Jay McKay: Hello, everyone. We're going to get started in just a few moments while we wait for some of our friends to log in. So welcome to Be a Digital Ally.
Julie Romanowski: Jay, should I go ahead and start sharing the...
Jay McKay: Yeah. Let's go ahead get that set up and that way we'll be ready to go.
Julie Romanowski: You disabled... You have to enable my screen sharing.
Jay McKay: There we go. That should work for you now.
Julie Romanowski: Yes, it does.
Jay McKay: Okay. And I'm going to go ahead and open the waiting room too. So that way, if you're like me, you don't have to listen to multiple dings.
Jay McKay: Hey, Bowden. Good to see you.
Julie Romanowski: Is everyone able to hear or see the screen for the slide deck?
Jay McKay: Yes. I am anyway.
Erica Braverman: Oh, hey Naomi.
Erica Braverman: How are you?
Erica Braverman: It's exciting. We have all these. I mean, it's great to have everyone here, but it's like, oh, I recognize your little icon. I know that person.
Erica Braverman: Well, it's-
Jay McKay: All right. And then just to let everyone know, and I'll put some stuff in the chat later too, but just typically we will have a Bitly link for you all to access the slides. However, because of the content that's in here today, it was going to be a little difficult for us to keep the formatting on the slides as we have it right now. So we will have the slides available to you through our website when the video is finished. So when we do our video editing and we post the video, we'll also have all the materials posted at that time too. It was just, we wanted to make sure everything looked clean and pretty when you accessed it. So we felt it was better to wait than to give you stuff that you couldn't really use very well immediately. So it looks like we are at five o'clock on my end. Do you have five o'clock Erica?
Erica Braverman: I do. Well, I have six o'clock because I'm an hour... At least to everyone-
Jay McKay: Well, then we're really late now. All right then, I'm going to let you take it away then.
Erica Braverman: All right. Well, welcome or welcome back to everyone. We're very excited to have you here at our latest. Today is, Be a Digital Ally, which is intro to documents and PDFs. And oops, I keep thinking I can click the slides, then I can't. Thank you, Julie. So just kind of a little intro and welcome. And what we're about here, first of all, we really appreciate everyone being here and letting us be a part of your journey towards accessibility. And just as housekeeping and general guidelines, we always strive to create inclusive and accessible spaces here, to be kind, polite and respectful and ensure accessibility. So if you notice anything that's affecting your access to these materials, please speak up, put a note in chat, and we would like to be able to help you as quickly as possible.
Erica Braverman: Just a little overview of what we're doing tonight. We're going to do our welcome and introductions of who we are. We're going to talk about what we mean by digital accessibility. This might be review for some, but for some, it will be new. And then, we are going to get into our document accessibility section, which Julie Romanowski is also running the slides, will do. So Julie's got a lot of things she's juggling tonight. I hats off to Julie. And we had a-
Julie Romanowski: Oh, yes.
Erica Braverman: We have an accessible document overview, a PDF overview, talking about Google Docs versus Microsoft Word, and then comparing accessibility of PDFs.
Erica Braverman: And if you've never been to Be a Digital Ally before, this is a monthly series, and our objective here is really to cover the basic skills and principles behind accessible digital design. So for the people who don't necessarily code, the small content creators, this is for you. And even if you're an expert, you're welcome. This really is space for everyone. And our overall goal is to make digital content accessible to people with disabilities, regardless of where we have our technical skills or background. Everyone's welcome.
Erica Braverman: And we're really looking at content creators. So this could be social media, bloggers, contributing content, new website, but people especially who are new to accessibility.
Erica Braverman: And this is us. My hair is a lot longer in the picture of me on this slide, but my name's Erica Braverman, and I'm the community engagement specialist here at Knowbility. I mainly focus on our access works, usability testing program, but I... In the nonprofit world, I feel like we're all doing a little bit of everything. So I'm going to pass the mic over to Jay McKay to introduce herself.
Jay McKay: There we go. I am Jay McKay. I'm the director of community programs. So I oversee wonderful programs like BADA, Be a Digital Ally or AccessU, our AIR competition coming up. And I am so excited to see you here. I am a white female in her early forties. I wear classes. I have a big, huge headphones on, and short brown hair that is quickly turning gray. Welcome.
Erica Braverman: And Julie, do you want to introduce yourself? I don't think most of the folks here have met you yet. You might be muted, Julie.
Julie Romanowski: I'm trying to hit the space bar to unmute and the space bar it's suddenly doing other things on me. So that's a problem. Yes.
Erica Braverman: No worries.
Julie Romanowski: Yeah. I'm Julie Romanowski. I am a white female wearing glasses, shorter dark blonde hair pulled up right now wearing headset. I've been in the accessibility community for 16 plus years. I've been in the development community for almost 30 years now, I guess. Yeah. I feel really old. I've only been with Knowbility since April, and I am really excited about working with these folks. They're just a great team.
Erica Braverman: Thanks Julie. And I didn't really describe myself besides saying that I look different from my picture, but my picture's a little misleading. I'm a white female in my mid thirties with short brown hair wearing glasses. And let's go on to the next slide. Oh, I keep thinking I can navigate. Sorry, Julie.
Erica Braverman: So a bit about Knowbility, before we step into our main topic of the evening. We are a nonprofit. We were founded in 1999. So we're just about old enough to rent a car in a couple years. We are based locally in Austin, but we operate globally with all of our different programs. And our mission overall through all these programs is to create an inclusive digital world for people with disabilities.
