[Athen] CommonLook and screen readers

Stephen Marositz smarositz at csudh.edu
Thu Apr 22 11:21:06 PDT 2021

Hi Sarah

I last looked at CommonLook with a screen reader in 2019, and, at that time, it would not have been possible to remediate a PDF's tags with a screen reader or associate tooltips and the like. The problem is that a screen reader user can have focus on the tag structure and the original document simultaneously. CommonLook, from what I remember, replaces this process with sort of a tutorial-like step-through remediation process,. But, again, the screen reader cannot focus on that interface and the document at the same time so you have no idea what you are remediating.

The best thing to do as a screen reader user is to re-OCR the document in to a format that can be remediated successfully, E.G. Word and export back to PDF when finished.

I hope this helps.

Alex Marositz J.D. ATAC
Information Security and Compliance Office
Information Technology
California State University, Dominguez Hills
E: smarositz at csudh.edu<mailto:smarositz at csudh.edu>

From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> On Behalf Of Bourne, Sarah (MASSIT)
Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2021 2:12 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Athen] CommonLook and screen readers

A friend has asked me if I know anybody that uses CommonLook for tagging PDFs who is a screen reader user. I don't, but perhaps one of you do? He's been using Acrobat, but there's a number of things he can't do (beyond things that require sight, such as seeing if color alone is being used to convey meaning, authoring alt text, etc.) and is wondering if CommonLook would be a worthwhile investment.

Thank you!
Sarah E. Bourne
Director of IT Accessibility
1 Ashburton Place, 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02108
Office: (617) 626-4502 (messages only)
sarah.bourne at mass.gov<mailto:sarah.bourne at mass.gov> | www.mass.gov/eotss<https://urldefense.com/v3/__http:/www.mass.gov/anf/research-and-tech/oversight-agencies/itd/__;!!P7nkOOY!8TmNldmxZNYJIol_tRv5LozBIRPmUmB19vNWU2kFzbU9WIBMnHTqJ6lWcl16OGEt4g$>
Executive Office of Technology Services and Security (EOTSS)
EOTSS provides secure and quality digital information, services, and tools
to constituents and service providers when and where they need them.

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