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Welcome to the March issue of the CommonLook Accessibility Newsletter!

Last month’s GRAMMY Awards shone a spotlight on more than just 2016’s hottest acts in music – learn how Stevie Wonder used the platform to illuminate the importance of accessibility for all in front of an audience of millions, making him this year’s big winner in our eyes, despite not taking home an award.

And read on to find out how CommonLook PDF GlobalAccess makes a finicky issue in Microsoft Word documents containing tables much easier.

Plus, a major event in the accessibility world happens later this month: the 2016 CSUN Conference in San Diego from March 21 – March 26. CommonLook will be in attendance; read on to learn more and schedule a free accessibility consultation.

As always, we welcome your suggestions for upcoming topics and would like to know what you think of NetCentric’s CommonLook Accessibility Newsletter.

Use this link to share your comments or story ideas with the CommonLook Accessibility Newsletter staff.


We Hope You Enjoy!

The CommonLook Accessibility Newsletter Team

Accessibility Tips and Tricks:  PDF Global Access Removes “Span” in Tables

There is a current issue in Microsoft Word documents containing tables: parts of the table gridlines appear in the table structure once the Word document is converted to tagged PDF, whether you use the Adobe Acrobat add-in or the ability to save a Word document as a tagged PDF from Microsoft Word itself.

The remediation of this issue can take a lot of time when your documents have a lot of tables.  However, if you have CommonLook PDF GlobalAccess, the remediation can be made in a few steps!

First, launch the CommonLook PDF GlobalAccess tool.

In the Standards Pane to the right of the document, expand the Accessibility Standards.

Under the Accessibility Standards, choose PDF/UA.

Choose to create a “Full” accessibility report.

When the report items open in the Pane at the bottom of the document, locate the “Failed” item “A Tag of type TR may not have a Span Tag as a direct child.”

You’ll notice a lot of these in the accessibility validation results!

Right click on one instance of the Span Tag in the TR Tag.

Choose “Fix.”

A dialog opens indicating that it is Step 1.

“Untag the selected element is the default.” Keep the default.

Check the check box to “Apply fix to all similar issues.”

Click “Finish.”

All instances of the Span Tag in the TR Tag as a direct child are removed from the Tags Tree and are made Artifacts!

Validate this by examining the Tags Tree in adobe Acrobat.

When you open the Tags Panel, then the Tags Tree, and open any of the Table Tags, there is no Span Tag under the TR Tags! Problem solved!

The bottom line is that, while the DOJ has postponed its release of official accessibility guidelines, entities wishing to avoid costly lawsuits should not postpone implementation of effective accessibility plans. CommonLook offers the tools, training, and services to meet your organization’s accessibility needs and ensure accessibility and compliance of your entity’s electronic documents. 2016 is the year for your organization to achieve accessibility and CommonLook can help! Email to schedule a free consultation.

Want to check your document accessibility right now? Download our PDF Validator.


Why Stevie Wonder Was The Real Winner At The Grammys

Were you one of the millions who tuned into last month’s GRAMMY Awards? While the evening’s musical performances and red carpet fashion have already faded from memory, one defining moment still shines bright: Stevie Wonder, before announcing the winner for the coveted Song of the Year award, took advantage of the moment to highlight for a captive audience of millions the importance of accessibility for all.

As the award results were only written in braille, Wonder teasingly taunted his co-presenters, saying, “You can’t read it. You can’t read braille.” While his mocking garnered laughs, Wonder became serious a moment later, making an impactful statement: “I just want to say, before saying the winner, that we need to make every single thing accessible to every single person with a disability.” Wonder’s sentiment was met with rousing applause before he announced the winner of the award as Ed Sheeran for the song “Thinking Out Loud.”

Wonder, who has been blind since shortly after birth, has long been known for his advocacy of disability rights, particularly for those of visually impaired people. While he may not have taken home a GRAMMY to add to his collection that evening, Wonder’s championing of accessibility rights for all makes him the real winner in our eyes.



Join CommonLook At The 31st Annual CSUN Conference, San Diego

This month the 2016 CSUN Conference will be held in San Diego, CA from March 21 to March 26 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel. For 30 years, the Center on Disabilities, through the Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, has provided an inclusive setting for researchers, practitioners, exhibitors, end users, speakers and other participants to share knowledge and best practices in the field of assistive technology. In 2015, the conference drew more than 4,800 people to San Diego. Known as a forum that showcases cutting edge technology and practical solutions that can be utilized to remove the barriers that prevent the full participation of persons with disabilities in educational, workplace and social settings, the conference is the largest of its kind in the world. CommonLook is proud to be attending as an exhibitor in 2016! Learn more about the Conference here and email to schedule a free consultation with CommonLook at CSUN 2016!

We look forward to seeing you there!


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