Erica Braverman: And about our programs, Be a Digital Ally, is just one of many. Our community programs include, our accessibility internet rally. If you're not familiar with that, please do check it out. And if you want to sign up, you have until tomorrow to do so. AccessU which is our training conference in May. AccessWorks, which is our usability testing program. Our K12 Digital Accessibility program, which is our toolkit Tuesday webinars, and our K12 Access Summit for teachers, educators, parents in July. And then of course, Be a Digital Ally. And if you'd like to support any or all of these programs, if there's a course on here or an objective on here that is near and dear to your heart, you can visit us at knowbility.org, that's K-N-O-W-B-I-L-I-T-Y.org/donate. And Jay has just popped that in the chat as well, if you would like to support any of these community programs.
Erica Braverman: And before we jump into the main topic, we're going to review what we mean by digital accessibility. For something to be accessible in a digital space, it must be perceivable. So can people perceive the content, whether that's through vision or hearing or however they're accessing the information on the page or the app? Can they understand content? Do they know where to go? What to do, what to expect, when they're on the site. Navigation, can people navigate independently using their preferred tools? And we're going to be talking about some of these tools in a bit.
Erica Braverman: Interaction, are people able to independently complete tasks? Are they able to independently explore all the areas and choose where they'd like to go? How they'd like to interact with the features. And last, but certainly not least is, contribute, and is that, can people fully participate in an authentic manner? So leaving a comment, filling out a form, selecting a page, interacting with the site in all its capacities.
Erica Braverman: And why is it so important to make sure that accessibility is part of our designs? Why is it important to design for accessibility? Is that 15% of the world's population lives with some form of disability. And several... If you think that number is kind of high, it's really not. Because keep in mind that some people might not consider themselves as having disability, but they're included by definition as having a disability. Is defined by the World Health Organization, and that could be people who are having age related vision loss, or hearing loss or mobility loss. A lot of people who say, oh, I'm just getting old, are really saying, yeah. I have an access need that needs to be accommodated, even if they're not thinking that way, people who are colorblind. So this definition includes more of your users than you think.
Erica Braverman: And then also people without disabilities do benefit from accessibility. Things like magnification. I like to use magnification if something is small on a website and I'm trying to view it, or dark mode on my phone. I love dark mode. That's an accessibility feature that a lot of people like to use, whether they have a disability or not.
Erica Braverman: And when we talked about those preferred tools that people might be using to navigate around a website, what we're talking about is assistive technology. And assistive technology is any item or piece of equipment or software program or product, or product system that's used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities. So there's no one type of assistive technology. It's really up to the person to choose what they need. And these assistive technologies enable and they promote inclusion in participation, especially if people with disabilities, people who are aging and people with non-communicable diseases. And the primary purpose of these products is to maintain or improve an individual's function and independence, thereby promoting their wellbeing. And that's a great definition from the World Health Organization, summing up disability or assistive technology. And the first one, I didn't cite my sources very well. That's from the Assistive Technology Industry Association.
Erica Braverman: So two good definitions of a very necessary type of technology. What might people be choosing when they select these assisted technologies, whether they're using a software or a product system or equipment, lots of choices. There's something called a screen reader, which will read out content on a page as audio rather than visual text, a refreshable braille display, which combines with the screen reader to display that content in braille. There are alternative navigation methods such as using keyboard only instead of a mouse, or using a different external navigation device, like a switch, closed captions. Lots of people use closed captions on YouTube, on Instagram videos, all over the place. Transcripts. If you've ever visited news websites, if they have an interview, they'll typically have a transcript. Magnification, and then dark mode/high contrast. And then we've linked...
Erica Braverman: When you revisit the slides, we have some great examples linked here from WebAIM. They have wonderful descriptions and scenarios talking about all these technologies and more, this is not an exhaust list. And last but not least, if you're new here and you've never heard those definitions before, and you've never heard about assistive technology before and you're thinking, oh, no. I have so much to do. I can't even begin to think about looking at my website. What if I have too much to fix? This is probably the most important part of the intro.
Erica Braverman: The main thing to consider is that accessibility is a journey. We are all still learning about accessibility. Julie is, Jay is, and I am, because accessibility, we're learning new things as an industry every day, technology's changing. We're always learning how to do better and how to do more. And this quote from Maya Angelou, we think really sums up the process of learning about accessibility. And that is, "Do the best you can until you know better, then when you know better, do better." So these are very wise words to keep in mind, no matter where you are and learning about accessibility.
Julie Romanowski: All right.
Erica Braverman: So it's time to jump into what we're all here for, which is document accessibility. We're so excited to have Julie with us here tonight. She's got some great material for us. So I am going to turn it over to you, Julie. We're excited.
Julie Romanowski: Thank you very much. I am going to stop my video because my Internet's been a little flaky the past couple days, and I don't want to have any issues there. Okay. So we're going to go over, document accessibility. We're going to give you an overview of what we mean by accessible documents. Then going to talk a little bit about PDF documents. A lot of people have misconceptions about them. Then we're going to do a comparison of Google Docs versus Microsoft Word. And after we get through that, we're going to compare different PDFs, the accessibility of those PDFs that were generated using Google Docs and Word.
Julie Romanowski: So accessible documents, document overview. What do we mean when someone says that a document is accessible, it's considered accessible if it can be read by everyone, including people with disabilities, conforms to accessibility standards, such as WCAG, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1, and it works with assistive technology. Different software and devices like as Erica had mentioned, screen magnifiers, screen readers. And I'm going to actually use a screen reader today to demonstrate how accessible PDFs are. I'm going to use a screen reader called JAWS, J-A-W-S, speech recognition software, text to speech software, alternative input devices and refreshable braille displays.
Julie Romanowski: So what makes an accessible document? Give me just a minute. My slides are not working right here. All right. So there are a lot of things you want to consider to create an accessible document. Very important, descriptive document title. A document title is not the first heading in the main content. A document title is set up in the property section, say in the property sections of Word or in Google Docs, you can go into the file and update it there.
