In June 1992, the Canadian Federal Government passed critical legislation, including Omnibus Bill C-78 to amend acts to accommodate persons with disabilities. The Bill added the requirement to provide document accessibility accommodations, ensuring equal access to mission critical communications.
Canada Post was chosen to provide secure delivery of Government of Canada Pensioner documents, including direct deposit statements, newsletters, and tax forms. This allows pensioners to receive important transaction information via Canada Post`s secure electronic delivery network.
What happens when thousands of monthly, electronic, pensioner documents need to be eDelivered electronically in a short timeframe and they need to be accessible?
Canada Post eDelivers electronic pensionercommunications for the Canadian Federal Government. Files are provided by the Government of Canada and they need to be composed, processed and distributed to pensioners within 24 hours. As part of Canada Post`s contract, there is a requirement to make all electronic documents accessible to meet the Government of Canada`s Omnibus Bill C-78.
In order to meet accessibility requirements, thousands of electronic statements were required to be converted regularly in a timely and efficient fashion into Accessible PDF. Documents must meet WCAG 2.0 Level AA accessibility guidelines. Manual accommodation upon request is not possible because of the volumes of documents that must be sent. As the target recipients are aging pensioners, there is a higher chance of vision loss or vision disability. Therefore, all documents to be presented needed to be in an accessible format to meet reasonable accommodation requirements.
Canada Post Corporation contacted Crawford Technologies to explore their high- speed accessibility remediation and transform solution, as well as professional services to automate the conversion and transformation of its statement files into accessible PDF, running a competitor’s AFP to PDF solution to convert files from AFP to PDF for ePresentment on-line. With the new requirement to transform their existing AFP files into Accessible PDF, CPC needed a high-speed conversion solution for these high-volume mission critical documents.
Crawford Technologies worked with CPC and the Canadian Federal Government to test and assess their AFP files. CrawfordTech were able to take their supplied AFP files, induct them, tag them and produce an accessible PDF to WCAG 2.0 (Level AA).
Canada Post called on Crawford Technologies’ Professional Services team to provide Accessible PDF Configuration File set-ups on each of their Tax, Statement and information documents. Crawford Technologies implemented its PRO Designer Accessible PDF GUI solution, and the CrawfordTech team of accessibility experts tagged documents by read order, set up key headers, paragraphs and tables, and tagged images to be easily navigable when using an assistive technology.
These accessible PDF files allow clients who utilize assistive technologies such as JAWs, screen readers, refreshable braille displays, and computers with accessibility features enabled to easily navigate content through the use of tags that are embedded into the PDF file during the transformation process.
Content with personal and private information is now easily accessible. This means that blind and partially sighted individuals, or those with cognitive disabilities will no longer need to depend on another person to read or review these communications. Accessible documents are created at hundreds to thousands of pages per second, allowing CPC to take structured system output files and making them accessible quickly and seamlessly.
Additional benefits included a 66% reduction in processing time for tax forms over the competitor’s non-accessible transform from AFP to PDF. In the first 4 months of 2014, over 618,000 documents were converted and stored for ePresentment. As of the end of 2015, 1.53 million documents across 23 document types have been converted and stored.