PDF Accessibility and Compliance

Introduction

The Power of Tracking Progress Towards ComplianceHow CommonLook Clarity Can Track And Report on Accessibility of PDFs

The Power of Tracking Progress Towards Compliance How CommonLook Clarity Can Track And Report on Accessibility of PDFs

One of the most common situations that we bump into is when a client comes to us with a new-found motivation towards accessibility and feels a bit overwhelmed. This motivation could be due to legal pressures, a new partner or employee who needs electronic documents to be accessible, or most optimistically, a general interest in doing the right thing.

Wherever you fall on this spectrum, CommonLook offers tools to meet you where you are and help you move toward compliance.

We offer the CommonLook PDF Validator, a free tool to help check existing PDFs, CommonLook Office, an accessible-document creation tool, CommonLook PDF, a remediation tool, and a handful of other solutions which fit specific use-cases.

We encourage our clients to use the appropriate software to meet their needs, but one of the most valuable parts of establishing an accessibility-centered process is tracking progress.

This crucial portion of any accessibility overhaul can be done with CommonLook Clarity.

CommonLook Clarity and Accessible PDFs

CommonLook Clarity scans your domain, or really wherever you want, finds the PDFs, tests them, and then reports on their compliance. With loads of reporting tools built into it, CommonLook Clarity can also help you identify areas of improvement, your main offenders, and even give you actual data as far as your progress towards compliance.

Perhaps a few real-world scenarios would explain it better.

Some real-world examples of how CommonLook Clarity can help

Let’s imagine you receive a high-priority email from your supervisor letting you know that accessibility needs to be part of your workflow. You start researching what exactly this means, the changes that you might need to make and even formulate a rough plan to get started. You reach out to CommonLook and ask where to start.

This is where CommonLook Clarity really begins to shine.

Clarity begins scanning your entire public website. It finds numerous PDF documents and runs them through standard checks. Clarity will generate domain-wide reporting metrics of how many files are on your site, how many are untagged, how many have improperly generated links, and even how many are corrupted.

This is a great starting point because untagged documents are not in compliance, incorrect links are something that should receive fast attention, and corrupted files should be taken down as soon as possible. With that knowledge, you can then dive deeper.

We can use Clarity to figure out which of your tagged documents have compliance issues. Organized by the standards’ checkpoints, we can determine, for example, how many of your PDFs have images that are missing alternative text, or exactly which PDFs are missing heading levels.

These might seem like basic checks to some, but for many groups, this allows for a specialized response. If every single one of your documents includes images without Alt text, prioritizing the addition of these textual descriptions is a step in the right direction!

This method of prioritizing the most common mistakes you are making with your PDFs can help you prioritize your “main-offenders” and knock out issues methodically.

Reporting tools

CommonLook Clarity has numerous other reporting tools. It has a PDF Producer’s Report, to help you to figure out if your team’s use of specific document creation software is giving you trouble, as well as a PDF Trace report, which gives you the actual location of the PDF on the site for easy retrieval.

All reporting metrics are highly customizable and allow for a quick pulse-check of domain-wide compliance. In this example, the client needed to figure out where to start in terms of compliance, but another common use of CommonLook Clarity is as a scanning tool to track your continued compliance.

Let’s imagine you have taken serious strides to make your documents more accessible, and you want to make sure you’re not falling back into old, inaccessible habits. CommonLook

Clarity can be set up to run repeated or on-demand scans that generate reports based on your documents. You can set up high-level, overview-based reports to share the accessibility metrics with supervisors or leaders of your group, as well as highly detailed, nitty-gritty reports for remediators, so they know exactly what needs to be done.

CommonLook Clarity is a powerful scanning tool that allows organizations to track their progress toward accessibility or to ensure that they are remaining in compliance on a domain-wide scale.

If you want to see the power of CommonLook Clarity in action, contact us today and we’ll arrange a demo for you.