Julie Romanowski: Document language is important. You need to have that set for people, maybe someone who English... If we're creating something in English, English is their second language, you need to make sure that you have the document language set for the document and for sections of the document. Valid heading structure is critical, using true headings, not visually formatting items to mimic headings like, oh, I'm going to have the font size at 24 pixels and I'm going to make it a dark blue and this is my main heading. That's not something you want to do. You need to avoid skipping heading levels and don't use a certain heading just because you like the look. You need to style the headings the way that you want them to look.
Julie Romanowski: Alternative text for images is very important. Someone using a screen reader, when they're navigating a document and they get to an image, if there is no alternative text included, it may just announce image or graphic, or it may announce the image file name, which gives them no information at all. Valid table structure, simple heading, simple tables, using header rows. Complex tables could get a little difficult to make accessible. So if you have very complex tables, I recommend looking and saying, how can I redesign this so that it's much more simple and easier for someone to navigate.
Julie Romanowski: Descriptive links. You don't want to have to click here more, et cetera. Logical reading order is important. True lists, again, you don't want to go into your document and create a list by using tabs or spaces and then putting in a little asterisk for a dash, something like that. Color contrast is another thing, needs to be at least 4.5 to one, for the color contrast ratio. You don't want to rely on color alone. And you don't want to use images of text. If you must use images of text, say you're wanting to use a special font that doesn't convert well, then you want to make sure you have alternative text that matches the text that's displayed in the image.
Julie Romanowski: Okay. Before we talk about Google Docs and Word accessibility, it's really important to understand what a PDF is. So PDF stands for Portable Document Format. A lot of people think PDF and they think Adobe. Adobe's done a lot of work with PDFs, but PDF is its own format. Adobe did create it many years ago to provide people with an easy, reliable way to share documents, regardless of the software or hardware they're using, regardless of whatever browser they're using, things like that. PDFs are portable. They can be used anywhere. They can be displayed anywhere, they can be... You don't need any expensive software to read it. You can use a free PDF reader. PDF format is an international standard, open standard now.
Julie Romanowski: Lots of accessibility specialists really like to criticize PDF accessibility, even to the point of demanding that PDFs not be used at all. I admit there are a lot of inaccessible PDFs out there, but the real problem is likely, people not understanding how to use options within their authoring tools to create accessible documents, or it could even be the authoring tool being used is not able to generate accessible PDFs. A great deal of effort is often devoted to remediating PDFs that have accessibility issues. Sometimes it's necessary, but most of the time, these issues could have been addressed in the original document, by using an authoring tool that allows for the creation of an accessible document.
Julie Romanowski: Okay. So for PDF accessibility, when we're talking about accessible PDFs, you really need to start with the source. So structuring the original document correctly, I talked about making sure that you format it correctly, headings list, true lists, things like that, and addressing accessibility issues in the source document before converting to PDF will help prevent most accessibility issues. It's important to note that there will be likely still be accessibility issues in the final PDF. However, if care's taken, when creating the original document and all accessibility issues are addressed there, then any accessibility issues in the final PDF will likely be minor.
Julie Romanowski: One thing a lot of accessibility specialists talk about, and you may have heard the term PDF tags. That is one of the ways that are used to make PDF accessible. When they're talking about tags, they're referring to, well, the tag PDFs, where the PDF tags are used to provide a hidden, structured representation of the content that's presented to screen readers. Tags exist for accessibility purposes only and have no visual effect on the PDF. There is more to an accessible PDF than tags, but an untagged PDF would not be considered accessible. For example, for tags, if you take a Word document and you have structured it correctly with headings, things like that, when a PDF is generated, those headings would be tagged in the PDF as, like H1 for heading level one, H2 for heading level two, and so on.
Julie Romanowski: All right. People often ask me, okay, so what's better for accessible documents, Google Docs or Microsoft Word? Well, now we're going to go and compare the two. First off, Google Docs accessibility. Google Docs, as I'm sure many of you know, is free to use, as long as you don't go over the 15 gigabytes storage limit. Support for screen readers and screen magnifiers is not enabled by default. It must be turned on within an open document. Google Docs does not have a built-in accessibility checker, but there are a couple of add-ons available. One of those add-ons is called the accessibility checker for docs is free, but it provides very limited feedback. And I don't really recommend it. There is an add-on called Grackle Docs. It's a paid add-on, but it provides very good accessibility feedback. And note, just using Google Docs you can create PDFs within Google Docs, but it's not possible to generate an accessible PDF using Google Docs.
Julie Romanowski: All right. Onto Microsoft Word. So Microsoft Word is available. Office 365, you can get it as a subscription service, but what a lot of people don't know is you can also access Word online for free. You have to create a Microsoft account to do that, but you can access it online for free and use it that way. You just would have a... It would be limited where you wouldn't have a cloud account. You couldn't download the software onto your workstation, things like that. Assistive technology support is enabled by default in both the paid and free versions. Both the paid and free versions of Word, have a built-in accessibility checker, which provides excellent feedback on accessibility issues. And both of the Word versions also generate accessible PDFs.
Julie Romanowski: So if you're interested in creating accessible docs and then generating accessible PDFs, choosing an authoring tool that allows for this is vital. We're going to compare accessibility options for Google Docs and Microsoft Word. Google Docs on its own, as I mentioned before, can create accessible documents most of the time, but it can't generate accessible PDFs. There's a paid accessibility checker, I mentioned Grackle Docs, does a great job of checking for accessibility. You can have very accessible documents using Grackle Docs to check the accessibility.
