About & Contact Information
About the site
One of the things I do for my job is train other people how to make PDFs accessible. I found myself having to repeat myself a lot and got tired of hearing my own voice so I gathered this information together from a number of sources and put it together in my own words. It is mostly for the folks I train, but if it helps other people, that’s even better.
Comment please, I want this to be a learning experience.
I’ve been working on web accessibility since January 2001 when I was hired by a consulting company to become a web accessibility resource in anticipation of Section 508. It seemed a natural road to follow after working as a special ed teacher for 16 years and then getting a Master’s degree in educational technology. I knew I didn’t want to go back into the classroom, but wanted to build on what I’d learned as a teacher. When my good friend, Maria, who’s been blind since adolescence, asked me to help her learn how to use her screen reader, I was hooked.
I had strong feelings against the exclusive use of PDFs to convey information on the sites on which I worked. I even wrote an article for Federal Computer Week about my frustrations at creating accessible PDFs using Acrobat 5 and Word 1997. For several years I strongly suggested, when asked (and sometimes when not asked), that if a PDF were to be placed on a government site, then an HTML version must also be present. I admit to not having really looked into the newer versions of Acrobat until I was asked learn about PDF accessibility in 2009.
Fairly recently at work I’ve been given the task of making thousands of PDFs already on a site accessible. I’ve pretty much taught myself everything I know, with a lot of help from experts on the Internet and elsewhere.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m also on Twitter as cedarwaxwing.