[Athen] Tag PDF files

KRISTA L. GREEAR greeark at uw.edu
Fri Aug 19 08:05:15 PDT 2016

Here are my thoughts Brian about the last part of your email.

Your director sounds like they are wanting to provide materials that are more of a universal design mentality where anyone can use any file without workarounds on the user's end. This is the ultimate goal that I personally strive for as an adaptive technologist.

However, our role in DS is to provide academic accommodations/adjustments - individual solutions for students who have a disability, who are working with your office and have run into barriers. This means providing alt format for students that have some kind of impact with texts. I would say the bare minimum is to provide a version, that is accessible and usable, to your students who are eligible for alt format. This could include blind/low-vision students, students with traumatic brain injuries, students who have mobile limitations, students with learning disabilities, students with ADHD (the list depends on your school/office culture). If we fail to do this, we are at risk. I ensure that these individual solutions are addressed first.

Anything beyond academic accommodations (like making all PDFs text selectable and available for ANYONE, regardless of disability, in the class to be able to use text to speech) seems to be more of the universal design model. Which model, again, I strive for but cannot guarantee. Typically, when working towards universal design, campus culture has to change and support of administrators on your campus is paramount.

Thus, I will tag a PDF for a student who uses a screen reader. But I do not yet have the resources to tag all PDFs received from a publisher for each of my students. Often, a student with a learning disability does not need tags in PDFs. In that case, I provide them what they NEED, not what I would ideally WANT to provide.

Hope that helps,

Krista Greear
Accessible Text & Technology Manager
University of Washington | Disability Resources for Students
011 Mary Gates Hall | Box 352808
Seattle, WA 98195-2808 | disability.uw.edu/<http://disability.uw.edu/%22%20%5Ct%20%22_blank>

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Kluesner, Bryon
Sent: Thursday, August 18, 2016 4:32 PM
To: athen-list at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Athen] Tag PDF files

Hi all. Does anyone have a quick "Cheat Sheet" on how to tag and make Publisher PDF/Word files accessible for users of screen readers and Text to Speech programs they are willing to share? My Director would like to make all alternate texts accessible before providing them to students. I see a need for students who are blind using JAWS, but is it necessary to make ALL PDF files from publishers accessible? Any words of advise or encouragement is welcome. In a typical semester, I have over 100 students and approximately 300-350 book requests sent to publishers. I am a 1-person Adaptive Technology Coordinator who may have 1-3 students assistants I can rely on.



Bryon Kluesner, RhD
Adaptive Technology Coordinator
Disability Resource Center
Adjunct Professor
College of Health, Education & Professional Studies
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
642 E. 5th St. University Center, Suite 108
Chattanooga, TN 37403
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