[LINK] Adobe PDF Accessibility Event Endorsed by AGIMO

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Wed Feb 23 09:43:56 AEDT 2011

Adobe are running a series of education sessions on "PDF Accessibility
Education Sessions for the Australian Government" in March 2011:

These are to help Australian Public Servants with PDF authoring skills,
after an AGIMO/Vision Australia  study which was critical of the
accessibility of  Portable Document Format documents for people with a

In my view the main problem is not with PDF itself but the design of 
documents. Better training for document designers will help. But this 
training need not be specific to PDF. The same techniques will work with 
other formats, although each document format has its own idiosyncrasies.

In line with Principle 7 "Open and accessible formats online" of the 
"Draft Principles on Open Public Sector Information" from the Australian 
  Information Commissioner 
I suggest it would be better for the Australian Government to 
concentrate on accessible web pages and make that the primary format for 
government publishing. PDF versions could still be produced, but 
automatically generated from the web version, just as a format for 
printing. E-book formats based on web technology could also be provided 
as an alternative to PDF, with little additional effort.

ps: While educating public servants on accessibility is a worthwhile
aim, the Department of Finance and Deregulation has exceeded its 
authority in endorsing this Adobe activity. The name of the Department 
of Finance and Deregulation, and the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, are 
displayed below a banner headline on the Adobe web page about the PDF 
sessions. The page is marked "Copyright © 2011 Adobe Systems 
Incorporated. All rights reserved".  This is contrary to the guidelines 
for the use of the Arms: 

Tom Worthington FACS CP HLM, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, School of Computer Science, The
Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/
Visiting Scientist, CSIRO ICT Centre: http://bit.ly/csiro_ict_canberra

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