Julie Romanowski: PDF. We're going to get into that a little later. It's a little interesting there. The very best one, currently, there may be something new coming out later on down the road, but Microsoft has done an excellent job, and Microsoft Office 365, Office 365 Word, they're the best offering tools for accessibility and for allowing creation of accessible PDFs, both the paid and free online versions create the same accessibility in their documents and generate the same PDFs. All right. I've covered a lot so far. Let's pause a moment to see what questions you may have. Does anyone have comments about anything I've covered so far? Any questions?
Jay McKay: So we have a question it's asking about, do new tablets, Android or Apple, come with Adobe built-in, or do they have the ability to simply show PDF files with their operating systems?
Julie Romanowski: I do know you can download Acrobat Reader, so you can display those. And I am not an Android person. I am [inaudible] and iOS person all the way, so I can't really answer about Android. But I do know too is I have a Acrobat Pro account and I do have an app that I could download onto my phone and tablet, where I can edit PDFs there. I can read PDFs on there. It's more limited than if you are using the online or desktop version.
Jay McKay: Okay. There's a question about, if you download a Google Doc as a Word doc and then convert it to PDF, is the PDF accessible or would you still need to format the Word doc for accessibility? And I think we're going to get to both. And then somebody else has a similar question about PDFs being made within Adobe as opposed to exporting. So I think that's kind of where we're going next.
Julie Romanowski: Yeah. Well, PDFs being made within Adobe is a little more advanced, because we're talking Acrobat Pro and we're not going to be covering Acrobat Pro in this one. That's its partners.
Erica Braverman: We had a... Oh, sorry, Julie.
Jay McKay: Go ahead.
Erica Braverman: We had a question. What about Apple docs?
Jay McKay: Well, it was getting it converted to Apple pages actually.
Erica Braverman: Oh, okay.
Jay McKay: There was a correction to... They didn't mean Apple doc, same as Apple pages.
Julie Romanowski: Yeah. And I only tested desktop. I didn't test mobile for these. So we're only talking desktop right now. The mobile would be a completely different BADA session.
Erica Braverman: Gotcha. And then do we get the question about PDFs made within Adobe? I don't think we... Okay.
Jay McKay: Yeah. We talked about that a little bit.
Erica Braverman: Okay. All right.
Julie Romanowski: And so, one about downloading a Google Doc is a Word document. You would have to then go in and make sure that there aren't any accessibility issues in the document as a Word document before you convert it to a PDF, but it should work okay. Thing is, there's some formatting differences between Word and Google Docs. So if you upload a Word document into Google Docs, it may strip some things out. If you download from Google Docs into Word, it may make font size huge, and there are a lot of different formatting things that you'd have to mess with.
Erica Braverman: Oh, okay.
Julie Romanowski: All right.
Erica Braverman: Oh, we did have a couple comments. I'm trying to read and right here at the same time and it's not working in my favor. So Hillary said, I work for the federal government. We're supposed to use Google Docs for everything. I prefer Microsoft Word, and would like to make a case for using its accessibility features.
Jay McKay: Well, I think we're giving you some info here.
Julie Romanowski: Yeah. I think the slide deck plus the... There's some demonstrations that will be... They're actually videos embedded within the slide deck. So you'll be able to show those as well, to help them, whoever it is making the decisions, understand that maybe Office would be a better choice or maybe Google Docs. I'm not giving away yet, we aren't to that point.
Jay McKay: Yeah. And Bowden made a comment about, assuming that it's possible to remediate PDFs that were created in Google Docs. So if you create the Google Doc, create it or download it as a PDF, potentially you could remediate it. But yeah, that sounds like a lot more work than it's worth.
Julie Romanowski: Yeah. You'd have to really have to have Acrobat Pro, which it's a subscription service and it can be pricing.
Julie Romanowski: All right. Okay. So now we're going to get into comparing the accessibility of these PDFs that were generated from Google Docs and Word. I'm going to look at some examples generated from Google Docs, another one generated from Google Docs using Grackle, and then one generated from Microsoft Word. And I'd mentioned before that the free online version and the paid version where creating the same documents, same accessibility, generating the same PDF. So I'm only going to be showing one of those documents because it's going to be identical if I showed them both. Just a minute. I just lost my slides.
Julie Romanowski: Okay. So what I did was I went and created the source doc using Word 365, and I verified the accessibility using built-in accessibility checker. And I also tested using screen reader. I used JAWS and I used another screen reader called N-V-D-A. I then saved the document as a Google Docs document, converted it, and then went in again and verified that accessibility wasn't broken. And I did that using Grackle Docs. And then, I generated PDFs for the Word documents for the Google Doc and for the Grackle Docs. And after I did that, I opened each of the PDFs in Acrobat Professional, and I ran the accessibility checker to get the results that we're going to see in the next few slides.
Julie Romanowski: First off, Google Docs. So, Google Docs generated an untagged PDF, without a primary language and document title, even though these items were included in the source document. So generating the PDF must have strip some things out of the document. And the Acrobat Pro accessibility checker flag the tab order is failing, but on manual tests, the tab order was actually correct. So this is something when you're running these accessibility checkers, don't always rely on the results, because the tab order was correct. Error most likely appeared due to the PDF not being tagged. I mentioned before an untagged PDF cannot be considered accessible. However, that doesn't mean an untagged PDF cannot be used by person like a screen reader user. And we're going to get into that in a demo here in a couple more slides. We got a question?
Jay McKay: I do. So can you kind of tell me how a tag makes that document more accessible? I'm assuming it has more to do with, if I'm a screen reader user, it helps me navigate that document a little easier than if it was untagged.
