Low-quality document remediation can prove very costly
Under the ADA it is mandatory for all the organization to make their documents accessible. Most organizations are taking necessary steps to make their Web content, Public/Client facing documents and even internal documents accessible.
Many organizations are outsourcing their accessibility work to vendors in India to save cost. But this is very important to keep in mind that not all vendors are same and their quality is also not the same. If you make mistake in choosing the right vendor then cost of low quality remediation can really hurt you it would be much more than the cost saved due to outsourcing. Therefore you must chose your vendor wisely.
While your documents need to be Section 508/WCGA 2.1 AA compliant so that they work well with screen readers line NVDA, JAWS and other assistive technologies but the interpretation of the exact requirement is lacking with most of the vendors and they only know using the Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to make document accessible and they rely only on Adobe Acrobat Pro DC ‘s accessibility checker which might not help you because DC’s checker doesn’t check your documents for any specific compliance. This results in inaccurate delivery and in many cases you will have to get the whole documents reworked causing huge loss of money and time.
You can not rely only on the words of the vendor as the ultimate liability will fall back on your organization not on the vendor. Your remediation projects need to specify requirements clearly and you should have a reliable method to confirm compliance with the accessibility standard your organization is following, such as WCAG 2.0/2.1 AA, HHS or PDF/UA.
Our team at Let’s Redefine ensures that we don’t only give verbal assurance to our clients but a checkpoint by checkpoint compliance report to ensure all specific compliances are met. Below are the steps our team follow to ensure 100% quality compliance while handling your project:
- Scan, identify and fix accessibility issues in each document
- Review and correct the logical structure and reading order of the file
- Check and correct all the tables, no matter how complex it is with proper association of cells.
- Check and create proper Alt Text of images and other elements which requires specific description for the screen readers
- Fix and align the Content Order view to enhance use on mobile devices and seamless screen reading experience
- Review, verify and fix script functionality
- Examine form elements and address accessibility issues
- Test each document with one or more tags-aware assistive technologies like NVDA, JAWS etc.
- Ensure the PDF passes Adobe’s Acrobat, PAC & CommonLook Validator Accessibility Checker
- Provide three Compliance reports of Adobe’s Acrobat, PAC & CommonLook Validator showing checkpoint by checkpoint compliance with WCAG 2.0 AA, WCAG 2.1 AA, HHS and PDF/UA.
Understand The Risk
You should keep in mind that thorough remediation is labor-intensive and time consuming work, yet it is crucial to provide 100% standards-compliant documents. Anything less and you are leaving your organization vulnerable to legal liability risks for non-compliant documents. Your quest to find lowest price vendor will usually put you in a bad situation as the output from them will be poorly tagged documents that might meet some of the criteria but still have significant accessibility issues when used with screen readers.
The best case for poorly remediated documents is that you hire a qualified vendor to finish the work at the cost of lost time and additional cost to the project. The worst case is that despite your best intentions, you find your organization in an accessibility lawsuit because the files still have accessibility issues.
What You Should Do?
Finding the right vendor is a complicated task for many organizations that are not experts in document accessibility standards and testing. Most vendors will just jargons like WCGA 2.1, Section 508, ADA to convince you that they have the competence.
One way to find the capabilities of the vendors is to give them with a sample document of 8-10 pages that contains all the elements which your original document contains. Ask the vendor to send the remediated document along with the compliance report. You can then compare them with other vendors and chose the best one for you.
Another useful way to judge a vendor is the price they are quoting for the documents. For instance ask them their price of Fillable forms, which are the most difficult documents to make fully accessible, can take several hours per page to remediate appropriately. If most vendors are bidding $30 or $40 per page for fillable forms and other vendors are bidding $3-$5 per page for the same work, you can almost guarantee that the lowest price vendor does not understand what is required or will not be giving you correctly remediated or standards-compliant fillable forms. In such cases you can chose vendor who are quoting $15 per page but below that you should accept that the vendor is inexperienced as with worst of the resources Fillable Forms can’t be properly tagged at less than $12-15 per page.
Quality always matters
Document remediation for ADA compliance is difficult, time-consuming, and skilled task. The low bid on a project usually will not provide the customer with the results they need or expect. It might be your vendors fault that your document is not correctly remediated but in the end you are still legally liable, so it is essential that you chose your vendor carefully. Have a QA process in place to test the results and ensure your organization is legally protected and meeting your goals of a more inclusive and accessible website for all.
You can outsource your accessibility/PDF remediation work to us. You can write to us at [email protected].