For people with physical disabilities, such as severely impaired vision, reading on a computer with technical aids is much easier than reading on paper. It therefore makes sense to make technical documentation available electronically, and thus make it accessible to as many people as possible. Guess which is the preferred format for achieving this and how does it add value for everyone?
Today's world of Information Technology has opened the doors in many ways in order to integrate people with disabilities into our society. But there are a number of prerequisites that need to be met. PDF/UA standard for reading and editing documents and forms serves the same purpose to barrier-free PDF as served by a flattened curb or a stepless access to a wheelchair user. In PDF/UA (= Universal Accessibility), the specifications for barrier-free PDF documents are defined as an ISO standard. Without limiting the diversity of PDF technology, it defines how unrestricted accessibility of content in PDF files is ensured. To this end, the PDF/UA standard defines specifications to exclude barriers to access page content, form fields, annotations, metadata and other elements of PDF files.
This allows these users, who normally use special tools, to interact with the content in PDF documents. For the author, PDF/UA offers clearly defined criteria that must be observed when creating barrier-free documents. You might be wondering that how is it a value addition for all then? Barrier-free documentation does not only concern people with more or less severe disabilities. A PDF tagged with a clean tagging structure is generally an improvement. For example, search engines can index barrier-free PDFs much better. Structured PDF files are also easier to reuse than traditional documents, for example when converting to HTML. In addition, content from tagged PDFs on mobile devices is easier for users to read than other PDF documents.