Julie Romanowski: Yes. Well, the tags are what it is as say for the Word document, which it will do for the Word document when you create generate the PDF. Any headings within the Word document will be tagged as headings within the PDF. For some reason, with Google Docs, it's taking the formatting, the headings and things and stripping them out when it's generating the PDFs. So something that is a heading, it's actually a true heading, a heading level one, heading level two within Google Docs, when you generate the PDF, suddenly that information is stripped out of the document and it just becomes simple text.
Jay McKay: Gotcha. Thank you.
Julie Romanowski: Okay. So the accessibility checker also flagged images with missing alternative text as well as, excuse me, as well as tables and lists, not being marked up correctly. Very interesting about the table error, seeing as there were no tables in the original document. So I'm not sure how that happened when the PDF was generated. Probably some bug within Google Docs when it's generating PDFs.
Julie Romanowski: All right. Now, next slide, I am actually going to run a short video clip and it does have open captions in it. Meaning you will see the captions because JAWS can sometimes be hard to understand. But seeing the captions and you can kind of see how the screen reader is navigating throughout the document. I was disappointed when I did these video clips, that JAWS, when you're using it, it puts boxes, red boxes around wherever it has focus. When I did the video clip that didn't show up. So apparently it didn't like that. It would've been a little easier to see these things. So I'm going to start this right now.
Speaker 5: WCA...
Julie Romanowski: Let's see. Are you able to hear that?
Speaker 5: AG two dash conformance requirements dash Google Doc.
Julie Romanowski: Is everyone able to hear that?
Speaker 5: WCAG dash link W3C registered left...
Julie Romanowski: Is it loud?
Erica Braverman: Really loud to me.
Speaker 5: Left pair and link MIT-
Jay McKay: Yeah. No, it's good.
Speaker 5: Link ERCIM link kill, Beihang right pair and W3C, link liability. Link trademark and dlink document use. Rules apply period web content accessibility guidelines left pair and WCAG right pair and link overview. Two, link additional documentation. Two, link WCAG to principles and guidelines to link principle. One colon perceivable N-people can recognize and use your digital content using the senses link that are available to them. Two link examples. Two link guideline.
Julie Romanowski: Okay. So for that, it was reading from top to bottom, left to right. So it was reading in the correct order. I don't know if you noticed on that the one longer link it was reading each word and then pausing very, very slowly that... Let's see if I can pull this back up again. So in the principle one perceivable, it read each like, "People can recognize and use." The reason it was reading that way is because when the PDF was generated, each one of those words was generated as a separate line. And there are other PDF generators that will do that as well. But Google Docs, when it generated the PDF, that's what it did. So the screen reader can get the information they need. However, it didn't announce that the web content accessibility guidelines. This item right here was a heading level one, which it should have. It did announce links, but it didn't announce that these items were in a list, and it should have done that. But all of that information was stripped out.
Julie Romanowski: Okay, let's go on to Grackle Docs. So the accessibility checkers automated... Excuse me, tests found no accessibility issues in the PDF. And as with any other PDF, any PDF you run through this accessibility checker in Acrobat Pro, it will flag logical reading order and color contrast, and navigation links as needing manual checks. Because those are things that really can't be tested, automated testing reliably. There are tools that are getting better at doing like navigation links or reading order, tests better, manually or automatically, but still the Acrobat Pro will flag those and say, you need to do manual tests. So it looked like a really good report here. But then let's go to the demo. We'll go to the demo. And I am going to start this and we'll see what the JAWS announces
Speaker 5: WCAG-2-conformance requirements-Google Docs with Grackle Docs PDF overview. Two, additional documentation, two copyright 2017 and 2018. WCAG two principles and guidelines. Two registered left pair and principle. One: Perceivable and people can recognize the news or digital content using the senses that are available to them. Two examples, two guideline 1.1 text alternative. Three, behind right pair and W3C guideline. 1.2, time-based media three. Guideline 1.3 adaptable for guideline. 1.4 distinguishable for rules apply. Heading level one web content accessibility guidelines left pair and WCG. Right pair...
Julie Romanowski: Now for that one, the accessibility checker said, oh, great, you've done a good job on this. Reading order was just horrible, all over the place. It started with announcing the document title or file name. I'm sorry. It didn't announce the document title, which it should had. Then it went in and I think it announced copyright, and then went down to overview and additional documentation. And then back up again, then back down, and it didn't actually announce the... It announced web content, accessible guidelines as heading level one, but it didn't announce it until later in the document. So reading order is all over the place. And if you gave this PDF to someone who is blind using a screen reader, they would not be able to get the information out there. They would not be able to use it. It's just completely inaccessible. And this would be something that would require a great deal of work in Acrobat Pro to fix the problems. Okay. Before I go any further, do we have any questions in the chat?
Erica Braverman: We did. We had one from Jack asking, can a website publisher enable a website visitor to create and save unique PDF files? If so, how is this automated and done in the background effortlessly? And his example was sort of like preparing IRS income tax returns, like H and R block that are when complete unique.
Julie Romanowski: That is much more advanced. And for the example you used and for say, a lot of insurance companies and things, I used to work for a big insurance company, they used a special tool. I think Extreme was one tool that we used when I was working at my old employer, that would generate these PDFs as batch or interactive, generate them on the fly on the website, and then people could download them or they would be emailed to them. It's not something that your average user can do. It is very advanced. And I will see if I could find some more information for you to share later on, where maybe have some links of where you can go and look at some things to get a little more information.
Erica Braverman: And then, we-
Jay McKay: Yeah. Go for it, Erica.
Erica Braverman: I was going to say, from Eric, would you use the built-in table of content feature and Word or the list feature?
