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Digital Accessibility

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“The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.”

Tim Berners-Lee

The WHO has estimated that over a billion people worldwide have disabilities, of which 253 million people suffer from various degrees of visual impairment. Providing everyone access to the resources available on the web will help everyone achieve a greater degree of independence in their daily life. This is possible today, given the developments in technology in recent years. The scope for information exchange also improves when people with a diverse range of hearing, movement, sight, and cognitive disability are provided the means to access the vast resource available on the internet.

Everyone benefits from accessible content, not just individuals with disabilities.  Text with good colour contrast helps those with and without visual impairments to read content more clearly. Keyboard accessible controls benefit those with dexterity impairments. Captions for video presentations not only help those who are deaf or have hearing impairments they also help people who don’t speak English to learn the language. Technology can unlock a new vista of independence for millions of people with disabilities, which also opens up untold business opportunities.

Web accessibility is about technical standards, web architecture and design. The accessibility of websites covers much more than just access for the disabled. It’s about giving people unhindered access to a website from various devices, such as web-enabled mobile phones.

Making PDF content accessible to people with disabilities online begins with making files complaint from the start. PDF was designed for print, but nowadays, organizations are using files of this format to send or receive digital information. Newgen can improve the accessibility of the PDFs for screen reading and text-to-speech systems by tagging the structure and the reading order of content and providing new descriptive text for images.

Assistive Technologies

Assistive Technologies (AT) cater to the needs of people with various impairments like visual, hearing, mobility, and learning impairment. AT helps differently abled people to communicate and navigate through life. For example, screen readers help convert textual and image content into synthesized speech to facilitate visually impaired users to listen to and comprehend content. Technology has now adapted to become a primary aide for the differently abled.

Digital accessible technologies include:

  • Computerised Braile
  • Digital textbooks and e-book readers
  • Digitally accessible websites
  • Online learning portals and platforms
  • Mobile applications
  • Video content

Alternative Text (Alt Text)

Alt Text is the creation of descriptions of photos, graphs, tables, charts, math expressions and other visual elements within a text. This description allows a visually impaired reader to imagine an image that a sighted person can see.

img accessibility

Digital accessibility of images can be divided into three distinct categories:

  1. Simple: The Alt Text for simple images is a short sentence or phrase. Simple images include logos, icons, simple photographs, images of text, and decorative images.
  2. Moderate: Moderate images require a short, introductory description as well as a longer description that conveys their purpose. Sample moderate images would include people or animals with background scenery, room layouts, and high-level maps.
  3. Complex: Images that are complex need a short, introductory description and a paragraph or more to complete a full description. They include charts, graphs, and detailed drawings.

Newgen Accessibility Initiatives

Newgen KnowledgeWorks is a provider of publishing and digital services and technology solutions for many of the world’s most prestigious publishers. Over the past twenty years we have extended our service portfolio to anticipate new outsourcing requirements in the publishing industry and have broadened our client base to different types of content producers and new geographies.

Our digital accessibility and conversion teams can help you craft your content with accessibility standards in mind.

Digital Accessibility Audit

If a website, document, or app can be perceived, understood, navigated and interacted with by everyone (with or without disabilities), it is considered accessible. Accessibility requires your offering to be barrier free for everyone, even those who are using ATs such as screen readers. Newgen can conduct a detailed evaluation of your current digital assets, and provide a roadmap to achieve the goal of full accessibility across your platforms and content types.

Alternative Text Solutions

Newgen’s Digital accessibility and data conversion divisions have dedicated teams, comprising various subject matter experts (SMEs), for creating alternative text and long descriptions for images. We ensure the tagging structure and the reading order of content is compliant with the regulations prescribed by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) Level AA or National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) for K12.

Remediation services

Newgen provide a remediation service, making PDF content accessible and compliant with section 508.  Newgen’s Digital accessibility team will take any PDF and ensure it follows the section 508 standard and WCAG 2.1 guidelines.

The following steps will be followed to ensure a PDF is compliant

  • Reading order, tag structure for content reading order
  • Tag structure, use of document structure in tags (header, paragraphs)
  • Add alternative text for images
  • Ensure correct tagging and labelling of form fields, and tab order in forms
  • Ensure correct links, lists and tables tagged
  • Ensure that no content splits between tags to allow easier navigation for assistive technology users

Newgen will ensure the content checked against the PDF File 508 checklist and test the output file using the following methods namely

  • Adobe Acrobat Accessibility Check (PAC3)
  • Adobe Acrobat Full Accessibility
  • Adobe validation

‘Born Accessible’ Consulting

At Newgen, we are dedicated to making all client publications ‘Born Accessible’. A deep integration of accessibility workflows into your publishing process will guarantee fully-accessible front-list publications and websites. We invite you to join the wave of inclusiveness by making digital accessibility a priority.

Contact us to find out more about how we can improve the accessibility of your content and help you reach a wider audience.