Document Format (PDF) is an open de facto standard for electronic
document distribution worldwide. Adobe PDF is a universal file format
that preserves all of the fonts, formatting, colors, and graphics
of any source document, regardless of the application and platform
used to create it. Adobe PDF files are compact and can be shared,
viewed, navigated, and printed exactly as intended by anyone, anywhere
with the free Adobe Acrobat® Reader software. You can convert any
document to Adobe PDF, even scanned paper, using Adobe Acrobat 4.0
is in electronic form, it is not always easily accessible to persons
with low visual acuity or blindness, hearing impairment, motion
impairment, and other disabilities. Because Adobe PDF can represent
documents that are graphically rich or that may have complex layouts,
making the content in Adobe PDF files accessible to users with visual
disabilities can be challenging.
Incorporated currently provides two solutions that help make information
in Adobe® PDF files accessible to the visually disabled. These solutions
convert Adobe PDF files into a format that can be read by screen
readers. Screen reader programs allow the visually disabled to interact
with their computer by interpreting what is happening on the display
and outputting that information to speech synthesis or refreshable
Braille output devices.
solution is a free, Web-based service at http://access.adobe.com.
Through access.adobe.com, any PDF document on the Internet can be
converted into HTML or text. Because the service converts PDF files
into formats that can be represented by ASCII text, access.adobe.com
works best on documents in English. Documents in European languages,
such as French or German, should convert fairly well with the exception
of symbols that cannot be represent by ASCII text, such as umlauts.
Languages requiring double-byte characters, such as Japanese, Chinese,
Arabic, Hebrew and Russian, are not supported.
Access 4.0 for Microsoft Windows software is an alternative solution
for reading PDF files. This free, English-language plug-in for Adobe
Acrobat software provides accessibility through cooperation with
Windows screen reading programs. The Acrobat Access plug-in converts
PDF files on a user's local system into plain text, which can then
be read by screen reading programs.
the Acrobat Access plug-in extracts the text of a document in approximate
reading order and in a single column, making it easier for screen
readers to follow the flow of the document. It can also preserve
navigational elements, such as hypertext links and bookmarks. Acrobat
Access 4.0 is available now and can be downloaded for free from
the Adobe web site, http://access.adobe.com/tools.html