    Authorities are also in the role of employer responsible for that
    employee work material is accessible and well functioning.

    Swedish authorities are thus since long bound to comply with
    and apply these regulations in their daily operations.

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Business documents / PDF documents,
which unfortunately are not accessible for everyone!

    The Swedish public sector alone publishes every year millions of PDF documents.

    PDF documents occupy a large proportion of the amount of information
    on the authorities' websites for public digital service.

    On September 23, 2020, all websites in the public sector across the EU
    shall comply with the Web Accessibility Directive.

    The directive also covers PDF documents published on these websites;
    documents and presentation slides that must be published as accessible PDF.

    We have analyzed hundreds of PDF documents, incl. PDF presentation slides,
    from more than 60 authorities; from the Government Offices to authorities with
    special focus on accessibility for everyone and from external interest groups.

    What is the status right now for them when it comes to accessible PDF?

    How well prepared are these core players when it comes to their own websites
    and how they publish PDF documents and PDF presentations that,
    according to law, must be accessible for everyone?

    The results of the survey are very disappointing.
    Not a single document, regardless of provider, is published as an accessible PDF!
    Not even the perhaps most important document, the own annual report,
    are these core authorities capable to publish as an accessible PDF!

    In their current design, none of them meet the ISO Standard 14289, PDF/UA,
    for accessible PDF
    . They are thus not accessible for everyone,
    nor are they accessible under the EU Web Accessibility Directive.

    Despite the fact that the directive has been binding
    for public entities since several years!

    We are happy to show examples of important public PDF documents and
    presentation slides, which unfortunately are not accessible for everyone,
    and how these documents can be remediated:

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    Why not solely use native Microsoft Office, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Acrobat,...
    to create Accessible PDF?

    It is not the assistive technologies (nor popular software tools such as
    MS Office, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Acrobat, Google Docs, Apple iWork,......)
    that define what is an accessible PDF.

    A PDF document is defined as "accessible PDF" only when it
    meets the ISO Standard PDF/UA with guidelines!

    Currently, the above mentioned software tools, which are used by many to
    create and edit PDF documents, are not sufficiently "PDF/UA-Ready";
    they lack the ability to correctly export a final PDF document according to PDF/UA
    and they do not validate well enough to comply with the PDF/UA standard.

    The exported PDF file thus risks not being "accessible PDF" nor meet
    accessibility requirements under the EU Web Accessibility Directive or
    the Swedish Act on Accessibility to Digital Public Services for everyone!

    Just because you tag a PDF document with Adobe Acrobat and
    the file then pass the test with Adobe Acrobat Accessibility Checker,
    the PDF file can still have severe accessibility errors,
    especially if the file contains tables or other complex structures.

    So do not expect too much of these software tools at the moment.

    This also explains why most PDF files created with solely these software tools
    do not meet the technical requirements for accessible PDF:

    Only very few software tools offer inbuilt support to create high-quality
    PDF/UA compliant documents out of the box or at least with less effort:

Accessible PDF
Easy to validate PDF documents for PDF/UA compliance

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    PDF documents can be easily tested/verified against how well they
    comply with the ISO standard 14289, PDF/UA, for accessible PDF.

    A reliable compliance test for the ISO Standard PDF/UA
    always requires at least two stages of validation:

    1. a programmatic syntactic test, which can be performed by a piece of software, and

    2. an interactive semantic test, manually carried out by a human.

    The PDF documents' syntactic conformity with PDF/UA
    can be checked with several reliable testing tools:

    In case your PDF document does not pass the PDF/UA validation:

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Recommended Reading on PDF/UA
The ISO Standard for Accessible PDF Documents and Forms

PDF/UA in a Nutshell - Front Cover - Picture     PDF/UA Flyer Front Cover - Picture

(For download of these guides, click on the pictures above)

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    Do you need help to create accessible PDF in compliance with PDF/UA?

    Accessible PDF (PDF/UA) ensures accessibility to digital public service for everyone.

    We help customers to create any volume of accessible PDF documents,
    out of native MS Office (Word and PowerPoint) and Adobe InDesign documents,
    and PDF documents generated by other tools.


More Information and Resources

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For more information contact NewFormat

NewFormat AB
Smörblommegränd 14, SE-165 72 Hässelby (Stockholm), Sweden
tel:+46 (0)70 631 53 01

All content © copyright 2008-2021 NewFormat AB. All rights reserved.
All product names, trademarks and registered trademarks
are property of their respective owners.

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Accessible PDF