// AI-driven Document Accessibility Compliance //
Accessibility is at the heart of inclusivity, and particularly as it relates to people with visual, auditory, physical, or cognitive disabilities. Truly accessible content enables everyone, regardless of disability or special needs, to read and engage with content.
However, true accessibility requires that users not be required to utilize additional technology to access the content because the provider has compromised on the quality and standard of accessibility they provide.
codemantra promises to deliver true accessibility. Over the last five years, codemantra’s R&D has developed technology and expertise to help content owners provide truly accessible digital content. codemantra’s fast, accurate, AI-powered tools and intelligent document processing capabilities (IDP) support accessibility inclusion.
codemantra’s accessibilityInsight™ is an intelligent document processing platform that embraces machine learning to automate up to 80% of document accessibility production to
accessibilityInsight™ provides an automated content audit. A large volume of document transfers is seamlessly integrated into the platform and a final report is made available within 24 hours.
Documents are thoroughly tested against WCAG and 31 other checkpoints consisting of 136 vulnerabilities as established by the international PDF Association (www.pdfa.org) in their Matterhorn 1.02 protocol. The vast majority of these vulnerabilities are automatically assessed.
Machine learning classification and auto-tagging of document elements ensure consistent and efficient remediation. accessibilityInsight’s model encompasses a document data lake of millions of documents that guarantees highly accurate document classification and tagging.
Instant, cloud-based PDF/UA and WCAG 2.1 validation for PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and ePub formats.
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is one of several disability laws. It requires federal agencies to make their information and communications technology (ICT)* accessible for everyone.
This means federal employees with disabilities are able to perform their day-to-day tasks on computers, phones and office equipment, attend online training or access the agency’s internal website to search for data without any difficulty.
Section 508 also mandates that a person with disability applying for a job with the federal government or a person who is using a federal agency’s website to obtain information about a program or completing an online form has access to the same information and resources available to an able-bodied individual.
*Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is any equipment or system that is used to create, convert, duplicate or access information and data.
Examples of ICT include the following:
▸ Telephones, smartphones and mobile devices
▸ Televisions, DVD players and video recordings
▸ Internet and intranet websites
▸ PDF documents
▸ Online training
▸ Webinars and teleconferencing
▸ Technical support call centers
▸ Remote access websites and tools
▸ Tablet, laptop and desktop computers
▸ Software and operating systems
▸ User guides for software and tools
▸ Copiers, printers and fax machines
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is a technical standard that addresses accessibility of web content on desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. It is developed through the W3C processin cooperation with individuals and organizations around the world, with the goal of providing a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments across the globe. It is also specified as the official requirement under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and is commonly pointed to in digital accessibility lawsuits and complaints. Following these guidelines will make content more accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities.
The World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) publishes and maintains WCAG. The first version of WCAG was published in 1999. The latest version, WCAG 2.1, was published in 2018. WCAG 2.2 is scheduled to be published in 2021.
All public sector bodies in the United Kingdom must comply with updates to UK digital accessibility regulations – The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) by September 23, 2020.
The accessibility regulations which came into effect on September 23, 2018 help to ensure online public services are accessible to all users, including people with disability. The accessibility regulations build on existing obligations to people who have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 (or the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 in Northern Ireland). These say that all UK service providers must consider ‘reasonable adjustments’ for disabled people.
Common problems that need addressing include websites that are not easy to use on a mobile or cannot be navigated using a keyboard, inaccessible PDF forms that cannot be read out on screen readers, and poor colour contrast that makes text difficult to read – especially for visually impaired people.
As per these regulations, public sector organizations have an obligation to make websites and mobile applications accessible. Public sector bodies include central government, local government organizations, some, but not all, charities, and other non-government organizations in the UK.
Websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies had to meet common accessibility standards by the following dates: for public sector body websites created or substantially changed after September 2018, by September 2019; any other public sector body websites, by September 2020; all mobile applications of public sector bodies will need to be accessible by June 2021.
The Equality Act came into effect in 2010 replacing the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and other anti-discrimination legislation. The DDA was the first real anti-disability discrimination legislation in the UK and the Equality Act picked up where the DDA left off. The Equality Act 2010, sometimes referred to as the disability act 2010, also established the Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC).
The Equality Act lists protected characteristics – disability being one of them – and provides disabled UK citizens with the means to enforce their rights where they feel these have been compromised or where they feel they have been treated less favourably because of a disability. It also suggests how reasonable adjustments should be made by service providers to accommodate people with disabilities, and that the responsibility on service providers to make reasonable adjustments, is an anticipatory – not a reactionary – one.
The European Accessibility Act (EAA) is the EU legislation mandating accessibility standards for various digital products and services. It was adopted by the European Union on April 2019.
In the early 2010s, policymakers laid out the goal of achieving a coherent, unified set of web accessibility standards for the entire continent by 2020. In 2016, the Web Accessibility Directive was published which mandated that all official public services make their websites and mobile apps accessible to persons with disability. It should be noted however that the Web Accessibility Directive, although, aimed at public and governmental groups, also has implications for private businesses. Companies that provide services for government agencies in Europe will need to ensure they are EAA-compliant.
Much of the accessibility services being provided today result in content that people with disabilities have a hard time consuming. One of the prime reasons is because there is a significant lack of context to content – documents lack appropriate contextual information such as reading order, alternative descriptions, logical structure, to name but a few. This puts the agency that invested in accessibility services at risk because of its content not being compliant with the region’s digital content accessibility requirements.
codemantra’s accessibilityInsight platform accurately predicts document structure and automates the workflow necessary to achieve compliance. The AI algorithm automatically determines contextual information within digital documents. In addition, the workflow enables content creators and experts to provide image descriptions. All in all, this platform delivers a 100% compliant output that affords senior citizens, veterans, and people with disabilities equal access to information.