by Nicole Gauger

PDF Association releases Matterhorn Protocol, the Definitive Accessibility Testing Model for PDF Documents and Forms

PAC 2.0, the PDF Accessibility Checker, is the first implementation of the Matterhorn Protocol

Berlin. The PDF Association is pleased to announce the publication of Matterhorn Protocol 1.0 to promote conformance with PDF/UA (ISO 14289), the international standard for accessible PDF files, readers and assistive technology.

PDF technology is a rich and complex architecture to represent documents; PDF/UA reflects that richness and specifies how content in PDF is made accessible to users with disabilities. From reading order to fonts, PDF/UA specifies precise conditions that must be present in order for page content, form-fields, annotations, metadata and other elements of PDF files to be expressly and reliably accessible to users who depend on specialized tools and features to read and interact with electronic content.

The Matterhorn Protocol is designed to foster adoption of PDF/UA by providing a set of 31 Checkpoints and 136 Failure Conditions that help software developers exchange detailed information on PDF/UA conformance and create software to make it easier for document authors to create fully accessible PDF files and forms.

Each Checkpoint represents a discrete area of conformance requirements, such as “Declared natural language” or “Metadata”. Each Failure Condition defines a specific test for a given Document, Page, Object or JavaScript. Each Failure Condition may be evaluated by either machine (a computer) alone, or requires a human.

An example of a Failure Condition requiring human evaluation is 14-001: “Headings are not tagged.” A Failure Condition that may be evaluated by a machine is 13-004: “Alternative or replacement text missing for Figure tag.”

PAC 2, the new PDF Accessibility Checker from Access for All, a Swiss non-profit foundation, is the first implementation of the Matterhorn Protocol. The company that developed PAC 2, xyMedia, is a member of the PDF/UA Competence Center, and collaborated closely on development of the Matterhorn Protocol.

The Matterhorn Protocol will be presented and discussed at the forthcoming PDF Association Technical Conference North America 2013, this coming August 14 and 15 at the Adobe Systems campus in Seattle, Washington, in the USA.

Download the Matterhorn Protocol 1.0:

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

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Nicole Körber
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Phone: +49 451 881 99 - 12
Fax: +49 451 881 99 - 29

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