June 27, 2018

The Role of HTML & Responsive Web in your Accessibility Strategy

Stephanie Pieruccini | Product Manager
Printing Outputs Management default

Recently, CrawfordTech announced the DTE 4.7 release and highlighted the new capability of transforming print-ready documents to Responsive HTML communications. While the need to make HTML responsive to the device being used by sighted customers is clear, understanding the value for those who are blind or partially sighted is key to ensuring a comprehensive communications strategy.

The World Health Organization reports that an estimated 253 million people around the world are blind or partially sighted.  Legislative action by the US Department of Justice following the Section 508, ICT refresh demonstrates that including accessibility in your communications strategy is no longer an option. Given the importance of a positive customer experience, how could equal access be optional?

That being said, with all of the channels that are available for communications delivery it can be tempting to do the bare minimum to achieve compliance. For many organizations this means taking existing PDF output, whether used for printing or ePresentment, and converting to PDF/UA or WCAG 2.0 Level AAs.

When considering the needs of blind and partially sighted customers, it is important to understand the technology they use to access your communications products. For example, the use of smartphones is on the rise, as is the case with the sighted population. People who cannot access conventional print need their customer communications in a format that works well with the technology they use on a daily basis. Therefore, we have to think outside the box.

Why make HTML responsive for blind or partially sighted customers?

Accessible PDF is a flexible format, in that documents can be printed or archived and can be read by all customers, whether blind or sighted. However, PDF readers are not always the best option for those who use assistive technology. This is particularly true for mobile devices, where accessible HTML enables the end user to navigate the file with the same commands used on web pages. Accessible HTML5 has the added benefit of being readable by blind and sighted customers alike, making it an excellent option for both legislative compliance and a positive customer experience.

We’ll be holding a webinar later this year on Responsive HTML, so keep an eye on our webinar schedule.