Julie Romanowski: Well, I used the table of content feature when I created it. The list feature, I'm not quite sure if I'm understanding your question. When I hear list, I'm thinking of list items. So like I said, I created a table of contents and then it was generated as one, and there are settings within Word and within other authoring tools, when you generate PDFs that you can select saying, use styles as bookmarks, use other things as bookmarks, use headings, things like that. So then it would build a table of contents for you that way.
Julie Romanowski: Let's go on to...
Speaker 5: W3C registered left pair-
Jay McKay: There was one more question that we missed. If you export Google Doc to Word, does it include the semantic formatting, such as headings and list?
Julie Romanowski: It will. Includes all of that. It just messes up some of the formatting, like font size, maybe it pushes things around it. It won't look the same. It will look similar, but more likely, fonts will be bigger. They may not fit certain ways. It may be pushing if you have text boxes, it may push things out of text boxes. So you will have to go in and tweak the document a little bit. But yes, all the semantics, the headings, things like that, will be downloaded and will convert into the Word document. So now...
Erica Braverman: Oh, we have one more.
Julie Romanowski: Oh, sure. Go ahead.
Erica Braverman: From Bowden, we had, so you can export Google Docs to Word and then to PDFs?
Jay McKay: I think that's just a follow-up to that.
Erica Braverman: Oh, okay.
Jay McKay: That's his initial question. Yeah.
Julie Romanowski: Yeah. So if you have Word and you're having to use a Google Doc, you can go into Google Docs and you can download it as a Word document. All that stuff gets transferred over there and it will work. Then you can fix whatever you need to and generate a PDF.
Julie Romanowski: So now on the Word document, the Word PDF. The accessibility checker, an Acrobat Pro flagged logical reading order and color contrast is needing manual checks, just like in Google Docs and the Grackle Docs PDFs. It also flagged navigation links as needing a manual check. In addition, multiple elements were flagged as missing alternative text. And this was the same thing as in the Google Docs. There were actually no images, but there were borders around certain headings, kind of decorative borders. And those were flagged in the accessibility checker. So now, I've got one more demo where we have JAWS is going to read through this PDF that was generated from Word.
Speaker 5: WCAG-two-conformance requirements-Word online.PDF link WCAG. Link copyright. Copyright 2017-2018. Link W3C registered left pair and link MIT. Link ERCIM, link kill. Behind right pair and W3C link liability. Link trademark and link document. Use rules apply. Heading level one web content accessibility guidelines, left pair and WCG, right pair and list of 24 items. Link overview...two. Link additional documentation...two. Link WCAG TO principles and guidelines...two. Link principle one: perceivable and people can recognize and use your digital content using the senses that are available to them...two.
Speaker 5: Link examples...two. Link guideline 1.1, text alternatives...three.
Julie Romanowski: All right. So it read things much better in the PDF that was generated from Word. It did announce that web content accessibility guidelines was a heading level one. It announced the links. It announced the list items. So it said the list of 24 items for the table of contents. And if you actually go through there, the images that were flagged is missing, or the objects that were flagged is missing alternative text, that were borders around headings, decorative things. They're not actually announced by the screen reader. So it's flagged as accessibility error within Acrobat Pro, but it's not something that would impact the screen reader user, because it's just ignored.
Speaker 5: WCAG-
Julie Romanowski: Sorry. Okay. So on final thoughts. The demos may have surprised you. It definitely surprised me when I was doing the testing to prepare for this session. Who would've thought that an inaccessible PDF generated by Google Docs would actually be easier for screen reader user to navigate than one generated by an accessible Grackle Doc file. That kind of surprised me. I thought Grackle Doc very accessible. The PDF is going to have to be accessible as well. But it was much worse than the untagged PDF generated by Google Docs. So some really important things to remember from our demos, PDF accessibility starts with the source. An accessible document will most likely generate an accessible PDF, unless it's a Grackle Doc. Always use accessibility options available in your authoring tool, and Word 365, both paid and free version, generate the most accessible PDFs. Most importantly, don't use Grackle Docs to generate PDFs. Seriously, the PDFs are terrible.
Jay McKay: So when you say don't use Grackle Docs to generate the PDF, I know on the Grackle Docs, add-on itself, there is an option to export as a PDF. Is that what you're referring to, or are you referring...?
Julie Romanowski: Yeah.
Jay McKay: Okay.
Julie Romanowski: That's how you generate in the Grackle Docs. And they're just horrible. If you generate from Grackle Docs, you're going to have to go into Acrobat Pro and do a lot of work to fix it. Because reading order issues, that takes a lot longer to fix an Acrobat Pro. And if any of you have used Acrobat Pro, that takes a lot longer to fix than most other accessibility issues. Do we have any other questions?
Jay McKay: It looks like we had a couple comments. Catarina said this was very eye-opening to have the screen reader demo. And then, Teal commented that the PDF structure... File structure, excuse me, is unusual, and that it is not designed to be readable by humans. So the order of the elements can be unexpected.
Julie Romanowski: Good thing to point out.
Jay McKay: Oh, and we do have a question.
Erica Braverman: Okay.
Jay McKay: Go for it, Erica.
Erica Braverman: Oh, I was going to say, I was going to ask the question we got by email, but we can go in any order.
Jay McKay: No. We got one here. It says, from Rebecca, will Word docs be tagged if you just print to PDF, or do you need to export the PDF using an Acrobat plugin to get that tagging to export correctly? So I think what you're referring to is, when you hit that export PDF, there's usually that print item or the electronic option.
