Working towards more accessible visualization of big data
Berlin, 22 September 2015 – callas software, market leader for automated PDF quality control and archival solutions, sponsored the C4C or “Code for a Cause” software development competition in Europe. This sponsorship is the latest initiative taken by callas software to promote accessibility for all types of content. Previously callas also developed pdfGoHTML, a software solution to visually check structure and tagging in accessible PDF files and sponsored PAC, the free PDF Accessibility Checker (http://www.access-for-all.ch/en/pdf-lab/pdf-accessibility-checker-pac.html) to thoroughly test accessible PDF documents.
European chapter of a worldwide event
“Code for a Cause” or C4C for short was established in 2007 as the world’s first accessibility-themed software development competition. It was originally launched in the United States and Asia, but a first European event was held in 2012, with finals at ICCHP in Linz, Austria. The finals for this year’s event took place at the «AAATE 2015» (Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe) conference in Budapest, Hungary. The event was announced in early 2015, and teams defended their contribution before the judges – Mike Paciello (The Paciello Group) and Steve Lee (Project Possibility) – in Budapest.
Winning team makes bar charts accessible
One of the tasks this year was to implement a software prototype that can create accessible SVG for bar charts while offering rich navigational and presentational interaction with those charts. The Austrian team from Johannes Kepler Universität, Linz, consisting of Markus Weninger, Tobias Hahn, and Gerald Ortner, was selected as the winner of the competition.
Stated one of the judges, Mike Paciello, founder and CEO of The Paciello Group in New Hampshire, USA: “I am inspired by the Johannes Kepler University students! To watch 3 of our brightest young people develop a mainstream application that ensures the accessibility of SVG images to users with disabilities, is a testimony to the success of the C4C program. Their ingenuity and strong determination to solve a complex challenge, tells me that our students are learning how to design and develop accessible information technologies! Congratulations JKU, your students and their mentor, Olaf Drümmer.”
More than accessible text
“There are a number of approaches to make text-based information fully accessible,” commented Olaf Drümmer, founder and CEO of callas software in Berlin, Germany: “making graphically encoded information accessible is still a big challenge and an area in which very little research has been done. I was very impressed by the novel approach the three students from Linz chose to enable automatic creation of accessible graphics. Their approach allowed for very flexible and rich functionality when presenting an accessible graphic to users, whether disabled or not.”
These promising results show that even complex graphics can be made fully accessible in an automated fashion if done at the moment the graphics are created. More work in this field remains necessary; Prof. Klaus Miesenberger and Olaf Drümmer committed to initiating further research at Johannes Kepler Universität, with callas software providing further sponsoring.
About callas software
callas software finds simple ways to handle complex PDF challenges. As a technology innovator, callas software develops and markets PDF technology for publishing, print production, document exchange and document archiving. callas software helps agencies, publishing companies and printers to meet the challenges they face by providing software to preflight, correct and repurpose PDF files for print production and electronic publishing. Businesses and government agencies all over the world rely on callas software’s future-proof, fully PDF/A compliant archiving products.
In addition, callas software technology is available as a programming library (SDK) for developers with a need for PDF optimization, validation and correction. Software vendors such as Adobe®, Kodak®, Quark®, Xerox® and many others have recognized the quality and flexibility provided by these callas tools and have incorporated them into their solutions.
callas software actively supports international standards and has been participating in ISO, CIP4, the European Color Initiative, the PDF/A Competence Center and the Ghent PDF Workgroup. In addition, callas software is a founding member of the PDF/A Competence Center and in October 2010, Olaf Drümmer became its chairman.
callas software is based in Berlin, Germany. For more information, visit the callas software website at: https://www.callassoftware.com.