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PDF Accessibility Solution Q&A: Who Benefits?

Actuate’s PDF Accessibility Solution captures and transforms high-volume print streams to create accessible PDF documents that are readable by assistive screen reader technology. It allows our clients to provide accessible documents to their visually impaired customers on-demand, meet federal regulations for accessibility and engage in an inclusionary practice. We’ve received a few questions about the scope of this market and what the visually impaired community requires. Check out the Q&A below:

Q: How many customers could Actuate’s PDF Accessibility Solution potentially help?

Today, approximately 3.3 million Americans over 40 are blind or have low vision. That number is only growing. In the next decade it’s expected to soar up to 5 million. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, 4% of the population has vision-related problems. For financial institutions, that means if at least 1% of their customer base has some kind of visual impairment, together they will need a significant number of accessible documents every year. In a bank with 2.5 million customers, for example, at least 25,000 customers would require document accessibility services, for a total of almost 1 million accessible documents annually.

Q: How should banks or other companies approach accessibility? Should visually impaired clients have to identify themselves or prove that they need this service?

For the traditional alternate formats that people have come to expect – Braille, large print and audio – yes, someone would have to identify their need and ask directly, in order to receive personalized statements in custom formats that would meet their needs. For remediated electronic statements that is also true: customers are asked to opt-in.

However, it’s preferred that an individual with disabilities not have to identify him or herself if they don’t wish to. The Actuate’s PDF Accessibility Solution helps accomplish this, requiring fairly little on the part of the business institution to produce accessible statements that are equally usable by customers with or without disabilities – and are available on-demand and online. That means a customer does not have to identify him or herself or carry the burden of trying to figure out how to ask for an accessible document from the organization or financial institution in question.

For more information on Actuate’s PDF Accessibility Solution, download solution sheet.

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