[thelist] [adaptive technology] reading pdf's

aardvark roselli at earthlink.net
Fri Oct 18 14:17:27 CDT 2002

> From: Natalie Klein <nkle at lle.rochester.edu>
> I just returned from a satellite broadcast that discussed providing
> (section 508, etc.) accessibility in distance learning environments.
> The statement was made that adaptive technologies, i.e., screen
> readers, could not read pdf files. I thought they could. Is this true?
> Or is it related to older versions of Acrobat or JAWS? I am prompted
> to ask mainly because their sample videos showed people using screen
> readers on in classroom environments that were using Apple II's and
> desktop pc's with 5 1/2 inch floppy drives.

acrobat documents can be parsed to plain text at the Adobe site as an
accessibility feature they offer... while i haven't tested screen
readers with it (and have none here at home), i'd bet even if they
did, there would still be issues with older versions of PDF files or
the like...

> Actually, I am interested in hearing about anybody's experiences with
> adaptive technology. While I do not work in an educational
> environment, I do work at a federally funded project at a university.
> I understand that the newest version of JAWs made some significant
> leaps in handling frames, etc. However, are people really using the
> newest version or is it too expensive/just hasn't reached saturation
> yet?

at the center for the blind, locally, not many people are using it...
expense, hassle to upgrade, etc... doesn't mean no one is using it,
or no one will, just that it's not everywhere yet...

besides, not all of them use JAWs, many just use screen enlargers,
high contrast, or other features built into the OS...

Read the evolt.org case study
Usability: The Site Speaks for Itself
ISBN: 1904151035

More information about the thelist mailing list