Digital Information Technology Documents and Access

A lot is happing in the world of accessible DIT documents. Low Vision is about to loose one of the most important access rules it ever had. Section 508 1194.22(d) (More Later).

What is a DIT document?

A DIT document is a document that can be stored on a computer and read and understood by a computer with 100% accuracy.

Example 1: CCB The 2015 Annual Conference and Convention Program Webpage

A web page is an example of a DIT document that is in a "mark-up" format. We read the CCB Conference web page with a browser. PDF is another example with limited mark-up capability. The Acrobat program reads PDF. Word documents (.doc) and Daisy books are DIT documents. They are read by Word and book players resp.

An image file (JPEG or GIF) of a book is not a DIT because a program cannot understand the content. OCR can guess at the content meaning, but OCR uaually makes some mistakes. 100% accuracy is not possible.

Why are DIT Documents Important

DIT Documents that are constructed correctly can be read by screen readers and other assistive technology. The key is constructed correctly.

Section 508 is a set of rules that determines what is needed to construct a DIT document corrrect so that assistive technology can read and understand it.

508 is being changed. It is called the 508 Refresh. The new accessibility rules strengthen access for people who are blind. (Not as much as I'd like) but significant improvement.

The 508 Refresh guts access for low vision. The only assistive technology it will recognize for low vision will be the screen magnifier. According to the new 508, horizontal scrolling is accessible

What is most important is the removal of the ability to restyle web documents to meet the user's needs.


AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990, AS AMENDED To see the power of 1194.22(d) load this file in Firefox. Then type in sequence [alt] V Y N. The alt calles up the menu. The V activates the view menu. The Y activats the style menu. The N activates no style. Now use CTL+ to over and over. Everything word wraps.