RE: People with disabilities - document access compliance

Subject: RE: People with disabilities - document access compliance
From: "David Tinsley" <dtinsley -at- ndigital -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, "Kay Robart" <Kay -dot- Robart -at- tea -dot- state -dot- tx -dot- us>
Date: Thu, 07 Jul 2011 13:35:26 -0400

Kay,

Thank you for your detailed reply. I am on day one of my journey through this legislation and figured my first port of call would be the collective experience of this group, just to give me a flavour of what I might need to look for, what issues I should consider etc. So far I have discovered nothing but generic guidelines and certainly nothing as specific as you mention; maybe a deeper search will reveal specifics.

Regards,

David

>>>

I'm not familiar with the Canadian legislation, but I am required to
comply with Section 508 of the U.S. Code. The first thing I did was to
look up the law. It was pretty clear about what was required, and I just
had to translate that into what it would mean for my deliverables. So
first, I recommend research.

For Section 508, for Help and PDFs, it means tagging all of my images
and links with a description (or using an empty tag for purely
ornamental images). For Help I have to change the tagging of the headers
for tables from <td> to <th> and use the <caption> tag. And I have to
generate using the Section 508 option (which makes the TOC, index, and
search look really awful). There is extra work I have to do to my PDFs
after it is generated: select the language if it isn't selected already
and make sure the tab order is correct (Use Document Structure under
Properties). If you use Word to create your originals for conversion to
PDF, your tables are already marked correctly and you just have to add
the tags to your images and links.

For any medium, if you use an image of a table instead of creating the
table in the media, you have to describe the contents of the table
completely either in the text or in a tag underlying the document. Hint:
create the table.

We check the PDFs by running the accessibility reports (FYI, they will
have errors if you use FrameMaker because it thinks you have comments
even if you don't. This worked correctly for awhile and then got broken
again. I think it is interpreting the headers and footers incorrectly).

These are the kinds of things I have to do to observe Section 508. There
may be more to meet your Canadian laws. Once you fix your existing
documents, I find it doesn't take much time to do it as I go forward.

Kay

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+kay -dot- robart=tea -dot- state -dot- tx -dot- us -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+kay -dot- robart=tea -dot- state -dot- tx -dot- us -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com]
On Behalf Of David Tinsley
Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2011 10:45 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: People with disabilities - document access compliance


Greetings fellow writers,
I have been tasked with investigating what I need to do to ensure our
technical documentation complies with the Accessibility for People with
Disabilities Act (specifically in Ontario).
Does anyone have any experience with this sort of legislation? How much
effort do you have to put in to ensure compliance? I work in a high tech
field with some very long complicated documents that would be time
consuming, as well as expensive, to reproduce in other formats.
The only thing I do at the moment is take into account the use of colour
and colour blindness issues.
Any experiences, thoughts or ideas would be most welcome.
Regards,
David
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Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help.
Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.
http://www.doctohelp.com

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Follow-Ups:

References:
People with disabilities - document access compliance: From: David Tinsley
RE: People with disabilities - document access compliance: From: Robart, Kay

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