Letter to the Editor

William Matthews' article, "GSA sounds false 508 alarm" [FCW, April 16], quotes from a General Services Administration memorandum that mistakenly instructs Web managers to delete old Web-based documents, among them "non-508-compliant files such as...PDF files" before the June compliance date.

While Matthews' article corrects certain inaccuracies in the memo, the story may still have left readers with the impression that Adobe Systems Inc. Portable Document Format (PDF) files can't be made accessible and must be removed from government Web sites. In truth, neither is the case.

Given the ubiquity of PDF files on the Web today and the impending government deadlines, I want to assure your readers that Adobe is committed to this issue and that we have worked hard to improve the accessibility of our Acrobat software as well as the information contained in Adobe PDF files.

With Acrobat 5.0, the new version of our product for creating and sharing Adobe PDF documents online, we've made a number of enhancements in this regard. Among them are features we provide to help users create and optimize Adobe PDF files and forms for accessibility. These includes automated tools for the creation of tagged, or structured, Adobe PDF files, as well as a free plug-in available on our Web site that adds tags to documents created with earlier versions of Acrobat. The ability to add structure is important because it enables Adobe PDF files to work with screen reader products, which synthesize text to speech for blind people.

Other advances include high-contrast viewing and text re-flow for people with visual impairments and enhanced keyboard shortcuts for those with motion impairments.

Adobe supports the government's effort to make the Web accessible to all citizens, and we will continue our work to be certain products like Acrobat and formats like Adobe PDF support this end.

Joe Eschbach
Vice president
ePaper Solutions Group
Adobe Systems Inc.

WRITE US

We welcome your comments. To send a letter to the editor, use this form. Civic.com readers, use this form.

Please check out the archive of Letters to the Editor for fellow readers' comments.


Featured

  • Defense
    The Pentagon (Photo by Ivan Cholakov / Shutterstock)

    DOD CIO hits pause on JEDI cloud acquisition

    Dana Deasy set cloud as his office's top priority. But when it comes to the JEDI request for proposal, he's directed staff to "pause" to compile a comprehensive review.

  • Cybersecurity
    By Gorodenkoff shutterstock ID 761940757

    Waging cyber war without a rulebook

    As the U.S. looks to go on the offense in the cyber domain, critical questions remain unanswered around who will take the lead and how clearly to draw the rules of engagement.

  • Government Innovation Awards
    Government Innovation Awards - https://governmentinnovationawards.com

    Deadline extended for Rising Star nominations

    You now have until July 18 to help us identify the early-career innovators and change agents in government IT.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.