The Document Accessibility Journey

Leslie Wengenroth – Director, Marketing Communications – Crawford Technologies Inc.

For most organizations, creating and delivering accessible documents to meet the needs of their blind, partially-sighted, and cognitively disabled customers is a constantly evolving process. We all know that it’s important to be in compliance with global regulations, but the regulations themselves and their enforcement have changed over the past few years. Our blog post on the recently announced Section 508 Refresh provides a good overview of this critical piece of legislation.

Your customers, and the tools and technologies they use most likely have also gone through something of a metamorphosis. Unlike print, there are numerous accessible document formats. Different people prefer different formats, and the relative popularity of various formats shifts over time and with different audiences. And of course, new solutions, such as Voiceye barcodes extend and augment the options that are out there.

And then finally there are the underlying documents themselves, which will vary as new business opportunities arise. What information is being communicated, and what parameters are you dealing with in terms of delivery timeframes, SLAs, and regulatory requirements? What do they look like, and how complex are they?  What composition and production process is used to produce your customer communications?

When considering all of these factors, it’s clear that document accessibility is not a problem to be solved once, but is a more complex set of issues, challenges and goals that must be looked at constantly. And this assessment involves many different people, departments, systems, and processes, encompassing design, IT, finance, legal, operations, production, multiple outside vendors, and, of course, your customers.

It’s clear that to be successful in creating and delivering accessible documents, an organization must embark on a journey that requires effective planning and consideration of the many factors that come into play.

CrawfordTech recently sponsored an Xplor roadshow in Omaha. Steve Keca, Director of Solutions Development at RR Donnelley Healthcare, gave an excellent presentation on how his company embarked on this journey. He discussed the types of documents they dealt with, provided insights into the challenges they faced, and shared how they were able to successfully identify and execute a strategy to deliver accessible documents.

You can learn more by watching the video, or you can contact us for more information on how you can be successful in your document accessibility journey.