Authors : Alireza Darvishy, Rolf Sethe, Ines Engler, Oriane Pierrès, Juliet Manning
This survey analyzes the quality of the portable document format (PDF) documents in online repositories in Switzerland, examining their accessibility for people with visual impairments. Two minimal accessibility features were analysed: the PDFs had to have tags and a hierarchical heading structure.
The survey also includes interviews with the managers or heads of multiple Swiss universities’ repositories to assess the general opinion and knowledge of PDF accessibility. An analysis of interviewee responses indicates an overall lack of awareness of PDF accessibility, and shows that online repositories currently have no concrete plans to address the issue.
This paper concludes by presenting a set of recommendations for online repositories to improve the accessibility of their PDF documents.