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Document Remediation FAQs

Why do I need to create and accessible PDF file?

Albuquerque Public Schools is committed to supporting an online environment that is accessible to all members of the public. This includes individuals with disabilities, users of assistive devices, and the APS community. Visit Accessibility@APS for guidelines and more information.

How do I make signature lines and signatures accessible?

Signature lines should be designed to allow keyboard users to navigate them and to enter information to complete them (i.e. make sure the form is navigable via the traditional keyboard commands such as tab, arrow keys, etc, and fields can be filled out using the keyboard). The most popular way of creating electronic signatures is through PDF documents, so ensuring your PDFs are fully accessible and form-fillable will provide many of the necessary tools and features for accessible signatures.

How are documents that are only available as hard copies remediated?

Older, hard-copy documents should be digitized using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software and remediated digitally. There are many ways to do this, but the more popular ones are to use the Adobe Acrobat OCR functionality or the ABBYY Finereader OCR software. The end result can be any format, as long as the overall document is created such that is has the necessary accessibility features.

How do I write alt text for a map?

Maps should be separated into the categories of decorative, illustrative, and fully informative.

Decorative Maps

Give a very high-level amount of information that could even fall outside of what is relevant and be purely visual. If the map is only visual flair, then it should be marked as decorative.

  • “A map displaying the continents of North America and South America”. 

Illustrative Maps

Provide more in-depth information but are semantically not maps so much as diagrams of a concept. This is a situation where the strict geographic information is purely for visual flair, but the legend/included text describes a specific concept. The rest of the informational content, such as the names and shapes of continents, is extraneous and not related to the concept being illustrated.

  • “A map of the Earth with lines of latitude highlighted. The lines are horizontal and labeled 0 degrees at the Equator, which is located at the middle of the globe. From this point, the lines of latitude run from 20 degrees to 80 degrees in both directions, running to the North and South poles respectively.” 

Fully Informative Maps

Serve the purpose of a map, with the goal of the user being able to find specific geographical locations on the map. All of the geographic information on the map is relevant. This means the land, water, labeled areas, spatial/distance relationships, should be described. A full example can be found on Diagram Center Specific Guidelines for Maps. It should be noted that longer alt text needs to be provided outside of alt tags, when dealing with HTML or Word Documents. These longer descriptions should be indicated in the alt text and held in the associated caption for the image. Having long alt text in standard alt text fields can cause issues and introduce stumbling blocks for screen reader users.

How does PDF/UA relate to WCAG 2.0 guidelines?

PDF/UA and WCAG 2.0 guidelines overlap across a lot of issues.

  • WCAG 2.0 addresses the following guidelines differently: 1.2 Time-based media, 1.4 Distinguishable, 3.2 Predictable, and 3.3 Input assistance. WCAG 2.0 is technology-neutral.
  • PDF/UA assumes that the publisher does not have the ability to substantially modify the PDF’s content. The requirements tend to be narrowly focused on tags and limited in scope.