Julie Romanowski: That is an excellent choice. Don't don't ever use print for PDF, because that doesn't include any... It strips out like Google Docs, strips out all of the formatting, strips out all of the headings, things like that. Use save as. So if you go into file, save as, you save it as a PDF within that, and it generates very good PDFs. I've discovered that generating PDFs that way in Word actually does a better job than generating PDFs with the Acrobat plugin. Because for some reason, the plugin always sets... Even if you have your document title set, it always switches that where it is reading by the file name. And then you have to go in and fix that. If you generate it using the Word save as, then you don't have that problem.
Jay McKay: Gotcha. We have one from Eric, it says, in Word, what style should you use for regular paragraphs, for example, normal or default paragraph?
Julie Romanowski: That one, body text is usually better to use. If you use normal, it isn't always converted to actual paragraph tag within the PDF. It doesn't really cause problems for screen reader user, but it just kind of weird flaky. Sometimes it's converted as a paragraph, sometimes it isn't. So body text usually does a better job, but either one you use, it's not going to impact a screen reading user.
Jay McKay: Okay. I'm going to bounce around a little bit. So Bowden wanted to reply to our discussion, I think, about the save as, so he's asking, so the PDF... Oh, excuse me. So the Adobe PDF print option is not as good as the save as PDF?
Julie Romanowski: Yeah. Well, the only difference is, the save as PDF, when you then open it in Acrobat Pro to test it, you have to have the document title, and it works fine. Because the settings, the properties for that document in the PDF... Let's see if I can show you one. Let me pull one up and show you.
Jay McKay: Sure. And while you're... Oh, you got it?
Julie Romanowski: Yeah. Give me just a minute.
Jay McKay: Sure.
Julie Romanowski: I will...
Jay McKay: There we go.
Julie Romanowski: Okay. Are you able to see this document?
Jay McKay: Yes.
Julie Romanowski: This was one that was generated by board paid version, but the online was due. It had the same information. So if I have this document and I go into file, properties. And you can see there's the title. Other metadata you put in would be included there. Initial view is marked as document title. If you generate this using the Acrobat plugin, the initial view will be set as file name, even though you have a document title. Not a big deal, but then you have to go in and fix that. So it's just... I mean, you do the save as. And there are a lot of people who don't have Acrobat Pro, so they don't have the plugin. So it just good for you guys to know that if you don't have the plugin, it's not really needed because you can generate very good PDFs, just using the save as. Now, I will go back to sharing. Okay.
Jay McKay: So somebody wanted to raise their question again, because they're trying to sort out their methods here. So is creating the PDF in Adobe better than exporting from Google Docs?
Julie Romanowski: I would say it's better than exporting from Google Docs, but you get the same... I mean, it'll be the same as if you generated it from... Or I shouldn't say it'd be the same. It would be similar generating it from Word using the Acrobat plugin, but there will be some slight differences. I believe though and I'd have to test again that if you open the Google Doc within Adobe and create a PDF, that it doesn't strip out all of the headings and list items, things like that. But I'd have to test again, because I know there were some little quirks and some issues before, but I really can't give you all the facts on that right now.
Jay McKay: Sure. So Anthony had an interesting comment. He's saying, ePUB has been offered as a more accessible document format. And do you think PDFs will be replaced anytime soon? Any thoughts on that one, Julie?
Julie Romanowski: I don't think PDFs will be replaced anytime soon. I mentioned a lot of accessibility experts hate PDFs. They don't understand how much they're used. I mentioned working for a large insurance company, a Fortune 50 insurance company before. The company would generate tens of thousands of PDFs a day. You're talking policy information, billing, all these other things. They were generating those all the time. Having to move from that to ePUB, is going to take a lot of work, going to take a lot of time. So it's not something that's going to happen anytime soon. But if they find that... And I haven't really compared them that much, but if they find that it is better and it's easier to make accessible, they probably will start going that route but it will take a while. If you've heard the ship, you can't turn a ship on a dime, it takes time. It takes a long time to do this stuff.
Jay McKay: Yeah.
Erica Braverman: We had a question from Rebecca, how are headers and footers handled when exporting from Google Docs? I found that the content we have in footers, like copyright information or page numbers are excluded when I save PDFs from Word and run the reading order check in Acrobat Pro.
Julie Romanowski: And that actually is specific to the PDF standard. That is a requirement in the standard that the header and footer information is archived. If it's some information that you really need people to have, then either you need to make sure that it's available within the content of the document and not in the header or the footer, or you need to go in using Acrobat Pro to tag that content. So in page numbers, there's kind of the misconception that screen reader users have to read everything that sided users read.
Julie Romanowski: Their screen reader users can navigate pages as multiple ways. The screen reader will announce the page number they're on. They can get the page number so many different ways that it really makes it redundant, if you have it announced within the document, the page number. Heading information or header information, if you have something on, say you have a company name or some other information, the first time that is available, you want to make sure it's announced by the screen reader, but you don't need to have it announced on every single page. You don't want to have the screen reader to become so chatty that... They're missing important information because they're just hearing the same stuff over and over again.
Jay McKay: Oh, I like this question. So if we don't have a screen reader, how can we check whatever file we put forth for you? So I don't have a screen reader to kind of read to me what this is going to sound like. So what are some ways that I can make sure what I'm giving out to someone is as accessible as possible?
Julie Romanowski: There is an option within Acrobat Reader, Acrobat Pro, called Read Aloud, where you can go in and... Just close that PDF out. I can open it up again and show you.
Jay McKay: Now you're saying that's the Acrobat Pro, which is the pivot-
Julie Romanowski: And reader. Reader also.
Jay McKay: Oh, and reader. Okay.
Julie Romanowski: Yeah. I just can't open. They changed the Acrobat Pro change things. I used to be able to have Reader and Pro on the system and now it won't let me do that. But there is a thing you could go into view, in both Acrobat Reader and Acrobat Pro, and you go down to read out loud. Are you guys seeing...
