by Nicole Gauger

PDF Association helps move ISO standard for accessible PDF documents to implementation

First PDF/UA validator created with support from the PDF Association

Berlin. The Swiss non-profit foundation "Access for all" has published the PDF Accessibility Checker (PAC 2) the world's first tool for verifying PDF documents conform with PDF/UA and are accessible to people with disabilities. The PDF Association contributed significantly to the development of PAC 2 in several ways. With these and other initiatives, the PDF Association underlines its commitment to universal accessibility in PDF, the world’s preferred format for electronic documents.   Even before the PDF/UA standard was published in July 2012, the PDF Association supported electronic document applications developers with numerous educational and technical resources regarding the ISO standard for accessible PDF documents, and thereby supported developers in the implementation of requirements of PDF/UA. The organization created a series of seminars in countries across the globe, and in 2013, devoted entire tracks in each of its two Technical Conferences to PDF/UA. The PDF Association recently published the free brochure “PDF/UA in a Nutshell", and with the Matterhorn Protocol, established a PDF/UA-based test catalog for accessible PDF documents and forms. The PDF Association was even involved in the development of open-source screen reader technology. As of today, several members of the PDF Association have already shipped or are developing software products that support the PDF/UA standard, including Adobe Systems, axaio software, callas software, iText, NetCentric Technologies, NV Access, PDFlib and xyMedia. 

PAC 2, in whose development the PDF Association was actively involved, is now the first tool based on the recently published Matterhorn Protocol. The free software checks the requirements of PDF/UA standards and marks any errors directly at the appropriate place in the PDF document. Using the "Preview" function the user may view the PDF document as it is read by a blind user. Correct headings, tables, image alternative text, lists, correct reading order, etc. can be easily checked in this way. Several members of the PDF Association have participated in financing development of PAC 2, including Actino software, axaio software, callas software, Compart, NetCentric Technologies, and FourPees. At present PAC 2 is available for the Windows operating system. Companies that would like to use PAC on the Mac operating system, are invited to participate financially in the development.

About the PDF Association:
First established as the PDF/A Competence Center in 2006, today, the PDF Association is an international organization promoting awareness and adoption of open standards in digital document applications using PDF technology. The association facilitates education, networking and communication, and the sharing of expertise and experience with interested parties worldwide. The current membership includes over 100 enterprises and numerous individual subject-matter experts from more than 20 countries.
The management board includes industry leaders from Actino Software GmbH, Adobe Systems Inc., callas software GmbH, intarsys consulting GmbH and LuraTech Europe GmbH. The association’s chairman is Olaf Drümmer, CEO of callas software GmbH. Duff Johnson, ISO Project Leader for ISO 32000, the PDF Standard, is the association’s vice-chairman.

Editorial Contacts:
PDF Association
Thomas Zellmann
Neue Kantstr. 14
D-14057 Berlin
Phone: +49 30 39 40 50 - 0
Fax: +49 30 39 40 50 - 99

good news! GmbH
Nicole Körber
Kolberger Str. 36
D-23617 Stockelsdorf
Phone: +49 451 881 99 - 12
Fax: +49 451 881 99 - 29 

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