by Andrew Kirkpatrick
Authors looking for additional guidance on how to meet the W3C WCAG 2.0 for PDF documents can now look to the W3C techniques repository for additional guidance. Techniques for PDF authored over the past two years since the release of the last update to the WCAG techniques (which included techniques for Flash) are now part of the larger collection of techniques. View the full set of WCAG 2.0 techniques or view PDF techniques on their own.
These techniques provide a clear path for demonstrating that a PDF document can meet the most current accessibility standard from the W3C.
As with the Flash techniques for WCAG 2.0 and techniques for all other technologies, the PDF techniques are presented as examples which the WCAG Working Group viewed as sufficient to meet WCAG 2.0 success criteria, not as the only way to meet any given success criteria. Authors may discover a new way to address a success criteria, in a way not yet covered in the existing techniques, and be able to demonstrate why it is sufficient. The techniques offer a collection of strategies that have been reviewed by the working group, but the techniques collections for all technologies are works in progress as there are always additional ways to address success criteria.
The table below provides a listing of the WCAG level A and AA success criteria and the PDF-specific and General techniques that authors can employ to meet success criteria. It is worth noting that not all success criteria for WCAG 2.0 have technology-specific techniques. For example 1.3.3 (Sensory characteristics) has only general techniques, and in this case and similar ones I reference the relevant general techniques section. In some cases there are relevant general techniques as well as PDF-specific techniques and for these both are linked.
Update: I neglected to acknowledge the hard work of Mary Utt from The Paciello Group on the PDF techniques initially, but Mary was a tremendous help in moving this work forward and I offer many thanks. Many people on the WCAG working group also worked very hard to help make these techniques reach this final stage. Thanks to all!
Please send general comments, comments or questions on the techniques, or suggestions for new techniques.
|1.1.1 Non-text Content||A|
|1.2.1 Audio-only and Video-only (Prerecorded)||A||
|1.2.2 Captions (Prerecorded)||A||
|1.2.3 Audio Description or Media Alternative (Prerecorded)||A||
|1.2.4 Captions (Live)||AA||
|1.2.5 Audio Description (Prerecorded)||AA||
|1.3.1 Info and Relationships||A|
|1.3.2 Meaningful Sequence||A|
|1.3.3 Sensory Characteristics||A|
|1.4.1 Use of Color||A||
|1.4.2 Audio Control||A||
|1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum)||AA||
|1.4.4 Resize text||AA|
|1.4.5 Images of text||AA|
|2.1.2 No Keyboard Trap||A|
|2.2.1 Timing Adjustable||A|
|2.2.2 Pause, Stop, Hide||A||
|2.3.1 Three Flashes or Below Threshold||A||
|2.4.1 Bypass Blocks||A||
|2.4.2 Page Titled||A|
|2.4.3 Focus Order||A|
|2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context)||A|
|2.4.5 Multiple ways||AA||
|2.4.6 Headings and Labels||AA||
|2.4.7 Focus Visible||AA|
|3.1.1 Language of page||A|
|3.1.2 Language of parts||AA|
|3.2.1 On Focus||A||
|3.2.2 On Input||A|
|3.2.3 Consistent Navigation||AA|
|3.2.4 Consistent Identification||AA|
|3.3.1 Error Identification||A|
|3.3.2 Labels or Instructions||A|
|3.3.3 Error Suggestion||AA|
|3.3.4 Error Prevention (Legal, Financial, Data)||AA||
|4.1.2 Name, Role, Value||A|