Jay McKay: Yes we are.
Julie Romanowski: Okay. And then activate, read out loud, and then you go up again to view, read out loud. And we'll just do read this page.
Speaker 5: WCAG copyright. Copyright 2017, 2018. W3C registered, MIT ERCIM, Kill-
Julie Romanowski: And I'm going to go ahead and stop at that.
Speaker 5: W3C liability.
Julie Romanowski: So it's not going to announce headings, links, things like that. So that's not going to help you there, but it will give you a good idea if the reading order makes sense. If it's announcing words very... Has the pauses like JAWS did with the Google Doc PDF really slow like that, then you know there's some issues there. But it'll give you a general idea if the user is going to get the information they need.
Erica Braverman: And I will say, to piggyback on that, if you have... You can always use the free version of the screen reader or the free screen reader-
Julie Romanowski: Yeah. NVDA.
Erica Braverman: NVDA on Microsoft or voiceover on Mac. However, and I say this as a cited person, it's not like you can just turn on the screen reader and it just does whatever you want. It's definitely very, very, very much a learned skill. I mean, I encourage everyone to find out where their screen reader is, and of course, try it out just to see how it behaves. But I like the Read Aloud tool much more in terms of being able to use something right away as a cited person.
Julie Romanowski: And for NVDA, it's free. It's much easier for people to learn. However, there are different keystrokes. If you're going to be navigating PDF, you're going to have to understand what the keystrokes are to navigate there. It's not like you would be tabbing through a website, so you would need to download it. Go to WebAIM. They have keyboard commands for NVDA. They have a lot of information. And know that what you're hearing may not be the same as what a true screen reader to user who uses it every day would hear.
Erica Braverman: Yeah.
Julie Romanowski: So we are over time. So maybe we need to finish up.
Erica Braverman: I think I had a question that came in from email though.
Julie Romanowski: Okay.
Erica Braverman: And that was a question from someone who has a site that has different PDF resources and people have an account and they can open up these resources. And they wanted to know if there was a way that they could log into their profile, save different PDF resources to their account that they're logged in, and then it would print those as a single resource.
Julie Romanowski: Wow, that's really advanced, really advanced. And that would be very difficult if you weren't using some kind of a tool, like I had mentioned, HP Exstream, PDF generator tool, because if you're using the browser, different browsers generate PDFs differently. Some browsers maybe don't generate accessible PDFs, others do. So that would be really difficult if you're not using a special tool to do that. But if very advanced, I'll have to see if I can find more information for the person who sent that question in by email.
Erica Braverman: And we had talked a little bit about... And obviously we don't know this website or all the functionalities that would go into the whole story, but another option could be to have only the individual PDFs available and make sure that the PDF was remediated, that version of the PDF gets uploaded to each page, and then what they're printing is that one file.
Julie Romanowski: Yeah. That would work fine. Trying to attach them into a single PDF would be much more difficult. But I'll see what I can find and share with the person who sent that question.
Erica Braverman: Yeah.
Julie Romanowski: Okay. So having to make sure your content is accessible to people with disabilities, it can be overwhelming. It doesn't have to be. Knowbility is here to help. We offer a wide range of onsite and online accessibility training, including BADA, these different sessions that you folks attend. You can go to the site and find more information. If you need it, reach out to us to see if we can provide more help for you. We're here to help you out on this.
Jay McKay: All right. And we do have a list of resources, and I didn't get that slide over to Julie and I apologize. But we do have some resources that we'll be sharing. Again, when we edit this video, we will have a link so you can download these slides as well. And those resources will include those basics of making a good accessible document. Because like we said, if you're going to start with that good accessible Word document before you convert it over to the PDF that takes away a lot of the troubles you're going to have later, we'll have a lot of resources on that for you. But we want to get you ready for our next session. I'm really excited about this one because this was something near and dear to my own accessibility journey.
Jay McKay: September 15th will be your website's toolbox or content management systems and what you need to know. So if you are like me and you were getting ready to make a website and maybe you're not somebody who knows a lot about coding, what am I looking for? What kind of platform? What do all these terms mean? So we'll try to walk you through, what's a CMS? What does that mean? What does the CSS...? What is URL? So we want to walk you through some of that terminology, what to look for when shopping those different systems in terms of what might have those accessibility features that you need. So of course, please join us at knowbility.org/digitalally. I'm going to ask Erica to go ahead and put that in the chat for me. Also, when we edit this video, that is where we'll have the link as well as the slides for today's presentation as well. So, we'll go on to the next one here.
Jay McKay: All right. And then we want to invite you of course, to AIR, or the Accessible Internet Rally. We are just about ready to start our AIR 2022 season. This is our flagship program. This is kind of what started Knowbility. This is an opportunity. If you are a web designer and you want to practice your accessibility skills, maybe if you are joining us as a non-profit organization or a community group and your you're not feeling quite on your own to create your own website and you'd still like to have a really good website that's accessible but you want to have a team behind you, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to do that. We are going to extend our registration until August 31st. So if you are a nonprofit organization, a community group, artists, musician, and you need a website or a website redesign, this is a perfect time for you to join us. And if you go to knowbility.org/air, that will give you more information and you can register with us. And it is a great, great opportunity for you to start that accessibility journey, become part of that community.
Jay McKay: Oh, somebody saying that last one's getting name an error. Okay. We'll make sure we get you the correct Bitly link real quick on that one. So thank you again. And of course always-
Erica Braverman: I'm putting the main one up now.
Jay McKay: Perfect.
Erica Braverman: On the site.
Jay McKay: So thank you everyone for joining us. We hope you have a wonderful rest of your day. And we'll see you next month.